Imagine boarding a plane and side-shuffling down the narrow aisle as strangers size you up in disgust. Imagine having to request a seatbelt extender within earshot of everyone on the flight. Imagine listening to the person seated next to you complain loudly to the flight attendants about her seat assignment.
Unfortunately, these are the kind of things that actually happen on flights to overweight passengers. To shed light on the cruelty and discomfort that habitually goes on in the air, London-based animator and body-acceptance activist Stacy Bias created a documentary called Flying While Fat.
For the project, she interviewed various overweight women who've dealt with this first hand. She used their words to voiceover the film, which serves as a real eye-opener:
"I'm always trying not to burden someone else with my body," said one woman in a voiceover. "It's like I have this hyper-awareness of my body at all times, and other people don't have to think about it, and don't have to think about their space or how much or little they're taking up."
"For the most part, my tactic is to kind of hug myself and squeeze into the window… and just sort of disappear," another woman says.
Of course, this doesn't sound like a comfortable way to fly, let alone kick off a vacation. It's why Stacy hopes that generating awareness will help humanize overweight passengers.
At the very least, it's worth thinking about the way you treat overweight people, who have just as much of a right to fly as anyone.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.