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Thread: Letter from a fat person

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    Default Letter from a fat person

    This is an article which popped up in my inbox today which I thought might resonate with some of us from both perspectives. What are your thoughts?
    Gilli - DLTBGYD but more importantly KCHO

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    Forum Guest Ffion's Avatar
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    Gosh, that's a thought-provoking one. I'll need to think much harder before I come to a conclusion - I have sympathy for both parties to be fair. If I thought being large wasn't a problem, I wouldn't be here, but I'd never fat shame anyone. I once spent a whole transatlantic flight pinned against the window on a 747 when the lovely Jamaican lady next to me whipped up the central arm and spread into my seat. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met, and by the time we got off the plane I knew the names and ages of her 15 grandchildren. It was also the most uncomfortable flight I've even been on.

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    Club Plus Member Sarah(sjc)'s Avatar
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    Have seen this before, and there are so many factors at play. When I pay for a seat on a flight, I expect to get what I paid for, and whilst I am fat, I'm certainly no larger than a healthy rugby player (front row rather than a back, maybe...). I don't want to sit next to someone who takes up the space I paid for too. I don't want to sit next to a screaming child, either... But in a probably profit driven move, airlines have made seats narrower and closer together, whilst standard sizes have increased - fat or healthy weight. That's the logistics of it.

    From a social, attitude driven point of view, it's harder. Most of us on here have all been fat (and some of us still are) and know the humiliation too well. But when we lose weight,do we turn into that judgmental person - we did it, so they could, if they wanted to? And maybe airlines should offer a range of larger seats - not first class, but maybe enhanced cattle class, maybe two per row, instead of three, at a 50% premium? But then, lots of standard sized people might want them, too, of course. And if all seats were enlarged, you'd then have to pay more per seat, and you'd need more aircraft and flights to carry the same number of passengers - with added environmental impact.

    Should we intervene? Should we volunteer to sit there, because we've once been there? I don't know... There is an increasing element of exploiting the good natured, the altruistic, the socially motivated that I don't like - such as using volunteers, employing carers who will go above and beyond the minimum expected of them if paid, and will do the job unpaid for love,in many cases. So the airlines exploit our unwillingness to complain.

    And finally, maybe that fat person should take the responsibility - either by being healthy and losing the weight, or by buying two seats, if that's what they need?

    Very difficult question, but one that is going to need to be addressed if we don't stop getting bigger!

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    SuperMember 2014-19 Lindam's Avatar
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    Because I know what I know now: that weight gain and obesity is not the obese persons fault, I don’t tend to to get irate or disgusted. Provided I can see that the obese person is aware of the problems their size may cause other passengers and isn’t taking advantage of the situation, I put up and shut up, because that could, so easily have been me. If I hadn’t found Harcombe, it could easily have been me.

    I have changed seats on a plane with a woman who was disgusted with the obese passenger next to her - I volunteered before the situation got out of hand. The only time I’ve got upset was on a train to Sheffield when the obese male passenger took advantage of the situation to half sit on me. He didn’t need to, it was a power thing. The woman opposite me complained to the guard who asked him to move to any of the vacant seats in the carriage.

    Obesity isn’t greed any more. I view the obese as the victims of big food.

    I do feel the same about squalling babies - I had a baby, sometimes nothing can stop a baby crying, we were all babies once.

    Perhaps irrationally, I do have a problem with mis-behaving children. I do feel that the parents are to blame and *should* do something. However, how much of that poor behaviour is food related?

    NB. I’m a much nicer person since I retired
    My mind is like my PC screen: 19 tabs open on the top bar, 3 of them are frozen, 25 half written emails on the bottom bar, and I have no idea where the music is coming from...

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    Club Plus Member Sarah(sjc)'s Avatar
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    I recall there was a court case recently - https://www.theguardian.com/business...bese-passenger - but he failed!

    I do feel, there but for the grace of God go I, too!

    Pleased to hear that retirement agrees with you, Linda. I will try it sometime...

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    SuperMember 2014-19 Lindam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah(sjc) View Post
    I recall there was a court case recently...
    twasnt me!
    My mind is like my PC screen: 19 tabs open on the top bar, 3 of them are frozen, 25 half written emails on the bottom bar, and I have no idea where the music is coming from...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindam View Post

    Obesity isn’t greed any more. I view the obese as the victims of big food.
    ... and idiot government for helping big food.
    The worst bigots in the world are those who most loudly proclaim their ‘tolerance’

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    Super Member Mamie's Avatar
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    Also, I've been squashed into my plane seat by a guy who was just a tall, big man. Absolutely nothing he could do about that, he wasn't overweight. I don't see why he, and other like him should have to pay extra for their seats. Its bad enough that you have to pay for extra leg room and then they give you a job to do!! (in the event of an emergency). I think the people who slam their seats down into a recline, without any warning, and insist on leaving it there are much worse in my opinion.

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    Club Plus Member FlorenceW's Avatar
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    This really resonates with me as I had a difficult flight home a few years ago. I’d been to the THD conference and was sitting by myself with an empty seat beside me (I was traveling with a friend but we had been seated in different rows). The last passenger got on and and sat by me. He was very tall and extremely overweight, so much so that his tummy was pressed up against the drop down table. I practically lost half my seat and was jammed up against the side of the plane. I feel bad to say that I didn’t make eye contact with this guy but he filled up so much space that had there been an emergency there’s no way I could have got out of my seat and with lockers above me no way over the seat. I just sat as small as I could and hoped it would be a smooth flight. There’s no way I would ever fat shame anyone but I was really disturbed by feeling trapped. It didn’t feel like my finest moment and I’ll never forget it.
    My body needs nourishment not punishment - I will not treat my body like a dustbin.

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    Super Member roseymary's Avatar
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    I think fat shaming is dreadful but oozing into my plane seat is also in not acceptable. My last flight was next to a morbidly obese man who made zero attempt to keep to his seat. I twice had to bask him to move his leg over as I practically had mine in the aisle to avoid contact. I was always conscious of keeping to my dear when I was at my heaviest.
    One is too many a thousand not enough.

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