If you are a Londoner, you will understand peak time travel. In fact, if you live in a bustling capital, you will understand the traffic of humans rushing to get to work/study.
As a fat person, it is almost instinctual to try and take up the least amount of space, make myself as small as possible to make sure I do not take up space or draw attention to my fatness.
I think fat people do not give themselves enough credit. Do you know the type of skill required to successfully navigate the London transport system as a fat person?
Let me help explain…
1. You are on the look out for the best possible seat that will allow you sit and not feel squashed or make others feel squashed (if you are considerate).
2. You have to find a seat that will cause the least embarrassment when sitting down and standing up. One that is as close to the exit as possible.
3. You have to make sure that this seat allows you enough room to comfortably sit without obstructing the flow of people.
4. You have to make sure that you do not sit next to another fat person – no – you have to find the slimmest person on the train to sit next to so, you do not appear comical.
All of this, within the first 5 seconds it takes to board a train and find a seat.
Yep! Fat people are very skilled!
I haven’t even started talking about the rigourous exercise and body contortion skills it takes to hold yourself just so, to ensure that as the train is moving as it likes, you don’t bump into the person sitting next to you.
Or sitting on half the seat so that you are not accused of taking up space. Of course, what this means is that although you do not take up seat space, you do take up aisle space and find yourself constantly moving out of the way to make room for others trying to board and alight – all this, just so the person sat next to you does not feel trapped.
Today, having boarded a train and found that I could not find a seat that ticks all the boxes (see above), I chose to stand and found myself, squeezing into a spot that quite frankly made my body hurt. I remembered a plus size Insta user who encourages fat girls to own their space and not be too timid or embarrassed to take the space the need.
And so, I did. I did not shrink or bend (my poor back). I did not squash myself against the door. I did not make way for others at the detriment of my wrist or arm, I stood. Tall. I grabbed a railing and made myself comfortable. My goodness! It was liberating. I walked off that train with no odd aches and pains.
Dear fat women, I am not saying you should invade other people’s space. Please be considerate of others. What I am saying is, don’t hurt yourself because you don’t want people to notice you are fat because the truth is, you cannot hide the fat.
No matter what you do or how you compose yourself, you cannot look like a size 16 or less when you are a size 26. You can hide your hair colour, you can hide your stretch marks, you can even hide the ‘curves’ but sweetheart, you cannot hide your size…
So, next time you are on a train and feel the need to reduce yourself, bend and contort ‘a little’ or squash yourself against the door, please don’t!
OWN. YOUR. SPACE!
Spread out. Stand firm and be free to be all of you!
You bought the same ticket as everyone else.
Be happy and healthy my lovelies!
Love and Blessings!