A few years ago, I went viral on an app called Quora. If you're not familiar, it's a place where people around the globe ask experts with insight and knowledge to make sense of their burning curiosities.
I was an expert on being fat.
The question I answered: What do you do if you board a flight and the overweight person you are seated next to spills into your seat?
My answer was from the perspective of the overweight person who "spills" into the next seat.
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I laboured for hours over what to say and how to make people care. I wanted those who hate flying next to fat people to know we also hate that they have to fly next to us. We hate that our bodies affect not only ourselves but them, too. We feel terrible and yet, we still have to get on that plane, strap up and fly, just like they do.
It's not fair at all, I argued, that anyone might have to sit next to me. In fact, I find the whole thing incredibly unfair. I also struggle with the fact that I have to feel uncomfortable – because plane seats are not made for me. If 39 per cent of adults globally are overweight or considered obese, it shouldn't be out of our imagination to think airlines might accommodate for different body types.
The responses to my answer were mixed. Many people supported my message and there were also plenty that debated the value of my body and shared opinions about whether I deserved to fly at all.