Not long ago, the internet was all atwitter because Australian American political journalist Sydney Watson took to Twitter to complain about how she was “wedged” between two people of size on her flight. In her rant, she essentially “fat shamed” anyone who was overweight.
I am currently – literally – WEDGED between two OBESE people on my flight.
This is absolutely NOT acceptable or okay. If fat people want to be fat, fine. But it is something else entirely when I'm stuck between you, with your arm rolls on my body, for 3 hours. pic.twitter.com/9uIqcpJO8I
— Dr. Sydney Watson (@SydneyLWatson) October 10, 2022
She didn’t end it there, either – she continued on for 6 more live tweets about what an awful situation she was in.
Watson is no stranger to controversial subjects and she’s obviously jumped on the bandwagon of scapegoating people who are different from her or who make her feel uncomfortable. I can’t say I “get it” because I would never act that way towards people, but based on things she’s said in the past, I’m not really surprised, either. Anyway, the remarks got her the attention she appeared to be craving.
American Airlines initially slapped back and said their passengers come in all different shapes and sizes but they were sorry she was uncomfortable on her flight.
However about a week later, they inexplicably changed their tune and issued her a $150 trip credit for her troubles, as a “gesture of goodwill.”
Well, here's the email I got from American Airlines. pic.twitter.com/bfa2jwoZYE
— Dr. Sydney Watson (@SydneyLWatson) October 17, 2022
“I can understand your disappointment with the situation not being remedied to your satisfaction,” the email said.
“We appreciate you contacting us regarding this matter. Above all, we appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.”
“I’d rather take the $150 American Airlines offered me as a refund and give it to someone who needs a PT or a gym membership.”
Yeah…she’s a real gem, huh?
Anyway, funnily enough, when I was boarding MY plane not long ago, I had a similar situation as Watson. Since I was traveling alone, I figured I’d save the money I’d have to spend by picking my seat and let the airline assign me one. Not surprisingly, I got a middle seat. But I didn’t care; I was flying home from MA and it was only a 3-hour flight.
As I approached my row, I saw that my row mates were already in their respective window and aisle seats. Both were men, and both were tall and, yes, people of size. As I went to sit in my seat, one of them said to me, “Looks like we’re going to have cozy quarters for a few hours. Sorry about that.” I brushed it off and told him, “No worries.”
Bless their hearts, neither of them were manspreaders (or maybe they were consciously not manspreading, I dunno. But if they had, I would’ve been ready). Despite that, yeah, they were both touching my hips, outer thighs, shoulders and upper arms. Neither of them was doing it in any sort of inappropriate way, of course – they were just, you know, bigger than a typical airline seat (which isn’t difficult, nowadays).
The plane was, of course, really cold (here’s why planes are always cold nowadays), and I was glad I was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.
When the flight was over, the guy who had mentioned the “cozy quarters” (when I was originally getting into my seat) again apologized if I felt (his words) “squashed” during the flight. The other guy also chimed in, with a sheepish, “Yeah sorry about that.”
I looked at both of them and said, “Are you kidding? This plane was FREEZING! You two helped keep me a whole lot warmer. Thank-you for that!” They both laughed.
So yeah – two people in the same situation, who had two totally different responses. Watson, sitting between two people of size, took the opportunity to insult an entire demographic. I, on the other hand, tried to make my row mates feel a little less self-conscious by pointing out the benefit of sitting between them.
Don’t be a Sydney Watson, y’all. Be a Sharon.
Feature Photo: Rawpixel
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