I took a red-eye flight once from Las Vegas to Milwaukee – a friend of mine had gotten married in Sin City and I had never been to Vegas. Tickets were cheap and I paid for them with cash. (I had just started breaking the credit card habit …)
I had no clue that the red-eye would be as full as it was. I had a window seat if memory serves, but the woman between me and the aisle seat passenger was a little smooshed when it came to his beer belly and my ample love handles. And yeah – I felt sorry for her. Or I did until a person behind me – apparently someone in her party – commented “wow, this flight is crowded” and she stood up pointedly looked at me and nodded. (I guess Mr. Beer Belly was her boyfriend or something – she certainly didn’t give him the stink eye.)
That weird little memory came back to me today when I read this Business Week magazine article about how United Airlines is going to start charging obsese people for two seats instead of just one.
As someone who is large and in charge, I can’t say that I blame the airline and I really don’t feel discriminated against since I rarely fly, but what killed me about this article – and the mistake I made when reading – was that I clicked on the “comments” section, which stood at 123 when I stumbled across the article.
I wasn’t sure if it was the anonymous forum that made people say whatever came to their heads or if Americans really hate fat people but my god … if I read one more comment that referred to an overweight person as a “slob,” I was going to scream. It was really hateful and it really made me ill. I’ll be honest – I love food, I need to exercise portion control and I need to exercise in general, but there is a cure for obesity – I don’t know if there is a cure for the type of hatred that was so evident in the comments of that article.
For the record – it’s fine if United wants to charge extra for the second seat. Will the fat people of the world unite and boycott United Airlines? It’s doubtful, but with the waistlines of Americans expanding by the year, I think this is just a foretaste of what’s to come.
And now to find my treadmill …
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