On the failure of spaces

It’s hard to take a shower in three quarter turns;

Never moving your body fully.


Aware that too big a shift will send water spilling to the floor. And every time I did move, no matter how small, my second stomach would turn off the water. So I kept turning it back on. And trying not to spill it over the curtain.



I’ve never had to shower this way before.


Sure, I’ve had showers that were pretty small, but they always had doors. A physical presence upon which I could rely as a barrier between the water and outside. A physical presence upon which I could rely as a barrier between my fat body and outside. Maybe to lean against, or use to prop myself up on.


No, this tiny shower didn’t have a door. And it didn’t have one curtain, but two.


These two curtains met in the middle of the shower, which just happened to be where my largest parts met as well. Top stomach, meet second stomach. Tummies, meet hips and thighs.


No matter where I positioned myself in the shower, the two curtains clung to my fat like a second skin. And if I moved too much, the water would creep down my fat and past the curtains, seeping onto the tiled floor.



The failure of everyday spaces is an everyday object lesson for those who are super fat. The world around us is not built for us, and these reminders come at every turn. The chairs that are too small; the bathroom stalls that aren’t wide enough; the rides at any amusement park with the bars that won’t sit on our hips.


Walking through a crowded cafe? Forget about it. Making your way to the back of a classroom? Absurd.


As a super fat person, your life becomes structured around how the physical world does and does not welcome you in. You choose where to go based on whether they have booths or an accessible bathroom. You decline invites from co-workers because you know you won’t fit into the shared car they’re car. You make excuses for why leaving your house isn’t something you want to do. Even if you do.


Radical feminists have long imagined what a world without men might look like. How the structures might change; how women’s lives might be different. When I imagine, I imagine a world that is made for my super fat body. Where every ride at Disneyland can accommodate my hips & bellies; where every place I go has a restroom I can use without worry. I imagine a world where I can walk into any clothing store and find the casual black trousers I need for work, or the elegant dress for my best friend’s wedding.


Imagine, if you will, a world made for fat people. Where all bodies fit and no one is excluded because of their size. What might that look like? How would that change how you love through the world? What can you do to make your own spaces – and the spaces you frequent – more welcoming for fat people?


*First performed on 8 July, 2017, at Empowerment und Sensibilisierung zum Thema Fat-Shaming, hosted by Jugendnetzwerk Lambda Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. in Berlin, Germany