Aren’t We All “Plus-Sized Travelers” Now?

The NIH says:

“Nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) are overweight. More than 1 in 3 men (34.1%) and more than 1 in 4 women (27.5%) are overweight. More than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity (including severe obesity). About 1 in 11 adults (9.2%) have severe obesity.”

Jae’lyn Chaney from Vancouver, Washington is circulating a petition demanding to be accomodated as a “plus size traveler” on the airlines, claiming she and her fiance are harassed and given rude looks by seatmates when they fly commercially.

It causes her “pain and vulnerability”.

Looks like she’s in good company. We’re getting bigger on average, while the seats are getting smaller and more jammed together. The average airline seat is 17 inches wide.

She wants to be provided with an extra one, two or three seats around her.

So do I.

By the way, Jae’lyn also wants plus-sized bathrooms on the flights she takes. She should just dump her fiance and date a professional athlete or rock star, so should could fly on private jets.

There is no way to accomodate her in the way she wants.

My actual question is: how did people get like this? No, I don’t mean how did she get 6XL. That’s her business, not mine.

How did people get the idea that they must be accommodated at the same price as everyone else? Or that an entire industry, which already treats us like stacked lumber, should somehow tear out the interior of a jetliner and remodel it whenever Jae’lyn hits Orbitz.com?

I’m not unsympathetic to obesity, and, again, we all feel like mutant giants when we squeeze into these planes.

There is something weird going on around size and weight issues, though. It’s starting to sound like we have gone from not “shaming” people, which, good, we should not do, to somehow making obesity your “right”, or a “beautiful choice”. Like it’s empowering.

It is not.

But, you will need grace from others, Jae’lyn Chaney, not mandates. And you need to ask some hard questions of yourself before you make demands of others.

 

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