The world isn’t always easy for people of size. For example, for this author, at 350 pounds and 6’5″, flying is deeply uncomfortable. My body doesn’t easily fit into a seat designed for someone about half my size. I’ve broken chairs at restaurants, crammed myself into tiny seats that cause my body to ache for hours afterwards and more. Rebecca Alexander shares these experiences — but unlike me, she’s actually doing something about it. She’s just launched a Kickstarter for a new app called AllGo.
AllGo provides reviews of different businesses, including gyms, theaters, restaurants and airlines based on accessibility.
Though the Kickstarter promotional video is quite funny — and we love that fat orange kitty trying to cram himself into that tiny box — AllGo addresses some very real problems. Our society doesn’t accommodate people of size; in fact, it often treats being fat as a moral failing. (Countdown to the flood of “just eat less and exercise more!” comments in 3…2….1…)
As Lindy West explains in her book Shrill, if a thin person breaks a chair in a restaurant, it’s no big deal — the chair was just defective. But if a fat person were to sit in the very same chair, when it breaks it’s because they’re too fat. It’s humiliating. Same goes for having to ask for a seat belt extender on an airplane, let alone having to pay for two seats. (Even though, at 17 to 18 inches wide, seats are considered at least five inches too narrow for the average person.)
The AllGo app will let users review different places by different metrics. The video above demonstrates three of the criteria: Do the seats have arms? Are tables movable? How wide are the aisles? (Or, as the video amusingly puts it, “How many wine glasses should you expect to knock over on your way to the bathroom?”)
AllGo’s crew includes a number of fat acceptance advocates including Roxane Gay, Tess Holliday and Michael-Anthony “The Big Fashion Guy” Spearman, to name a few. The app will start in Portland, Oregon, but hopes to branch out to other cities quickly.