We live in such a day and age where the LGBT community has garnered a universal amount of appraisal and support over centuries of discrimination and prejudice. African American people are also garnering a colossal following and support towards the “Black Lives Matter” movement – for better or for worse. Many groups try to clamber onto the roller coaster, trying to find their own little niche, their identity. Yet they lack a certain amount of maturity, seeing as they are mostly organized by and for people inclined to feeling hopeless about themselves. Unlike LGBT, their problems lack any substance or clarity as to what they are trying to uphold against. Still, I find myself feeling relatively content with this more recent development in society; we should always strive to treat each other as we’d like to be treated. However, what happens when we start twisting the definition of ‘acceptance’ into ‘avoidance’ ? How can someone improve if we keep telling them that change is never the option? Perhaps western society can learn a thing or too… from Japan!
Knight Scoop is a Japanese variety show that airs on the “Asashi Broadcasting Corporation” channel. The show mainly focuses on it’s simple yet potent premise: a Detective Agency that takes requests from viewers on the show. As expected, some weird things can happen on this show, well actually most requests from the audience are strange. Yet, it still promises to make me tear up to no end when watching some of the more inspiring requests. The subject of this article isn’t going to be about any of the craziness of huge Japanese people sliding through bathrooms (sadly). No – I’m going to hone in on one theme that occasionally reoccurs in viewer requests. And that is “overcoming one’s fears”.
The dilemma of misguided acceptance
See, in the west, some of the most influential outlets for social media and community experiences mainly derive from a need to be accepted by a group of people who share the same dilemmas as you. It’s why teenagers will turn to Tumblr when their parents quote on quote “don’t understand their feelings” because at least there they can find someone who can tell them that they’re going to be all right and hold their hand like toddler. Japan does not do that. Most of Japan is founded on the business elite, people who have absolutely no time to waste on the tedious cycle of giving out support to the moany, grumpy younger generation. This has led to Knight Scoop covering the requests of their audience, with a lack of subtlety maybe, but also with an overbearing amount of care and legitimate concern for how these people can continue to go on like this. Because that’s the core of helping someone out – you must support them in a way which allows them to live instead of merely exist along side their worries.
How does Knight Scoop help people?
Knight Scoop presents this idea very well when they help a mother who is afraid of balloons. Globophobia, it’s called, is a fairly uncommon phobia yet some famous celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey still have to live with it
“It reminds me of gunfire,” she went on to say, admitting that being around balloons “really freaks me out.”
But Winfrey says she faced those fears: “No way around it – [I] just had to walk through them.” -People.com
The video is truly heartwarming. Firstly detailing the very strange situation where the mother has kept a very damaging fear of balloons with her throughout most of life, having vowed to never pop a balloon again. Then ending on a huge climax of a dozen balloons that the mother needs to pop in order to get over her anxiety and ultimately be able to make balloon animals for the kids at work. You can see just how much Knight Scoop is willing to go to help these people out. However, not in one moment does the detective, Makoto, ever really hold her hand through the process. He realizes there’s no other way about it – it’s crucial that the sufferers help themselves.
Perhaps that’s the defining point between the divide of The West and The East on this matter.
Most people who do end up seeking false refuge in validation forums never do seriously consider the possibility that they can help themselves. Maybe they feel it’s futile: a god given curse to which they can never escape. This is idea is only further perverted by the effects of groups like “Fat Acceptance” that demand plus size models, special treatment in planes, claims for damages from McDonalds and Burger King and even actively resent and hate on people that are skinnier then them. It’s not overcoming fear; it’s overcoming delusion and egotism with disgusting acts of hate. Somewhere in these groups lies an innocent bystander that doesn’t know how they can help themselves out, how they can pick themselves up from a low point in their life.
The fight against over-acceptance
The over-use of the “fat acceptance” model and the justifications to which activists try to cling on to are menacingly scary. The beliefs that the extremists in certain loud-mouthed group hold are never fought against inside their own groups; it almost seems like there is no “extreme” there is only their entirely communal agenda. And people that do try to speak up against the toxicity of the agenda these people push through are more then often silenced for voicing their say. We need to disseminate the objective truth from the emotional roller-coasters of our daily lives. An abiding mass can be easily manipulated. With the advent of social media and the increasing need for validation, there will be people who will naturally fawn over the ideas above themselves by envisioning them as an object to which a group of like-minded people should stand against. This delusion of character really hurts in the long run as some people no longer have a will to get help for their issues. The think that it’s just a cute quirk. A trait that people can just gloss over. And sure, you can tell everyone to ‘stop being so judgemental and just accept you as you are’. But at the end of the day, who are you deluding?