A brutally honest account of ‘flying while fat’

Social media isn’t always a friendly place, but one of its good points is that it can provide a window onto the lives and experiences of others.

Blogger Your Fat Friend has taken to Twitter to share her experience of flying if you’re overweight, and some of the things she has to think and worry about are astounding.

Illustration of an overweight woman on a plane (You Tube/Screenshot/PA)
(YouTube/Stacy Bias/PA)

The blogger and social media star, who has 15,000 followers on Twitter, wrote a thread detailing the process she faces when booking and taking a flight.

Read: Can you be overweight and healthy?

She has expanded on her tweets in a blog for Future Travel, in which she talks about the anxiety and stress flying can cause, even before she boards the plane.

“At 1:30am, I think about everything I’ve been doing to get healthy,” she writes. “At 3am, I fantasise about what could happen to spare me from the humiliation that feels destined to happen.”

Read: Everything about flying in the 1980s that’s totally different now

As well as the unclear policies and attitudes of the airlines themselves, she goes on to detail how she tries to draw as little attention to herself as possible to prevent discrimination from other passengers.

She’s not the only one to share emotionally painful accounts of flying while overweight.

Read: How flying affects your body

In December 2016, an animation by Stacy Bias brought the experiences of fat travellers to life. The video was viewed by more than 700,000 people, sparking debate about the way fat people are treated on flights.

The thing is, Your Fat Friend says, is that this type of event is “a microcosm of what happens so often as a fat person”.

“I am watched  and judged harshly  as I try  – and fail  – to fit into a space that was made for someone else. I am always too big, always too much, always unacceptable,” she says. “I must make myself smaller and smaller, reducing and reducing endlessly, my stubborn body resisting at every turn. Still, I am never quite small enough to make anyone else comfortable.”

– With PA

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