Actor/Director Kevin Smith (of Silent Bob fame) recently got kicked off a flight for being too overweight. (Thankfully this was in the states while we have a somewhat more enlightened policy here in Canada.)
This really, really sucks. It is discriminatory. But the most awful thing is that there are a lot of unsympathetic people out there, saying good, fat people should get kicked off of flights. It's their own damn fault, isn't it? Stupid pigs.
Let me tell you, these people are not overweight because they want to be or because they are just too damn lazy to do anything about it. They've probably tried and tried to lose weight and are just not succeeding. I know I am in the same boat.
It's no more their fault than it is the fault of someone who smokes cigarettes. You know it's unhealthy for you, and you've tried and tried to quit, but you just can't kick the habit. I do not smoke, never have, and it's sometimes difficult for me to understand people who continue to do so, even though it hurts their health. I have a co-worker who smokes, even though she has a horrible, horrible cough. The kind of lung-rattling hack that makes you wince every time you hear it. But she's tried to quit several times and just can't do it. And it's not really that different from being overweight.
Food is addictive. Both emotionally, and as they're finding out, some food (i.e. sugar) is also chemically addictive to the body. These days there's a warning label on every pack of cigs and you can't even display them in a store. There are no more cigarette commercials on the TV. And yet everytime you turn the television on, there's a fast food joint hawking their latest horrors. No warning labels on the pack of fries you just purchased. Minors are not only allowed in these places, but are specifically marketed to. (Just as an aside here, it's not saturated fat that makes you fat. It's the simple carbohydrates like starch and sugar that are the problem. So it's not the burger patty (except in cases where the fast food joints add sugar to the meat, oh you wish I was kidding) but the bun and all the sugary sauces (ketchup is awful), and then the fries (potatoes are nothing but starch) and the extra large, sugar-filled soft drink you ordered to go with it.) Processed foods made with starches and sugars with all the actual nutrients processed out of them clog the aisles of the grocery stores. It's no fucking wonder there's an epidemic of obesity in the Western World. And people need to have a little more sympathy for those who are battling their weight problems - and losing. It is not easy. No easier than trying to quit smoking. And there's no sugar patch. Yet.
But those airlines are seriously out of line. Those seats are only 17" across. When I am at my ideal weight, my generous hips are still 38" around. And that's when I'm thin. Those seats are horribly uncomfortable for me now, but they won't get much more comfortable even if I did lose all my extra weight. And the leg room is awful in those airplanes. I am tall, for a woman, 5'9", and I have long, long legs, even for my height (a 33" inseam in my jeans is good for wearing flats), and my knees are touching the seat in front of me. I have been lucky on the last few flights that I was on because the person in front of me never tried to put their seat back. I can only imagine what this must be like for people who, unlike me, are not just slightly above average in height, but actually really, really tall. Are they going to have to start purchasing extra tickets for their extra-long legs?
My point is, these plane seats are not just small for overweight people, they're getting to be small for anyone. And the airlines need to suck it up and provide proper seating for people, no matter what their size. And if they have to bump up flight costs to do it, then I guess they have to.
And by the way, I have always found Kevin Smith to be kind of cute. And he still is. So there.
H/t to pale.