Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

July 3, 2012

What’s Your (Ir)Rational Fat Fear?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 2:35 pm

Yesterday,  Thinposter put this comment on Twistie’s Fatties With Heads post:

“I have an irrational fear of one day seeing my disembodied butt or stomach lumbering down the sidewalk on a news broadcast.”

While I do not now nor– God-willing– shall I ever lumber, I feel her pain. Once I had a girlfriend who admitted she didn’t like going out with more than one fat friend at a time because she thought it increased the risk of being filmed. Like two fat people walking down the street is fine, but three is a spectacle.

Oh irrational fat fears, how they plague us even as we acknowledge their ridiculousness and go about our daily lives, and yet, let the first person who doesn’t eyeball the weight capacity in a crowded elevator cast the first stone.

Some aren’t even that irrational. Hot Latin Boy didn’t understand how relieved I was to have him as my airplane companion. Now I can  attractively wedge my voluminous self into the ever-shrinking window seat and have HLB sit next to me, thus relieving everyone on that winged sardine can of the terror of sitting next to the fatty.

So what’s your Irrational (or not) Fat Fear? Put it in the comments!



  1. Every time I have to fly somewhere, I am terrified that this will be the flight when I get pulled over at the desk and they tell me I have to pay for an extra ticket (which I can’t afford).

    Comment by Christy — July 3, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  2. I completely hear you about having a flying companion! I was recently on a packed flight (as they all are now) and got to my seat early. The guy in the seat next to me gave off all of the “I can’t believe I’m stuck next to a fatty” cues without actually saying it – tried to lower the arm rest and heaved a huge sigh of disgust when he couldn’t; kept squirming around in his seat to get comfortable without having to touch any part of my body; looked in disgust at me when I asked the flight attendant for a seat belt extender. I have to say, he wasn’t the only one that was thrilled when an empty seat turned up 2 rows in front of us and he jumped up to move. I enjoyed my 2 seats for the rest of the flight. Sometimes it’s good to be a fatty!

    Comment by Melissa — July 3, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

  3. I was visiting a friend’s brother’s house on Easter, and an (already partially broken) chair rail snapped off when I used it as a step up to the high seat of the chair. HORRIFYING. Even more horrifying because I am TOTALLY afraid of having a chair break under me. This wasn’t quite that, but it was totally mortifying, even though they were all quick to tell me that he’d repaired that rail before.

    Comment by Scarlett — July 3, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  4. Seconding (tripling, etc) the airplane fear.

    Comment by Jane2 — July 3, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  5. I actually did get filmed as an example fatty! I was 19 or 20, watching the evening news, and there I was — all big ’80s hair and oversized glasses — taking a bite out of my food-court burrito while some alleged reporter talked about what a shame it was that there were so many fat young people around, all inactive and making such terrible food choices. There’s no expectation of privacy in a mall, it appears, so there wasn’t much I could do about it.

    Fortunately, nobody I knew ever brought up that they’d seen it, but it was upsetting and pretty disconcerting. I mean, at the time I was working 30 hours a week and also taking a full load in college — there was a period of more than two years when I had school, work, or both, seven days a week — so I didn’t really feel all that lazy or inactive.

    Comment by catrandom — July 3, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  6. oh ya, the plane thing is just a fact, though, not so much an irrational fear since people are crowded by bigger, taller people sitting next to them.
    When i was younger, I refused to date big guys, even guys I was attracted to, because I didn’t want to be in a fat couple. You know, those people who are together because they are the only two far people in a group, so they obviously belong together? I never wanted people to think a guy I was with had chosen me because I was fat, as a consolation price. In my head, if a skinny guy picked me, it was because I was awesome, but if a fat guy picked me, it was because he thought he couldn’t do better. I cared more about what it would look like to strangers to see two fat people holding hands, than i cared about being with a good guy.

    Comment by Genevieve — July 3, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  7. Amusement park rides. I love them, but fear the day I’ll have to get off because I can’t secure the safety bars. Or get told I can’t ride the ski-lifty thing at the park because of the weight limit.

    Comment by sd — July 3, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  8. rickety lawn chairs
    skimpy hospital gowns
    tiny turnstiles

    Comment by Desideria — July 3, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  9. I’ve just discovered that my major fear is The Talk. Y’know, the one where they take you aside and tell you that you need to Get Healthy – ie, Get Thin. I’ve never gotten overt fat bashing, but the “more in sorrow than in anger” thing terrifies me.

    I discovered this when I was doing a job course recently. I spent a good portion of this terrified that someone would bring up my fatness – but For My Own Good, natch. I almost wanted to cry when I realised that no one cared.

    I guess it’s because it’s harder to fight and dismiss fat bashing when it’s people you generally like and respect, who honestly think they’re doing you a favour. There are few things in life more frustrating than using logic and fats to counter the “obesity causes cancer!” claim, and having it met with smug looks and “you’re deluding yourself; this is for your own good”.

    Comment by Liz — July 3, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  10. For the record, I do not lumber, either! :) At least I don’t believe I do. I think it might look like I was if you couldn’t see my head, hands, or feet, though.

    Christy, I also have the airline fear and won’t fly Southwest because of it. I fit fine in the seat, but I fear being spotted and singled out by an overzealous gate agent.

    Yeah. I’m a mess.

    Comment by thinposter — July 3, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  11. (Oh, I suppose I also will not fly Southwest because not having a seat assignment ahead of time stresses me right the hell out. Which would still happen if I were a size 6!)

    Comment by thinposter — July 3, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  12. For me, it is the online dating thing. I so fear that some guy I send a full length body (clothed of course!) photo to will share it on the internets for scorn/humor/nefarious purposes, ala the Adipositivity bikini shots. And that my kids will get wind of it :(

    Comment by bookgirl — July 3, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  13. I worry about being judged by my weight when job hunting. That somehow I would be turned down for a job because I am heavy.

    Comment by Yosa — July 3, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

  14. Yup. Rickety chairs terrify me. I’m on the small side of plus (a size 16), but if a thin girl breaks a chair, it’s cause the chair was rickety. If I break a chair, I just KNOW everybody will be thinking it’s because I’m so heavy.

    I’m also terrified of breaking a leg or falling and becoming somehow unable to stand, for fear of having everybody watching some poor bastard struggle mightily to lift me up.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — July 3, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  15. being in an America’s Funniest Video-esque recording as the fat lady who:
    got buck off the horse;
    slipped at the wedding reception and had her skirt fly over her head (granny panties anyone?);
    got drug across the beach when trying one of those tropical paraglide things;
    came out of the bathroom with her skirt tucked/caught in her pantyhose; or
    any POW candid shot denegrating my muffin top, biscuit bottom, side boob, front butt, etc. (though I don’t dress to expose those parts since I am MORTIFIED!!)

    Plane seats do suck, a guy from China bothered to tell me I was fat (very nicely though – he didn’t mean to insult) – sadly it was a 10 hr flight.

    Comment by g-dog — July 3, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  16. My irrational fat fears:

    1. Being photographed or filmed while eating. A few childhood photos of this sort exist. Ugh.
    2. Finding I am one of those headless people on TV.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — July 4, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  17. The airplane thing. And the doctor thing. Actually the doctor thing is the worst. I am so sick of the EFFING “did you know you’re fat” talk. DUDE! I SHOP ONLY AT PLUS SIZE STORES! I KNOW I’M FAT! And then I try to give ’em a HAES brochure and they don’t even look at it.


    Comment by ZaftigWendy — July 4, 2012 @ 12:29 am

  18. I *adore* exploring small, local restaurants, trying new foods and finding new favorites (Virgil’s Cafe in Bellevue, KY, I’m looking at you). But I am *terrified* of someone pointing to me and doing the “she shouldn’t be eating that” routine. You know, the judging about what I’m eating, the size of the portion on my fork, how I take the food into my mouth, my chewing method, etc. I did actually once catch someone in the act of pointing to me while speaking to their child, and I was reasonable sure it wasn’t a discussion of fashion tips. I have been nervous as hell ever since.

    Comment by Whitney — July 4, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  19. The airplane thing, definitely. I flew cross-country recently and spent the entire time with my knees pressed together and my shoulders tense from the effort of making myself as narrow as possible.

    Comment by SJHC — July 4, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  20. @bookgirl, I was afraid of ridicule or rejection when I was online dating, also. My experience was, surprisingly, remarkably positive. I used OK Cupid, which allows you to put up 7 or 8 photos, and I just made sure I picked a range that represented me accurately (but flatteringly). Dressed up, casual, doing fun stuff, close up, head-to-toe, etc.

    While I am sure there were some men who looked at my profile and opted not to contact me (or respond to my contact) due to my body type, the responses I did get were positive, and were an unexpected self-esteem boost. And I ended up with an awesome husband who is always complimentary about my appearance no matter what my weight happens to be at.

    Comment by thinposter — July 4, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  21. Going to a sporting or entertainment venue and not fitting into the seats. This has happened to me. It was totally disheartening.

    Actually, “not fitting into the seat” (or obviously taking up more than one seat) in a variety of places: restaurants with those horridly uncomfortable “captain-style” wooden chairs, bus and train seats, arena seats (with arms) and bleacher seats (with numbers but no arms, so it’s obvious to everyone that the occupant of seat 7 is in fact filling all of 7 and part of both 6 and 8 with her enormous arse), waiting rooms of every description, bus stop benches. Also, tight spaces of any kind – crowded grocery store aisles and the like, crowded buses and trains. You get the idea.

    Comment by Wendy — July 4, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  22. I certainly share the airplane fear but I fly a lot and it’s never happened so I’m starting to let that one go. Never hurts to be super duper nice to the flight attendants though.

    I kind of love flying on Southwest. I board as early as I can and get my prime aisle seat, then I spread out my stuff, puff my cheeks, and let it all hang out in order to look as fat as possible in the hopes no one will sit next to me.

    Comment by Abbenormal — July 5, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  23. Having my partner, who sees me naked on a daily basis, see me in a bathing suit– thighs accentuated. I am working hard to overcome this.

    Comment by Melody — July 5, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  24. I love Abbe.

    I will never fly Southwest though because they are ALWAYS on tv throwing off the fat folks.

    I fly constantly and like SJHC said, I’m exhausted by the end of the flight because I’ve spent all of it trying to make myself narrow. Think thin! What a crock.

    I was entering Central Market in Houston one afternoon and one of those plastic West Side girls was coming out – all 102 pounds of her. She got this look on her face like my fatness might be contagous. I stopped right where I stood and mustered the meanest look on my face I could conjure and asked her if she had something to say. Jolly my arse.

    Comment by Melissa — July 5, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  25. Every time I go to a new doctor I dread the possibility of being told to go on a diet instead of being treated for what I’m actually there to see the doctor about. Remarkably, it hasn’t happened yet, but it still gives me a lot of anxiety. And, ye gods, yes, eating dessert in public. I do it anyway, but I’m always armed with comebacks, just in case. I hate feeling defensive about what I eat.

    Comment by Jezebella — July 5, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  26. Being some dick with a cellphone camera’s punch line. I mean, being a headless fatty on the news would suck, but it’s easy to pretend it’s all part of the Fat Hate Machine and the newspeople are just doing as assigned, and I was the fatty who happened to be there. It’s not outright personal, they don’t show your face or say where/when it is. But I’ve had Facebook acquaintances just snap pictures of fat people at lunch or just existing in public or whatever on their phones, then posted them on Facebook with some shitty joke–or once just “woah”. They were promptly told off and deleted from my Facebook/life, but the damage was done. Not to mention sites like People at Walmart or becoming a 4chan meme.

    Every time someone has a cellphone out around me I have to push down the sick feeling. I can’t let them scare me into just staying home, and I always make myself push through it, but sometimes it’s hard.

    Comment by thesailorsaid — July 7, 2012 @ 2:08 am

  27. Ripped exercise pants.

    So now I always wear tights underneath.

    Comment by littlem — July 12, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  28. Sometimes I wonder if having irrational fat fears makes me less of a pro fattie.

    Irrational fear #1: I will pick up daughters from school and some asshat kid will shout “Wow, I didn’t know your mom was SOOOOO fat.” (I’m black and you know how we love our “your mama so fat” jokes. *sigh*)

    Irrational fear #2: Gyms, yoga, personal trainers, exercising with other people. The first and only yoga class I took was hard. I did downward dog and farted. And it’s been downhill from there.

    Irrational fear #3: Kids making fun of how big my butt is when I bend over to get a book from a low shelf at the library where I work.

    Irrational fear #4: Hubby of 17 years, who after exercising and dieting for his health is now at least 5-10 pounds light than me, leaving me for being heavier than him. There’s no proof of it. It’s just super irrational of me.

    Comment by BrooklynShoeBabe — July 14, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

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