Since the first commercial flight took off early in the 20th century, the average size of humans has gotten bigger.

The average size of an airplane seat, however, hasn't. In fact, they've actually gotten smaller.

You can imagine how difficult it might be, then, to be fat while flying.

Stacy Bias, an animator and fat activist in London, created a short, animated video called "Flying While Fat" that features the actual voices of plane passengers explaining how miserable the experience can be for people of larger sizes.

Bias got the idea for FWF while she was dating her partner long-distance, flying internationally to see her.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

Bias had a lot of "anxiety about 'not fitting' and physical pain and facing hostile interactions with fellow passengers," she told Revelist via email.  

"I wasn't sure if I'd be able to fit into international airplane toilets and I actually just had to risk it the first time," she said.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

Bias boarded the plane, "not knowing what I'd do if I couldn't use the toilet on an eight-hour flight!"

"To combat my anxiety," she continued, "I began compiling the details of my flights — what models of plane, the width of seats, if tray tables worked, if I needed a seatbelt extender, if I could use the toilets, etc."

Turned out, Bias wasn't the only one who faced these problems.

Bias and Dr. Bethan Evans of the University of Liverpool surveyed hundreds of people for the film.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

"Fat people on planes are talked about a LOT, but rarely are they spoken with, and even more rarely spoken as," she said.

One woman in the short even detailed how a fellow passenger once complained to a flight attendant very loudly, and in front of her, about having to sit next to someone so heavy.

"Fat is a moral issue for a lot of people and 'taking up space' is absolutely a hotspot for contention," Bias said.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

"People see fatness as elective and mutable and thereby exempt from compassion."

Bias hopes that her film becomes a "humanizing effort" for fat people on planes.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

She wants the film to be "a tool in the belt for building empathy and compassion, as well as questioning the baseline assumptions of what fairness and equality are at their core."

And hopefully, it makes the people who do "fly while fat" on a daily basis feel a little bit less alone.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

Keep an eye out for Bias' short film, which will be released in December.

flying while fat
photo: Courtesy of Stacy Bias

Find more information at DaDaFest.co.uk, or over on Bias' website.