Dear Thin Friend, we’ve been planning this trip for months, and the day is finally here. I’m so excited to be embarking on this adventure with you. It fills me with joy to be traveling with you to far-off lands to experience new cultures and reach a level of relaxation neither of us has felt for months. The prospect of getting out of our comfort zones makes my soul tingle, as does jumping headfirst into new and exciting territory with you. I just want a cocktail in my hand and you by my side and I will be a happy person.
Before we embark on this journey together, though, I think we need to chat.
You’ve never lived in a body like mine. Your view of the world and of experiences like traveling are viewed through the rose-colored glasses of thin privilege. For this I do not blame you, but I know from living in a bigger body my entire life that there are things we need to consider when traveling: things that might not have occurred to you. I hope that after reading this you will go on our vacation with freshly opened eyes and a newfound respect for what it’s like to be a fat traveler.
My dearest Thin Friend, I know that you are so excited about your new vacation wardrobe. It’s full of colorful matching sets, new bikinis, and dresses that show off your body. My suitcase is full of colors and crop tops, mesh skirts, and bikinis, too, but they won’t fit you. Nor will your wardrobe fit me. So let’s not engage in the charade of optioning each other’s clothes, and please don’t make me try to squeeze into your wardrobe. I am just as fierce as you, but there is no way my curves and swerves are fitting into that dress and that’s okay.
We haven’t traveled together before, so I want to let you know something — people stare at me, but that’s not always a bad thing. Some of them will stop and ask to have their photos taken with me. People will call out “Yas, queen!” as we are walking down the street. Society isn’t used to seeing fat people confidently owning their space, let alone fat people with a wardrobe like mine. I’m okay with the staring; I like to talk to people, and I don’t mind having my picture taken, either. I love you, but you don’t need to defend me. I’ve got this. I have been defending my life and body for as long as I’ve been alive. I do welcome your support and I love that you care about my wellbeing, but haters gon’ hate, and I can deal with that. Watch me.
Traveling together is going to be great. After two weeks of adventures and new experiences we will learn new things about each other, explore our differences and similarities, and come away with memories that will last a lifetime. I hope that spending time with me in my bigger body gives you a new appreciation for your own body and respect for me in mine, because I can do everything you can do — and I can drink you under the table.
So get on the plane and let the adventures begin!