Flying for everyone can make one feel that are in very close quarters and when you are fat, it can be downright anxiety ridden and painful. As airplanes create more ways to add in additional seats by shrinking the size of seats and even the width of the cushion, traveling is no longer a joyful experience before an adventure but a degrading and uncomfortable one if you are fat. As such here are thoughts that I have while Flying Fat.
Every person of size knows the look that I am talking about. It’s the look that people give you when you are in the check in line, when you are taking your sweater and shoes off at security and sitting in the boarding area. The look when people stand behind and in front of you in line as you board the flight. It’s when you see in their eyes that fear as they walk towards you after you’ve been seated replaced by glee as they walk by. It’s the look when they slow at your row, look at their ticket and the number under the overhead bin and they look at their ticket again before looking at you. I fucking hate that look. It puts me in such a bad mood.
Psyching myself up
Airplanes are so inconsistent. Sometimes seatbelts are loose. Other times I laugh at the thought of trying to buckle it because well it won’t even reach halfway around me. As such, I find myself days before flying psyching myself up. For the longest time I would squish myself into these tight spaces, angling a way that would physically hurt me. Feeling the buckle digging into my stomach for hours on hours. Just because I was too ashamed to ask for an extender.
Like actual shame and then one day, I asked for one because I just didn’t want to feel that way and it was the best thing I have ever done. Even so, I still have the psych myself up to ask for it. When I first started asking a few months ago, I would be quiet almost whisper but now, I make sure to ask as soon as I sit down and they bring me one right away. I don’t care who listens. Why should I be uncomfortable?
I hope my bag doesn’t weigh too much
Actually this ain’t just a fat while traveling issue, everyone feels like this so let’s move on.
What Do I Wear
I feel pressure to look good when I fly, even when I was at an average weight I felt this way. Now at 26 this stills applies. But, lets face it I want to be comfortable but jeans for long period of time just NOT COMFORTABLE. But then harem pants and legging happened and well, I am happy.
Will The Bathroom Be Big Enough AKA Can I Poop
Going to the bathroom should be easy to do but sometimes not all airplane have big bathrooms. Again it is inconsistent. I recently had to fly and the bathroom was so tiny that I didn’t drink any more water because I wanted to avoid having to go again. By the end of 10 hour flight, I was super dehydrated and miserable. It was embarrassing but more so, I was angry. And then I was angry that I allowed myself to get angry. Going to the bathroom should not be so hard.
Top Tip: First/Business Class tend to have bigger bathrooms so if you ask most times Flight Attendants will allow you to use it.
I fucking hate tray tables. Just think about it and if you don’t understand why tray tables are the worst then maybe we can’t be friends… I kid. Sorta.
Now for just general thoughts I have
- Will I be hungry?
- Should I get snacks?
- Will drinking be free?
- I hope the movie selection is good.
- Please don’t ask me to take my shoes off.
- Oh god, please don’t look into my sweaty shoe (This happened in Turkey and that poor woman)
- Great, now I have to put my shoes back on.
- Will the person sitting next to me be decent or awful but mainly please let them wear deodorant.
- Am I wearing deodorant?
- Did I pack my deodorant to put it on if I remembered I am not wearing any…
- Will I need to put my contacts in the toiletry bag?
- Will I have to deal with any assholes today?
- I hope I don’t snore.
- Did I remember my passport *checks even when on plane*
- What if they run out of seatbelt extenders or don’t have one?
- How much would they offer me to give up my seat if overbooked…
- Can I buy that purse I’ve been eyeing up with that money?
All thoughts/jokes aside, traveling while fat does not to be as awful as we often make it be. The main reason being, I used to be so afraid to advocate for myself and comfort. I would feel awful if I was invading a space. Then I remembered,I am a paying customer. So do not be afraid to ask if there are any empty rows that you can sit in. Don’t be afraid to ask for seat belt extender. Don’t be afraid to exist on an airplane.
“I try to not let being fat define me because I am more than the number on the scale or my pant size. I’m Amanda. I laugh a little too loud and I cry in almost every movie from something that makes me happy to sad. I use ellipses way too much and if I could, I would eat a Taco right now. I am in a healthy and wonderful relationship. My curly hair is just now starting to figure out what I want it to do and I love wearing my skinny black jeans. Being fat does not define me. It is just what I am, not who I am.” Read more here