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  • Writer's pictureDemi Lynch

Why Aren't Theatre Seats Accessible For Fat People?

This week I went to the theatre to see one of my favourite musicals.

However, what was meant to be a fun night turned into a nightmare.

I arrived at the theatre and the foyer was packed with hundreds of people.

My large body could barely make its way through the crowd.

It was a hot night and there were no fans or air conditioning.

I could feel all my makeup drip off my face.

My dress was drenched in sweat.

I had to take myself outside twice as I was getting too overwhelmed by the heat and the crowds.

There were barely any seats and nowhere to catch my breath.

Once I began to make my way into the theatre I started to feel faint and dizzy.

I became worried.

Was the theatre going to be hot too?

However, when I got to my seat things got much worse.

I couldn't fit in my seat.

I couldn't even sit on the edge of the seat let alone squeeze my fat body between the arm rests.

I was struggling to breathe.

I felt like all eyes were on me.

I felt like everyone was judging me.

I felt like everyone knew I was too fat for these seats.

A line of people were behind me trying to get past me to their seats.

I stood to the side near the stairs.

People were talking to me but I couldn't hear anything.

The room was spinning and more sweat leaked down my body.

I could barely see but I ran down the crowded staircase.

I knew people were staring but at that point I didn't care - I just needed to get out of there.

Tears and sweat poured down my face as I ran through the crowds of people.

I felt like I was breathing for the first time when I got outside.

I felt like someone had just lifted their foot off my chest.

I held onto the picket fence outside the theatre and focused on my breathing.

My chest felt so weak.

I continued to cry and gasp for air as I held onto the fence for balance.

People continued to walk by and stare.

I eventually had to sit on the front steps as I could no longer stand.

People continued to walk by and stare.

A staff member even walked by three times to have a smoke.

He just stared at me.

Judged me.

He didn't ask if I was okay or why I was shaking and crying on the ground.


I originally wasn't going to share this story.

But I thought maybe, just maybe, sharing this experience will make people understand that we live in a fatphobic society.

We live in a world where fat people aren't welcome.

If the seats were larger and the foyer had more chairs and fans - I could've watched my favourite musical this week.

But instead I sat outside on my own feeling like my body was an embarrassment.

I shouldn't feel like I have to change my body in order to fit a chair?

Why can't people just consider fat bodies like mine when they build and buy seats for planes, waiting rooms, theme park rides and the cinemas?

Fat people exist; we're not going anywhere.

So why not actually accommodate us?!



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