Flying While Fat Isn’t Just Uncomfortable, It’s Heartbreaking

Life & Culture Editor
12.06.16 26 Comments

NBC

Unless you’re one of those people who can afford to book yourself a personal room in first class (that’s going to set you back $21,000 per trip), or at least a “pod” that gives you the ability to lean back a few inches to sleep, you probably don’t like flying. Not only is it uncomfortable and tedious, it can also be terrifying — especially when you remember that man was probably never meant to fly and that hurtling through the air in a high-tech aluminum can has risks and consequences.

But for people who are larger, overweight, or fat (that’s no an insult and body positivity activists have written extensively on why that is) taking a plane is more than scary and uncomfortable: It’s heartbreaking, it’s depressing and it can be excessively cruel, with other passengers intentionally slamming their armrests into the bodies of fat travelers, telling the overweight person how unhappy they are to be seated next to them, and even getting airline employees involved.

All this is the basis for a new documentary short by Stacy Bias, a fat activist who wanted to give the public a real lesson in what it’s like to travel as a bigger person. Utilizing animations with voice-overs of women who’ve experienced discrimination on airplanes, Bias — the creator of popular Facebook group “Flying While Fat,” which gives plus-size passengers travel tips and tricks — put together the following film to create awareness of how difficult flying while fat is.

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