Taking up space in a fat-phobic world

Are you flying anywhere for your holiday this year?

It’s this time of year that all the usual crap debates over whether fatties should pay more for their seats start to hit the media. Last year it was the odious Samantha Brick having a pop, and sure as anything, someone will be on This Morning having a rant about smelly fat people impinging on their personal space on a long haul flight soon.

It’s all part of a bigger issue in my opinion, and that’s having space, having a place in the world. It’s OK for a rugby player to take up extra room on a plane, because he’s a rugby player and that’s a GOOD thing. But complain that you don’t have enough room in a confined aircraft seat, if you’re over a size 12, and it’s your fault, fatty. Go and sit on the other side of the plane, I don’t want you next to me.

Fat people should be seen and not heard. Or, actually, make that NOT seen and NOT heard. We have no right to an opinion, no right to comfort, and we shouldn’t be allowed out in public with the beautiful people because we’re just not pretty and slim enough. Oh, but if we’re fat because we have a medical condition, we get special dispensation to be treated like a human. If it’s not OUR FAULT we might be accepted, but a fat person is a fat person is a fat person and how are you going to discriminate against them if the lardy on the plane decides to sit next to you? Demand a doctor’s letter before you start huffing and puffing in self-righteous indignation?

What about how the fat person feels? Do you think we enjoy being made to feel too big for this world? Do you think the woman whose arm is taking up more space than you think it should on your arm rest feels, knowing you’re probably seething about having to sit next to her? Do you think she LIKES the dents the plane seats put in her thighs, the bruises she’s left with after a long haul flight in a seat that’s too small for anyone, let alone a fat person? Do you think she looks forward to the part of the trip where she has to ask for a seatbelt extension, or politely ask you to move so that she can go for a wee in the ridiculously tiny plane toilet?

Yes, some people say it’s all our own fault, we should just diet. But if losing weight permanently through dieting was as easy as the health Nazis say it is “Eat less, move more” – there wouldn’t BE any fat people. Or diet books and clubs. We’d just stop eating so much and lose weight. Easy huh? That fact seems to have escaped the tutters and the finger waggers.

Even if you’re not enormously overweight, the world isn’t built for you. Shop displays so closely packed together they graze your hips as you walk through them. Negotiating public toilets and getting the corner of the sanitary bin poking into the top of your leg. Getting off a bus that’s packed without apologising all the way through to the people who tut as you try and suck your tummy in so you can get past before the doors close.

Yeah, charge the fatties more if you want to. You will do eventually anyway. But if you’re going to do that, could you please actually CATER for us, too?

#fatonplanes #chargingforweight #obesityonairplanes

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