"You won't get it unless you're fat": The world isn't designed for fat bodies
I have said before and I will say again, “you just won’t get it unless you are fat”. This phrase I have repeated for a number of reasons, usually when trying to explain how important it is that size inclusivity exists.
We had a new en-suite fitted. The old one had leaked through the ceiling in our front room, it was a whole palaver. We have been having baths for over 9 months and I hate baths. So you can imagine how excited I was to finally have a shower. A proper stand up, scalding hot, wash all the sins away shower.
It took 5 days to finish and looks lovely, nice and grey and modern. Imagine what it feels like to be excited for over 9 months to have a shower in your new bathroom, and when you go to step in the shower, you don’t fit through the shower door.
I shit you not, imagine that.
You just won’t get it unless you are fat.
All I wanted was to get in the new shower and I couldn’t. I thought as they were fitting things that the toilet was tiny, like really small, so had reservations about that. But the shower should be fine right?
To none fat people the answer is simple, lose weight. If you are reading this and are ‘normal’ sized I guarantee that will be the first thing that came to mind.
But here is a novel idea, what if I don’t want to? Does that mean that I can’t enjoy a fucking shower? Or get in a plane seat? Or go to the cinema? Or go into shops to buy clothes?
People always make it sound so simple, ‘just lose weight’. If it was that easy do you not think I would have? Do people really kid themselves into thinking that fat people haven’t tried?
Maybe some people are like me, they have done the fad diets, the not eating for days or weeks, diet pills, laxatives, ‘fat loss’ tablets from the doctor that literally make you shit yourself, the power walking and getting called ‘fatty’ from a white van (and yes that still happens).
Maybe some people, like me, have gone through years of self deprecation, decades of hating yourself, not looking in the mirror, looking in the mirror too much, laughing at yourself first before anyone else can, self reflection, deep diving into exactly who they are and have come out the other side saying, you know what. It’s ok that I’m fat, it is not a terrible thing like everyone said.
In fact, I quite like me. I don’t love me, not yet. Years and years of internalised fat phobia will do that to a person. But I think I’m ok you know.
So why should I, and many others like me. Not be afforded the very basic of things, like a shower door that opens wider than 18 inches, or clothes in my size.
Now size inclusivity is not just about fat people. It is about any person who does not fit into fashion norms. There are many. As the world evolves more and more people move outside of these ‘fashion standards’ and yet instead of the industry changing, trauma and mental health instead takes the brunt as people desperately comber to fit into the latest ‘body trend’.
As if that is a thing. Big bums are out, heroin chic is back. How is that a normal headline to read? How do we pigeon hole these flesh vessels that so beautifully carry us through life so easily?
And why do we fall for it? Why do we allow the headlines to pit us against each other. Human to human?
But this is about me and people like me. Fat people. The hated and marginalised. The invisible. Which is something that has always baffled me. How me, a 5’10, shaved headed, tattooed, pierced, female presenting person is invisible.
You just won’t get it unless you’re fat.
So why are clothes for fat people important? Because they remind us that being fat is ok and we are catered for and we are people who deserve things that everyone else can access.
Because it gives us a little joy when we get something new, we try it on and gosh darn it, it fits and looks nice. Rather than the crushing realisation that you have sized up four sizes and it is the biggest size the brand carries and it still doesn’t even come close to fitting.
Because fat people deserve to look and feel nice. To be actually comfortable wearing clothes.
Because fat people deserve to wear the same styles, patterns and colours as everyone else. There shouldn’t be ‘fat people clothes’ they are just clothes. Full stop.
Because we deserve to exist and not feel like we are constantly a hassle and worry about what everyone else thinks.
I managed to have my shower in the end you know. I managed to find a way to contort myself around the door to get in. It wasn’t the moment I wanted, there was no victory in it and getting out was a struggle, but I had my shower.
You just won’t get it unless you are fat.
And it’s true, you really won’t.