In this week’s column entry of Your Fat Friend on Medium, the author journaled about the anxiety of having to get on an airplane when you are a curvy individual. From the beginning, the female author is practically hyperventilating from the pure exhaustion that goes into the process.
The author writes:
“There is a common trope about this very situation, shown frequently on TV, in illustrations, in casually irritated conversation. Fat people are shown on planes all the time: loud, obnoxious, elbowing people, taking up space, getting Cheetos crumbs all over ourselves and you, our whole existence designed to make you miserable. That caricature doesn’t just hurt when I see it — I crumble under its weight. I am a confident woman with wonderful friends, like you, and a fantastic job.”
We’ve all seen and heard the jokes before–usually the curvier woman ends up in the aisle with the Barbie looking girl who is equally surprised and disgusted to be paired next to a human being who does not match her level of perfection.
Because these jokes are so popular and often expected of curvy women, the author started to feel depressed and pressure from her peers before she even arrived at the airport. As if society didn’t already put enough strain on women to wear certain clothing, look a particular way, or fit into a certain mold, curvy women get to experience more of this.
Once she gets inside the plane, she ponders, “Who is friendly? Who else is fat? Is their face knit into knots of worry and hurt?” And by the time she gets to her seat and the plane is in the air she notices, “When the flight takes off, I realize that I’ve done something terrifying, impossible and ordinary— I have boarded a plane.”
In the end, she notes the feeling of being judged by others is heightened when spaces are smaller and everyone around you notices that your body. You know because being under a microscope and knowing that people are thinking negative thoughts about your body is an experience all woman should have to endure at all sizes.
She ends the journal by saying, “I am watched — and judged harshly — as I try — and fail — to fit into a space that was made for someone else. I am always too big, always too much, always unacceptable. Still, I am never quite small enough to make anyone else comfortable.”
We’re much more into making ourselves comfortable and could not care less about other people’s comfort levels with our curves.