Friday, 26 September 2008

Am I fattist?

As I write this, it's Wednesday the 24th September at 6.20pm. I am writing in good old fashioned pencil and will obviously type it word for word later.

I am currently sitting on an Easyjet flight from Luton to Edinburgh. As you may know, the Easyjet seats are not massive as you get what you pay for and I understand and support the Easyjet business model. However, tonight I am crammed against the window as one of the fattest men I have seen has chosen the middle seat in this row of three.

How he got into the seat, I may never understand. I am seriously concerned how he will get out again and how I would get out in an Emergency. I have already worked out a route climbing over the man in front of me who looks quite small.

We have been flying for 10 minutes and Fat man is now sleeping and I cant move. To prove how much space he is taking up, I try to open my table and can't as it hits his arms and is close to his gut. His frame is taking up around a quarter of my space. He is too fat to sit right back in the seat and therefore his legs are wide open to avoid the seat in front.

I force my table open in the hope that he moves over a little and allow my lungs to expand again. It works... for about 30 seconds and then he's back.

Do these comments make me fattist? Let me be specific here, I am not talking about overweight people, this man is really obese and I would reckon on 30+ stone (that's 420 pounds or 190kg).

I have nothing against obese people in theory, but I have read stories that a significant part of the NHS costs are due to conditions caused by weight. Should we be subsidising those who choose to mistreat their bodies? And, should he pay for 2 seats and be put at the front - partly for other people's comfort, but mainly for safety?

I will have to give some thought to my prejudice and whether I am simply wrong. However, at this time I am more concerned about my safety.

At the end of the flight, he struggled to free himself from the seat and I had to look away with embarrassment as he strained to release his body. It took a good minute and I wondered if Easyjet engineers would have to bring some grease.


  1. If you remove NHS treatment from the clinically obese then we'd also need to remove it from those who consume an "excessive" amount of alcohol (i.e. most people) or smoke or eat too much sugar. Then people might start to argue that the guy who stole a car, crashed it and is now bleeding to death doesn't deserve NHS treatment... etc etc.

    Once one starts to discriminate on such a basis it becomes difficult not to continue to do so on other basis.

    But no I don't think you're fattist!