Friday, October 29, 2010

Fat People and Air Travel

This morning, I read this on, a sensible piece that immediately made me think of the kinds of e-mails I get whenever I write anything remotely sympathetic about fat people squeezing into 17-inch-wide airplane coach seats that even skinny people find to be a tight fit.

The Jezebel post isn't about air travel, but it made me reflect on this aspect of the issue. The point is, I am always shocked by the rage and ugly contempt some people feel free to express about those whose bodies are fatter than whatever is the current definition of normal. Almost all of my e-mail replies to my columns are smart and reasonable, but when the subject is fat people, I hear from a whole different group of people out there. As the Jezebel headline says: "If You're Fat-Phobic, You're Also an Ignorant Bigoted Idiot."

(And never mind that the widely respected offensive line of the University of Arizona football team averages 325 pounds -- and at Iowa, it's 338 pounds!)

Anyway, is starting to become a must-visit site that reflects smart, trenchant female viewpoints. So I recommend the post today, which is pegged to the nasty controversy over fat people stirred up by this piece in a silly fashion magazine called Marie Claire.

Incidentally, the blatantly fatuous (pun intended) Marie Clair piece begins: "The other day, my editor asked me, do you really think ..." Trust me, I've been in this racket for 40 years, as an editor and a writer, and no good has ever come of that kind of opening.

Air travel is tough enough on all of us. I say let's cut our fellow travelers a bit of, you should excuse the pun, slack.



ChefNick said...

Well, although I weigh in at 165 or so, airline seats are akin to a night in Evin prison.

My wife weighs 275 pounds, which she really regrets, but she doesn't overeat -- it's genetic. So I drink a lot. It's genetic.

But it's an incredible trial flying on a plane with her, as now they're all smashed together into seats 32 inches wide (maybe not, haven't measured -- probably smaller) and my waist alone is about 36". Less with a tight belt, but sitting for twelve hours in Economy on a seat to Japan is just downright torture.

I remember Greyhound buses -- the loud drunks, the kids making out -- but they were better than air travel these days.

These airline companies will come crashing down.

James said...

ChefNick - Few seats are 32-inches wide, even in first class. I like for looking at airplane seats.