Posted by: Tina M | 17 February , 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day Kevin Smith!

For those of you who haven’t heard, fat phobia struck again when Southwest Airlines kicked this lovable teddy bear of an actor and director off of his flight. They said that he didn’t “fit safe and comfortably in one seat” (in terms of comfort, I’m not sure how many people can honestly say they fit COMFORTABLY in those tiny ass seats).  This policy against fat folks flying has been going on since someone caught on to the idea that if you made the seats smaller you could fit more people and make more money. So that basically means that travelers of size will only be accommodated in trains, cars, and buses (we’ll save that discussion for another time) unless they can afford to buy two tickets. (when we look at the correlation between economic status and body size you’ll start to see that this will prevent most fatties from flying either from fear of humiliation or lack of resources.

I’ve heard many times from presumably thin passengers that they’re tired of being stuffed next to some fatty that’s trying to pretend they fit in the seat. So how about we address the size of seats and not the size of the passenger. Again, it’s a laundry list of assumptions that fuel this hatred towards fat bodies. Thin passengers assume that they have to suffer for this person’s gluttony, or lack of self control- while they themselves sit in the seat of moral high ground by virtue of their BMI. Let’s get real though, most of the thin passengers probably have similar or worse eating habits than the fat folks they encounter. And what’s worst is that they’ll never see the cruelty and injustice of these policies.

Because while you are uncomfortable with someone’s belly or arm fat invading your half of the already too slim arm rest, that fat person is getting cut into by the seat arms, they’re fearing what ordeal might come about if they have to get up for the bathroom or God Forbid ask the flight attendant for something. And it has nothing to do with fitting safely and comfortably. My partner and I both fit safely and comfortably in planes (again, I would never use the word comfortable to describe flying, but you get what I’m saying) and yet other passengers often feel it’s their right to judge us. This can be something subtle like asking for a different seat or flashing glares, or it could be as obvious as saying fucked up things about our size and weight.

So, needless to say, I was sad to see that Kevin Smith had experienced this heinous act of fat hatred and was excited when my friend Marilyn Wann (yes, the author of Fat!So?) suggested we make Valentines to send him.

Here’s mine:

I hope he enjoys!!

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