Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too fat to fly

OH Kevin Smith how I feel your pain. If you have yet to hear director/actor/all around awesome dude was kicked off a Southwest flight for being too... well... all around. I know how he feels. When I moved to Seattle a while ago, I also faced the anit-fatite discrimination policy of Southwest Airlines. I had just hugged my parents goodbye at the gate and had made it through security without a problem. The problem came when the desk clerk became alarmed by my extreme jollification. She approached me and asked me to approach the counter with her. She said that in order to fly on their airline I would have to purchase another ticket. Mind you, my move to Seattle was pretty much on a whim and only funded by my tax return. I only had about $300.00 left after purchasing my ticket. My parents had already left and I was so angry, shocked and of course embarrassed I purchased another seat. Mind you when I got on the plane, I fit in the seat without "spillover" as the woman had informed me I would have. She did assure me however, that if the flight were not full I would be refunded my ticket after I filled out some paperwork and sent it in. Now is it discrimination if they ask ahead of time? Had the stated on the website when I purchased the ticked that my morbidly obese stature would constitute the purchase of 2 seats I would have chosen another airline.
Why is it that fatties are the one group of people that it is still completely ok to discriminate against? Think about it. We are a culture that tries to be politically correct and accepting in every way yet not when it comes to fatties. We live in a culture where the demand to be over programmed and undernourished is embraced. McDonalds is the official food sponsor of the Olympics for fuck sake. We live in a culture where faster is better, so why would a fattie not want to fly. We certainly do not have time to drive everywhere. In addition, if we choose to drive it's crapshoot as to whether or not the seatbelt will even fit around us. Is this the car manufacturers’ way of saying "Hey Stay Puffed, if in an accident maybe your blubber will protect you, we sure as hell won’t!" Now don't get me wrong I know that obesity is a problem in our country. The bigger problem is the undernourishment of our nation as a whole. We live on a diet of corn, which as you all know is just filler and comes out as pristine as it went in. How is that good for you? If we spent the same amount of time and energy on teaching healthy eating and proper nutrition as we do making everyone EVERYONE feel bad for their bodies we would have a healthier culture. Since I have been home, I have been amazed at the amount of ads on television for medicine. How about an add that says, "Depressed, anxious, impotent, bladder control issues? Eat an apple, take a walk, talk with your family, talk with your friends, and talk through a blog." Few people make it through adolescents without being made fun of for something. So most people know how it feels to be on the receiving end of a cruel joke or comment. When I was in the process of having my gastric bypass surgery, the doctors were constantly amazed at how healthy I was. I was NOT a morbidly obese person eating quadruple stacker sandwiches with diet coke. I did not eat well and I know that but I was not completely glutinous and slovenly. Was I supposed to bleed corn oil and breathe cocoa puffs? The thing that kills me is that I am STILL too fat to fly southwestern. 160 lbs lost and I am still considered morbidly obese which puts me in the no fly zone. My fat is offensive but a crying child on a 22-hour flight is not? My fat is offensive but a flight attendant acting like she couldn’t understand the Chinese man next to me when he asked for "toh-mah-toh juicy" is not? My fat is offensive but you embarrassing me and making me enter the plane before all other passengers (including the "crippled" and "decrepit") is not? I think that Southwest should be ashamed, people who support airline discrimination policies should be ashamed and our country as a whole should be ashamed. A waist is a terrible thing to mind!

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