Without reading the story, you may already guess why the man is disgusted. The woman who sat down beside him is either, a different race than he is, wearing garments to indicate she’s of a different religious faith than he, unclean and smelly, or maybe just very fat.
If you guessed fat, you’re correct.
Without knowing anything at all about this women he was disgusted. He thought he knew everything he needed to know about her character and her self control; she had none. He became unpleasant towards her.
I admire the woman and hate the story.
I admire her bravery in the face of hostility. I hate that her first words to him are, “I’m so sorry. Will you accept my heartfelt apology?”
She has no reason to apologize to this man because she will be sitting next to him on the plane. The apology should have come from him. “I’m sorry I’m such a sizist ass.”
Of course, he doesn’t apologize and despite her continued cheerfulness, friendliness and even acknowledgment of her large size, it takes a while before he “lets his guard down.”
I think, “why bother, lady? Why don’t you just let him stew in his ignorance and bigotry? Why is it your responsibility to make him realize that good people come in all sizes?”
Unlike me, she keeps up the pleasant jabber until…
“Her considerateness, sincerity and overall positivity warmed his previously cold exterior, and he began to genuinely enjoy their conversations.”
He feels so comfortable talking with her that he decides it’s okay to ask a very personal question….
“Have you ever thought about losing some weight?”
At this point in the story, I became a little bit disgusted by this woman. “Really lady,” I thought, “you’re going to dignify his rude and intrusive question with an answer? Why don’t you ask him if he ever thought about taking a Dale Carnegie course to learn how to win friends and influence people, or at least to become a little less tactless?”
She clearly isn’t me. Instead of replying by saying, “there’s no teaching you anything,” she decides to tell him how happy and wonderful she feels at exactly the size she is.
Her answer is great; I’d go so far as to say perfect. Every word she says is true.
I just think it’s wrong that she has to justify her size to him or anybody else. I think it’s wrong that she has to work so hard for acceptance. I think it’s sad that prejudice towards overweight people is okay.
This story has a happy ending with the man embracing her and thanking her for opening his eyes and changing him. That’s good, but it doesn’t change all that’s wrong with this story.
I’ve said it many times that body weight isn’t a sign of character or personal value. Nobody should have to lose weight to become more lovable or acceptable to society in general. Thinner isn’t smarter or better.
The decision to lose weight should be because it will make your life better by every personal measure. It should be done for these reasons only:
- to improve your health
- to make it easier to do the activities you enjoy
- to ease or remove pain
- to make you happy when you look in the mirror
- not a punishment, but as a way to make your good life better
- Just for you!
My message to people like the man on the plane before his eyes were opened: “You’re missing out on some of the best people in life because of your prejudice. Learn to know people for who they really are, not who you think they are.