One of the things I consistently hear from folks in larger bodies is that they can make a certain amount of progress on their body acceptance journeys, but then get tripped up by infrastructure.
It’s all good and well to love your fat butt, but when there’s no airplane seat that’s built to accommodate it, you’re still likely to feel excluded and like your body is wrong. (Especially if you’ve gained weight as your body returns to its set point after dieting, or if your body is changing during eating disorder recovery.)
How do we reconcile this?
There are really two different dynamics at play here:
1) Accepting that our bodies may change in ways we can’t really control
2) Dealing with a world that actively works to exclude certain bodies
Like, how do you find complete body peace when you can’t sit down in public because all the seats were built for a subset of bodies that doesn’t include you?
As you progress on that first journey, you’ll be better able to advocate for yourself when it comes to #2.
I unapologetically use accessible bathrooms exclusively now unless it’s an emergency and I have no other options, because I’m a worthy human being who shouldn’t have to snuggle up to random toilets to open and close stall doors. I ask in advance what seating will be like, and don’t patronize places where I’ll be miserable if I go.
And of course learning to advocate and ask for what you need is NOT a solution to “spaces were designed to exclude me!”
It’s a stopgap to help you navigate through the world while we all work to end weight stigma and change infrastructure to accommodate all of us.
I talk about bodies because I want us all to achieve body liberation:
Every Monday, I send out my Body Liberation Guide, a thoughtful email jam-packed with resources on body liberation, weight stigma, body image and more. And it’s free. Let’s change the world together.