Traveling in and of itself is uncomfortable, between being wedged in a two-foot cloth seat for ten hours on international flights to interacting with locals whose beauty standards may be vastly different from our own. This sense of discomfort is only exacerbated when the travelers in question aren’t thin.
Annette Richmond, the creator of the Instagram & Facebook account “Fat Girls Traveling,” is hoping to address that.
“People living in bigger bodies are often shamed because of it, making travel even more uncomfortable,” she told HuffPost in an interview.
Her Instagram highlights women traveling all over the world, and she hopes through this account to both increase the visibility of fat women traveling (a sight not seen on most thin-centric travel blogs) and to foster a community for women who may be anxious about traveling.
Some women may not take the leap and get on the plane at all due to this anxiety, she says.
“Maybe the seat is a little too tight or maybe their leg is spilling over or they want to ask the person next to them to lift the armrest or they’re having anxiety about asking for a belt extender,” Richmond told Mic. “People have a lot of anxiety around this stuff, and it’s nice to have a community where we can talk about it and encourage each other and let them know, like, ‘Girl, the person that’s snoring is going to be worse than someone who’s a little fluffy.’”
Richmond, a 32-year-old senior stylist for Stitch Fix, never saw women who looked like her on major travel profiles, and so she invented the #FatGirlsTraveling hashtag on her personal Instagram. The momentum went from there.
Happy Sunday Lovies! You know your girl's a #hustla and always has 100001 things in the works. I've been building my #bodypositive #travel group @fatgirlstraveling for a while now. Today, there's been a MAJOR influx of new members and I couldn't be prouder! However, I want to shoutout the ladies that have helped me make it what it is today. While it's still growing, it's come a long way in just a few months. Thanks to the support from ladies like @voyaging_vagabond. Please check out this amazing woman's page. Like, follow and get inspired by all of her amazing adventures. 💜
Most popular travel Instagram accounts feature slender white women posing in bikinis, splayed across the sand or under waterfalls or with an umbrella-laden drink, their bodies as much the draw for clicks as the background. #FatGirlsTraveling argues that all women — fat and thin — deserve the luxury to feel comfortable, and look damn good, on vacation.