Monday, August 22, 2011

It's all about size

So, I have been sparked by a recent video blog that I have seen where a gal was humiliated by an airline into buying an extra plane ticket, and I figured that today was a good day to tackle the topic of sizism. It's out there people, and ya'll know you have been sizist at one time or another. I think people with weight issues are the worst of all, but that's just my take. Think about the last time you were in the aisle at a department store or grocery store and a larger person asked to get past. They said, "Excuse me" and you moved about 2 cm over to let them through. If you were paying good attention, 2 cm wasn't going to help much, but you didn't care, because you did indeed 'excuse' them and moved. It's not your problem that they can't fit in the space. Or, in same said department store, the aisles are so crowded that people have to shimmy to the left and right to look around. It's not just larger people who have trouble in these circumstances--people who are carrying babies or pushing strollers can't get through either. None of that truly matters though, because much of the world is determined to use a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for things. I get it that airlines, movie theaters, baseball stadiums, etc. all need to put as many seats as they can in a space in order to maximize their profits. However, if they gave a little more room for folks (whether large, with children, or normal size, WHATEVER) perhaps more people would come because they know that they would feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. I have avoided concerts, baseball games, theaters, airplanes, grocery store aisles--all because I was afraid of the humiliation it would bring if I didn't fit or if I broke something. If you are of a healthy weight, you have probably never had to consider these things. You have probably never had to use a seatbelt extender, or cram yourself into a seat small enough for a 5-year-old, or think about whether you could go to lunch with a friend because you can't fit in their car. Am I saying that the world should just supersize itself and not use the law of averages--heaven's no! I just wish all people would consider the differences of people (size, attitude, cultural, etc) and proceed with a sense of caring rather than one of disdain. If we walk through this world remembering that different is not deficient then things like the video blog of the gal trying to fly home on SWA wouldn't have to happen. If we treat each other with respect, despite our differences, then there wouldn't be hate, hate crimes... I guess it's a tall order, but it's definitely one I am willing to tackle. Now that I have had WLS, I am smaller in physicality, but my brain still tells me to watch out. This hypervigilance can be put to good use as an advocate for others who are afraid of how the world treats people who are different. I will always look out for the bigger guy. Cuz, like his cousin the little guy, he can get hurt pretty badly by the masses.

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