The other day I was walking along Spencer Street and saw the big screen on the Age building saying how this guy believes fat people should pay more to fly in a plane. Now I am sort of in agreement, but as a "fattie" I feel it is discriminatory. It would mean in practice that we would have to weigh in publically and pay accordingly. (It's not so much the paying bit that is my problem). If we have to pay more do we have the right to demand a larger seat so that there is no further embarassment trying not to spill into the person next to us' seat. I too hate it when that happens. I would love the option of paying extra for a wider seat... but not two whole economy fares... I am not that much over weight.
Even if I was it would make air travel available for only the 'well heeled' note not well padded. Does anyone know how embarassing it is to have to ask for a seat-belt extender. I do, I used to have to do that prior to my lap banding surgery.
I am also heartily sick and tired of the blame the victim approach to social policy. It is as if anybody not looking like the societal norm today is permitted to be publically humiliated and vilified.
There is underpinning assumptions that the overweight person is lazy and survives on a diet primarily of junk food and take-away. This is far from the truth. Metapbolic rates are influenced by so many things as well as the energy in, energy out equation.
Lack of excercise is an issue with overweight people but that also has a lot to do with discomfort when excercising or downright pain in the joints, and excess strain on the heart. So walk I here you say... well let me let you in to a little secret.
" I am scared to walk alone in public along even suburban and country roads" let alone the nearby beach. I am yet to have a leisurely walk to my local shops (1 km away) enjoying the sunshine and blissfully enjoying the fresh air and plants around me, before some low life... usually young and male sees fit to wind down his window and hurl insults and abuse in my direction.
I promise you these young men are no Hollywood stars in appearance, nor are they built like male strippers. They are often unkempt, weedy or beer-gutted! Yet society has taught them they have a right, no duty to abuse fat women.
Oh yes this helps. When a person is struggling with weight and eating disorders it is usually a sign of dis-stress and low self-esteem. Yep, calling out abuse is a certain way to get them to exercise and diet...NOT.
I am not even safe from the glares from other women or comments from the suited ones in Collins Street. This fatism has to stop. I agree being overweight is a serious public health issue, that's why I am tackling my problems on a number of fronts, holistically. It is also a reason I have private health insurance to not burden the public purse with my life-style induced illnesses.. and enough funeral cover to be a responsible parent.
Everyone I know says it is great when you become invisible as an older woman. I remember that phase... it was liberating. But now a few years later I am even more visible than every before. Shouldn't we be allowed to age gracefully. If we are relatively healthy, (no diabetes, high blood pressure, gout or other obvious symptom of serious obesity-related illness) can't we be left alone to slowly work on and with our problems without harassment.
Can some caring individuals stand up to these guys when they witness such cruelty and say "You are out of line buddy"... or is our society now cowered by these thugs? We of course can say nothing as we are praying for the ground to open and swallow us, or at least have an invisibility cloak tossed our way.