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Thread: Leg fat etiquette

  1. #1
    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    Default Leg fat etiquette

    I saw this recently on a web site called "Fatshionista", a fat-positive website. The question surprised me a little, but the responses did even more: many of them were quite hostile to the man, and it was suggested that she had a right to take up as much space as she needed to, since that's the way she's made. It was suggested that if he went out in public, he should expect to be in contact with strangers and that his purchase of a seat did not entitle him to full use of that seat, just admission to the event. I found this very odd, but I've never really thought about these issues from the "encroacher" side of the aisle, only the "encroachee". Since I read this, I've been taking more note of the way these interactions happen on buses, subways, airplanes, and movies. It's interesting to see who gets angry, annoyed, apologetic, etc. Sorry if this offends anyone, BTW--I just find it fascinating.

    Leg fat etiquette?
    So for Valentines Day my boyfriend and I went to see Spring Awakening at the Faaaabulous Fox in St. Louis. Unfortunately, the seats are kinda small and my legs are kinda real fat. My boyfriend is all sick and coughy, so I let him have the aisle seat in case he needed to excuse himself and I ended up sitting next to the man half of a boyfriend/girlfriend duo. I kept noticing the man next to me jerking his leg away from mine, but figured that he was either worried about rubbing legs with strange girls or, as sometimes happens, I was reading too much into a few small actions. But then he squeezed himself up all tight and twisted his body into a strange and seemingly VERY uncomfortable position just to move away from me. He stayed this way the entire time he was sitting next to me. I contemplated trying to squeeze my legs together in an attempt to make them smaller, but really, my leg was only grazing his to begin with and I didn't want to make myself uncomfortable for a whole show just so that this guy didn't have to come into contact with part of my leg. After intermission, the couple didn't come back to their seats. I'm almost CERTAIN that they remained in the theater, however, just in different seats. Here is my question: As a matter of etiquette, should I have taken every measure possible to keep my fat-ness from encroaching into this man's personal space? Honestly, I understand it in part, as I don't really like being crowded into places with people I don't know, but his reaction seemed beyond this. Was I wrong/rude/etc... in not placing this man's obvious distaste and discomfort above wanting to let my chubby thighs do as they will? I can't decide whether I feel guilty for being selfish or if I really just feel like punching that guy in the face.

    What do you (gender neutral) guys think? Or, maybe even more important, what do you do in these situations?
    fatshionista: Leg fat etiquette?

  2. #2
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    The guy way overreacted... he probably ruined his own night by scooting over until he was practically on top of his date. But at the same time, the woman could have maybe tried harder to squeeze her legs together... Maybe it was more of a not wanting to have anyone touching him thing rather than just a fat phobia. I personally hate feeling like I'm encroaching on other peoples space. Ultimately one of them was going to have to sacrifice comfort to make the other happy.
    Last edited by Penny Lane; September 7th, 2009 at 07:48 PM. Reason: to make my point clearer

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    I think she copped out by not saying how big her legs were...was she wedged into her seat and her legs were really in his area? If so, he had a right to be upset. If she is taking more than her share of the limited area, she should have made an effort to move herself out of his area. If she needed to encroach, she should move towards her boyfriend's side, not a stranger's. I have big hips and thighs and I try very hard not to take more than my allotted seat space, sometimes I'm uncomfortable, but I should suffer for my largeness, not a stranger.
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    A*O
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    I think "kinda real fat" probably means HUGE and she was indeed overflowing into her neighbour's space.
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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    She says in the comments:

    Well, actually, toward the beginning I did attempt to shift myself over, but I was already pretty much filling up the seat and to my left there was sick boyfriend body taking up the rest of the room. It was either make my self uncomfortable for hours or just let my leg do it's own fat thang. And so I let it, haha.

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    A*O
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    Her boyfriend probably weighs 300lbs too.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    thin, fat, i don't care what condition their body is in, i don't want strangers in my personal space and touching me.....i don't care about an accidental brush up against, but don't be leaning on me.

    and yes, when I pay for a ticket, i expect full use of the seat, not just admission to the event



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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    I'm actually a little bit of a freak about strangers touching me, which is why this particular story caught my attention.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    I personally hate feeling like I'm encroaching on other peoples space.
    same here.
    obviously some people don't.
    i don't care what size you are, respect others' personal space.
    i'm just reminded of the time i had to fly between 2 big, tall, fat dudes. luckily the flight was barely an hour but damn, it was the longest hour of my life. i remember one of them had some kind of disgusting skin condition - his whole elbow was basically flaky dragon scales - and he was wearing short sleeves and i just didn't want any part of that touching me but given his size, it was fucking hard and i was basically contorted into a weird pretzel shape during the whole flight.

    re: the OP - i guess if the guy was a total ass about it, i can also see why she'd be pissed and think, fuck him, and not make any effort not to take up any space.
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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    My boyfriend is all sick and coughy

    Maybe he was worried about that too?

    Sputnik, that sounds gross!

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    Good point.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    I think a lot of larger people are sensitive or get defensive about their size when, IMO, it's just a common courtesy for anyone--skinny, large, tall, short-- to stay in their own personal bubble and get the fuck out of mine. I'm pretty understanding, most of the time, like when the bus is crowded/standing room only and there's a sweaty guy standing armpit to face with me... what can you do? But when it's a seating thing, where I paid for my ticket, and the person next to me, in front of me, or behind me starts to make the whole experience very unpleasant for me without so much as an apology or acknowledgement then I start to get a little pissy.

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    Bronze Member Banshee's Avatar
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    My seat is my seat, yours is yours. If you don't fit in yours, get a second one. It's neither my fault nor my problem if someone can't fit into their seat and it doesn't entitle them to taking any part of mine. I hate to sound harsh, but I have spent way too many plane rides squished into uncomfortable positions to be very sympathetic about it.

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    This was one of the comments that surprised me. Extreme passive-aggressiveness based on a snap judgment:

    If I'm in a theatre or show that is genuinely jam-packed, I usually try and defuse the situation a bit or else I try and incite the situation -- all depending on the person. I can generally tell when someone is totally fat-phobic: they have a look of dread as I shuffle down the aisle. Then I usually make an effort to MAXIMIZE TOUCHAGE AREA to really make them miserable because they're clearly assholes about it anyway.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I wonder how big are her legs? My legs are big, but they have never overflowed and touched anyone. I have been in some theaters that had very small seats..still no overflow..
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