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See what it is like for participants on campus in their bodies, the places and spaces they feel at home or comfortable in their body; where they feel uncomfortable on campus, and how they navigate those feelings.

Click each image to read more.



Twin bed with blankets, pillows, and a special friend

So you might be able to tell I like Pokemon. And the Pokemon that it depicts is called Marill, and Marill is a rather chubby little Pokemon. It's not in this photo, but I have like a Snorlax pillow as well. I don't know if you know which Pokemon Snorlax is, but it's this big fat little chubby guy who sleeps all the time. I love him so much.

Metal bench in common area outside

"This metal bench is outside the student union. It is just a nice place to sit down. It's sort of a little more isolated from everyone else, so pretty far away. I don't feel confined when I sit there. It's fairly comfortable I suppose that it feels sort of isolating to be in some of these spaces."

Outside seating area with bench

"So there's a grape arbor on campus and when the weather's nice, of course, that's a really beautiful place to either just hang out or I would sometimes do some reading there and the benches, I could spread out and have the whole bench myself it was really nice, but also to just hang out outside."

Student posing in art exhibit

“We have a space on campus and there is this black artist, this girlhood scholar, who created this exhibit called More Living Room that… kind of represents the matriarchs in houses. I'm not in art stuff at all, that's not my field, but coming in the exhibit, being able to sit on [the] furniture, I just felt very comfortable because it did make me feel like it was like a matriarchs living room in my family, but also was just so spacious. I was able to walk around the seats were big enough.”

Black mobile chairs and tables

I'm in graduate classes, so these are small classrooms. But studying higher ed, I feel like I have a lot of room now to talk about my experiences as a fat person and everything, but we're finally, I think, getting to the point where I can kind of talk about them in an academic way, where I can bring them up as this is an identity that I have that caused me certain developmental and social issues while I was in college.

Small table and chairs

"[This is] what a typical seating arrangement looks like in the dining hall. They're narrow, and very uncomfortable. I'm sure even people who don't identify as fat would agree with that. And it’s up against the wall, which makes it hard, so I push my feet over the side and sort of hang out a little. I know they do that to try to make more walking room, but for someone like me, it doesn't work. Ideally I would have that spaced out from the wall a little."

Designated bus seating for persons with disabilities

"[I think of how these seats] are small for most people, but particularly small for fat bodies. Am I allowed to completely sit and let my legs be as big as they are? Should I make myself smaller so that a person can fit and that we're not accidentally touching? How much space am I allowed to take up if there are other people who need to sit before it starts to become like, 'oh, there's a fat girl on the bus who's taking up too much room and I couldn't sit down'."

Entrance/exit door to narrow stairwell

"So [here] is an itty bitty little nook of a hallway, absolutely terrible. There is no wiggle room at all. And a lot of students use that doorway to get to their classes in that building. And so most of the time it's very much like, "Oh, I'll wait you go, oh you wait, I'll go." Just not room for traffic. The stairwell itself is pretty narrow, so it's hard to pass people on that as well."

Student seated in armless chair

"I've had this happen multiple times where chairs like this have been the only seating option. So, I would end up just kind of standing in the back because it got to the point I was in the chair for too long. And it's like, okay, it's kind of ironic that we're in this training to learn how to be inclusive and accessible to people who are in the LGBTQIA+ community, and here I am, I can't sit in this chair."

"The whole time I'm on a bus I'm thinking, is someone going to sit next to me? If someone does sit next to me how am I going to make myself as small as possible so that I'm not encroaching on their space even though that's not how the bus works, you're going to be all up in everybody's business but like constantly thinking about that."

wooden chair
desk chair
computer chair
black couch
80s chair

Drag and click chairs.

Black mobile armchair

"The black office chair, not just the sort of limitation of the arms, but there's this sort of feeling that I'm not sure if the chairs that are present in that location are necessarily rated for certain weights. So it can be, I don't know the right word, but maybe scary to sort of get in and get out of because you're worried that they might break."

Unisize blue office chairs

"The chairs without arms, so like the row of blue chairs, those are pretty narrow. They're also spaced pretty closely together. So when I sit in those, I usually just sit on two of them because when I sit on one it doesn't actually provide enough room for, if someone were to sit next to me to sit there."

Corner couch with moveable desk surfaces

"They're very plush seats, and they've got these tables. But the tables are mobile, so you can just have them flipped all the way around. It's nice to have the tables option, because I feel like as a larger person, if you get a seat that works for you, then you probably don't have those extra amenities, like a table to write on. Something that has that option is really lovely."

Large covered atrium within student union offering a variety of seating options

“If I needed a break or I had a gap in my schedule, the union was the place that I went, so I was there a lot. I was there a lot and… had to be thinking about what type of chair I am going to feel comfortable sitting in, or if this is the only seat open, am I just not going to do homework at all because I would rather not sit in one of those seats?”

Grey classroom chair with attached writing surface

"I hate these desks. They're in multiple classrooms on campus. I had been in that classroom multiple times for different classes and so I would be in those desks a lot of times. These are the least comfortable desks because the back support isn't necessarily substantial. Also, the desk itself would cut into my stomach, so I couldn't really sit there comfortably the whole hour."

Shared food preparation area with multiple boxes

“It’s not really the space so much as the conversations here. I like asking people what they have for lunch because I feel like it's a nice ice breaker. But sometimes that leads them into their diet talk. ‘Oh, I'm eating keto.’ Or it can be a place of, ‘oh that looks really good, wish I had that.’ It [makes you think], ‘oh you think you have to be smaller. Oh, you're afraid of getting to my size. Oh, you're already thin and you keep dieting and telling me about your diet and I don't know why.’"

Outside seating area with Adirondack chairs overlooking small park

“There's a stream that goes through the middle of campus [where I would read], just kind of a little refuge. I like white noise when I'm reading things or doing homework, so the sound of the stream is really nice. The chairs themselves kind of had a reclined back, which I really liked. It kind of lended themselves to be a more relaxed seating area [in] nature.”

Narrow stairwell with metal railing and bulletin board above heating unit

“I personally hated these stairs because not only was the walkway narrow; the stairs themselves were fairly steep. I would always end up quite out of breath getting up there and there's no elevator either. So, I guess the fact that the building is fairly aged, they haven't really [made renovations] in a long time. But also, I don't think the design was very conducive for people of different mobility needs. Just not a great way to get around.”

Campus fitness playground

It's the blue fitnessy things all over campus. Since we're in the middle of a pandemic, there's been a lot of like, "Oh outdoor workouts are great, just get on one of these things and do 20 reps on your way to class." And there was a little sign next to them that was like, "Don't let the COVID weight get you, or you need to lose the COVID pounds, you can do it this way."

"it shouldn't just be humanities based places, social science, or social based places that are the only places that make fat people feel comfortable, because a lot of times those things are not relegated to academic rigor, which we know is unfair. But I think that there should be like more spaces on campus that are designed again for people to be immersed in their academics to also have this sort of freedom and to feel like they just aren't taking up too much space."

Bathroom stalls with privacy doors

"For myself, as a fat bodied person, bathrooms are something that give me a lot of trepidation. There's one stall in the 10 available stalls between those two bathrooms that I can use comfortably, because of where things are put and how it's set up. And if that stall is taken, I will not go to the bathroom."

Bathroom stall with privacy door

"It's a little bit narrow where it can be uncomfortable at times, but usually for my basic business it's pretty comfortable. I like how the trash can is inside the wall instead of shooting out there. A lot of times I have to take the trash can off of the wall just to fit, just to have that leg room. And the height of the toilet paper ring. Because both of those can knock into my legs and make it difficult for me to properly care for myself in a nice way."

Large bathroom with multiple sink basins

This is a 16 stall bathroom in my current office. In the business college, there are students who are showing up every day in three piece suits, stuff like that. It's a lot of fit, thin people that come in… so the bathroom is one of those weird places where you're forced to look at yourself all the time.

So it's a single stall room that you can lock with a shower and a bathroom. And so once I'm inside this room, there's no one else but me. And there are no mirrors inside, which is actually fantastic. So I can just take a shower, I don't have to worry about nobody.

I can be in this place and no one's going to ask anything because I'm alone. It is also the most uncomfortable space, I think because of what the room represents. There's never not a time when trans people are forced to negotiate a bathroom. Not of our own volition, usually for other people's volition. There's deep frustration that I have to think twice as hard to go into a restroom space.

So yeah, it's very comfortable and now I'm like, it's alone. It's just me and my thoughts. I can take my time in here, do whatever. But it's also, I'm also really kind of frustrated that the nature of that space exists and also kind of grateful because sometimes my knees will hurt or my back will hurt after I'm done, so there's a bench in sign, so I can sit and I can relax. And I don't have to try and force myself to move quickly. Actually, it's really weird. It's actually a very comfortable room, so it's this really interesting place of like, it's deeply comfortable. And also, I'm mad that that's the way that it has to be.


“And also part of my identity as a physically-disabled person, and my identity as a fat person, are very closely linked. So I can't just lose weight, like the way that people like tell me to. And it took me so long to get diagnosed with the disorder that I do have, because a lot of the things were just doctors went, "Oh, you're just fat."

So I've kind of been conditioned not to talk about it, because I've learned that people usually don't take you seriously, or they'll treat it as you being hyper PC and stuff. And they'll be like, "Oh yeah, okay." But they think it's something that you can change, so they don't really care as much. And they don't want to have to put in the effort to change things themselves. They're like, "Why don't you just lose weight if it's a problem."


Bacchus or Dionysus are one and the same in a spiritual connection way. He's the god of libations, the god of alcohol and partying and revelry and almost a hedonistic figure, especially Bacchus, the Roman version. [This painting] was near my go-to study spot. Bacchus, in this version by this artist, looks like me. And I think that the character, Dionysus or Bacchus, is sometimes represented as a young, beautiful skinny fit man. Sometimes he's represented as an old fat man, but this time it was somewhere in between where he felt like he was still young and youthful, and it had some good looks and good features to him, but he was chubby, he was fat. He was enjoying himself. He was eating that donut. And I needed thatI needed that in my college to experience. I don't normally see people with my body type displayed in art around campus….But this was just out in the wild, just out there and I found it and it just felt good. Maybe consider this part of my write my own prompt of, what do I see? Because what I was thinking about with that was where do you see yourself on campus? And, this is where I see myself.

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"I chose the outside just because the inside I was thinking like, where am I going to take pictures inside of furniture?

I realized there's not a lot of furniture in the building. So I was like, that actually might be why I never mind coming here for meeting up with friends. We'll sit on the steps if it's warm enough, they have a little outside garden area that has stone seating, but that's more for aesthetic than anything else. But because of that, the stone seating is like really, really big. It can fit probably three, four people on a single stone bench. 

    So it's just really nice, the steps aren't too long, so I don't be out of like super duper breath getting up all those steps, which is good for me, because a lot of the school buildings we have are really old. So they may not have like a good elevator there, so I might have to walk up a whole, whole bunch of steps. But this is the outside of it, and there's always events kind of going on here, and even though I'm not in art, I really do enjoy this building."

Unisize auditorium seating with brown-colored fabric and seat numbers

 I really was thinking about where I have been, I don't want to use the words physically harmed, because that sounds [00:03:00] like a lot, but the lecture hall that I sat in for a semester and I had bruises because the lecture seats are so tiny, and the room that I took stats in and I had to find my own testing accommodations because I couldn't fit in the seat and fold the little stupid desk over. But yes, when I read being uncomfortable, I was like, yes, let me think of the most traumatic things that happened to me [00:03:30] in undergrad because I'm fat.

Black armchair with pillow

“This is the chair I sit in eight to 10 hours a day for work. It's okay, but I have to modify it, like a footstool to prop me up and a pillow. I've had to add that, because it doesn't fit my body the way it's supposed to. And then the arms are beat up because I've had to jostle them to make it work for me. I think a lot of people who work at universities are students at the same time. And yeah, these are also places that aren't comfortable.”

Additional seating option in auditorium

"If I were to just go and [find] a place to sit that physically felt comfortable, seeing something like this in an auditorium where we love to have events in colleges, would be wonderful for me. And something I've never had as a student myself."

Brown leather chair near doorway

"This leather chair is across from the dining hall in the bookstore. And that is actually very comfortable to sit in and it's nice because it's sort of pretty far away from the nearest seat and you can sort of sit there and work if you wanted to, although, it's a little noisy."

Small wooden desk with laptop, mouse, and water bottle

"So sitting at my desk isn't always the most comfortable. I find myself having to lean forward because I can't really fit under the desk. And that hurts my back, which is even worse with my disability."

Elevator area

“I love that they're available to me because I have bad knees. I don't like climbing the stairs. I'm fortunate that my office is on the first floor. These spaces, I love the convenience of them; but at the same time, I think pre-Covid it was very much like I was judged for not wanting to get onto crowded elevators. And it was like, ‘you don't understand, just because you think that I can fit doesn't mean I want to fit into this space.’ And feeling judged for making that choice.”

Auditorium-style unisize classroom seating with swiveling chairs attached to table

“It pushes you against the table, it hurts. I wanted to describe how it feels to sit in those chairs. I felt like it dropped a little when I sat in it. I didn't feel like I was going to fall out or break it, but maybe the next person would. I feel like your physical safety shouldn't be a concern in the middle of class. I don't think I was scared of falling out. Just sort of, ‘oh this isn't a great chair, this isn't going to last a long time, I'm not super confident being in this chair again.’”



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“So these are like in the lecture hall that I took my stats class in. It's very narrow, it has the stupid little fold over desk. It got to the point where I was going to class and I was like, do I need to invest in a clipboard so I can take some fricking notes because this does not work. This is like, when I saw the posting about this study, this is exactly the scenario that I thought of that I was like, if this is the only thing I talk about, this is what I want people to know. Because I tell my thin friends and peers and colleagues the story and they are horrified. But I'm like, this is pretty standard stuff when you live in a fat body.

I took stats [within this lecture hall] my last semester senior year, mistake. I withdrew and then took it in the summer. So I would show up everyday and have to hold my notebook all weird to take my notes because I can't use the stupid little flip over desk. Then, I had to get to the point where we're going to have our first exam and the fear starts setting in of like, are we taking that in this room? Because I don't know how that's going to work.

So I work up the nerve go to office hours, which was terrifying. Tell my professor, ‘So I know we're taking the exam in two weeks, I do not fit in that chair, I cannot fold over the desk.’ It takes a lot of nerve to say that…. I was saying there's a table in the back of the lecture hall that I've scoped out, ‘do you think we could get a chair or something so I could sit at that table and take my exam?’ This professor tells me pretty much, "I don't know how to go about doing that, but if you can figure it out, feel free to do that."

In retrospect I should have escalated that but I didn't because, I didn't even know [why, but] I should have. I know I should have utilized my resources, but in the moment I was just like, ‘I just need to figure this out because I need to take this test.’ It ended up working out because of people I knew... So the person who managed the building my class was in also managed another building that I worked in on campus, so I knew him. So I send him an email, "Hey, I know that you are the building manager for this other building, I have a test on X date, can you get a chair for me so I can sit at that table?"

And of course he said, "Yes, I've got you covered. Don't worry about it." So then whatever, I showed up, I take the test at the table. I did not do well… part of the reason is because, the whole day I'm working myself to go there and I'm thinking like, ‘is there going to be a chair? What if somebody's sitting there? What am I going to do?’ I get there and there is somebody sitting [in the chair] and I'm getting really worked up about it because I'm like, ‘I have to tell them to move because I need to sit there,’ and just start sweating profusely with the whole thing. I think the only reason that ended up working out was because I just so happened to know the building manager, and that is not normal [for a] college student, you know what I mean? Would not be able to pull that off in that way.

But that's why I picked these seats because when I saw the post for this study that is the thing I thought about was like, I had to find my own accommodations because the professor straight up told me, ‘If you can figure it out, feel free to figure it out, but I'm not going to do anything more than that.’ Which is terrible. That's so terrible.”

Large music room with windows

"This is the band room and that was always a fun place to be, we could space ourselves out as much as we wanted. I always loved performing music and so any chance I got to do that, I was very comfortable, and being in that shared space with other people that were passionate about music also, made me feel more at home there."

Small practice room with piano and small bench

“The piano is in a little practice room; one person per practice room generally. So it was a really nice way for me to be able to separate myself from the goings on of university life and focus on practicing. And I love that piano especially, just it's it was one of the new ones that we had gotten and yeah, it was just a really, it was peaceful. A comforting space that I could go work and not have to worry about people necessarily listening in on me or whatever.”

Outdoor space

"It's usually not a very dense location, so I can almost always find somewhere to eat if I want to eat here. And when I do, I'm usually able to kind of zone in, not worry about people observing me eating. Which is also an issue; I don't like doing inside that building. So there's a building to the left of this image where there's an eating area. And I feel like I'm on display when I eat inside, but not outside."

Lounge area with couch and armchairs

“My undergrad's music building. I spent a lot of time there, with friends and we'd just hang out or do homework. And it was very much a refuge away from the classroom. The furniture was comfortable. The way that it was spaced was comfortable. I didn't feel crammed or conscious, especially because I was surrounded by my friends most of the time too, so that helped.”

Common eating area with multiple food stations

“But I feel like, when you're fat, no matter what you choose to eat, people are going to judge you for it. And they're going to try to analyze it… Like sometimes I find myself not taking as much food as I would like to, or as I even need. Sometimes when I'm still hungry, I'm like, ‘No, you don't want to be the fat person who goes back for seconds, or who takes that much food.’”

Campus Fraternity

"…It could be a great day, I could be having a fantastic time. I could feel cute, I could have on an out... Do whatever. And honestly, you'll hear the frat start [heckling] and it's like, oh shit. Okay, cool. Guess I got to go a different way or you just kind of have to brace yourself. The graduate courses are all at night, so you're leaving the building when things are starting. And I don't think people know how unsettling that feeling is."

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“One thing that I've gotten in the habit of doing the past few semesters, if I don't know the classroom is, I'll email the instructor before the class starts to say, "Hey, does this classroom have any armless chairs?"

    It took me awhile to get up the courage to do that. But I'm glad that I have, because I've been able to get access to an armless chair the past couple semesters. 

    The first day of class, I'm in there, I can't find the armless chair, even though I've been told there was one.

So, I'm in a chair with arms. And it's a three hour class, so it's really painful. And I eventually was able to find the armless chair. Someone else was sitting in it, and I just kind of asked them, "Hey, can I swap this out?" And they were kind enough to do that.

    So, I felt like that photo represented that journey for me a little bit. It took two or three different steps to make sure that I had access to seating that would work for me."

Parking garage with parked cars and pedestrians

"This is a five-story parking garage; whatever floor you're on, you got to go to the 2nd floor to pay for your ticket. And so, all these people are leaving. I left at a peak time… A lot of people, a lot of standing. It started being chaos, cars couldn't get by. I was standing so much. Even if you want to open it up to just a greater accessibility issue, this is not comfortable for human beings, in general. It's not comfortable. And I think a lot of university aspects are related to this photo."

Unisize green classroom chairs with attached writing surfaces and book storage below

“Just ‘ow’, that's all I can really say, if that makes sense. Some people can just slip right in, but in order for me to get in I have to lift the thing. But it makes the loudest screeching noise. So the social anxiety is, ‘Everyone's looking at you. They know that you need to lift the thing in order to sit down. They think you're fat. That shouldn't be a bad thing, but they do. They're judging you.’”

Student organization office

"When I was a Student Senator, that's when I started to pick up on the fact that I'm being treated differently. Student Senators were respected. There was this pressure to perform and dress a certain way. The Senate threw parties, and the New Year's party I had found out that everyone got invited except for me and one other student, and she was the only other plus size person. I don't know if that was their intention, but I interpreted it as, 'Oh, they don't like me because I'm fat.'"

Seating area with three wooden chairs and table

"[I came here] if I wanted to get away from just the people that I saw every day because the music department was really small. So the fact that there were cushion chairs at a decent size table was really nice. It was a place that I could go to just do homework or catch up on emails, whatever I needed to do without really worrying about having to socialize."

Yellow arm chair

"[This is] from the office that I worked in. I don't know if it's necessarily that I'm comfortable in my body there as much as I'm comfortable being myself there…. And I think those go hand in hand sometimes. When I think where am I comfortable in my body, I would say it would be my office because I'm amongst friends and people that I trust and I know that they trust, like, and respect me. So that makes me feel like I can show up as my full, authentic self."

Office desk and armchair behind plexiglass

I'm often working with student workers at the front desk, but also I'm the first face that people see. I'm constantly, not quite body checking, but I'm making sure that I'm looking okay… like using my phone camera to be like, “is my hair and makeup okay? Am I sitting up straight enough to not look like I'm slouching?”

Shared food preparation area

This is a staff faculty area. I have to negotiate with myself eating in public how much food I’m allowed to bring before it's like, “okay, the fat girl's eating a lot.” If I bring pasta every day, is someone going to notice that I'm not eating enough salad? It’s a public shared space, so you're often heating up food or preparing your food or coffee with other people talking to you. It's like normalizing this process of it, but also having to be self conscious of people watching you prepare food.

Common eating area with tables and chairs

"This room is used for team meetings. There was a trend I was involved, they [ask me to set up the food]. That made me feel weird. I don't know if it was because I was available. I don't know [why], but it felt strange putting the food out as one of the only fat students because then it was like, do I put much thought into arranging it? If I do it too carelessly, that's going to look negative too, but if I put too much intention on it, then they're like, okay, she's really thinking about food."

“Regarding student health… so the whole trans thing. In general, they give care, but it's not great. For context, I have to be seen [upstairs] in Women's Health because they have no providers on any other side, who will see trans people… [it’s] so annoying. I hate it so much.

    So I always try and time my visit… either early in the morning or at the end of the day, so there's no other students around. But every time I go in, [my doctor] frequently tells me I'm overweight. ‘Oh, I need you to lose 10 pounds.’ I've been on campus now for going on three years, and she's the person who consistently tells me I need to lose weight. And she is the doctor who also prescribes my hormones.

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 So there's this really interesting dynamic of, ‘I can't get a new doctor because there actually isn't one. And yet, she's the person who makes the frequent, most comments about my body.’  [What’s also] interesting is where she says things like, ‘Well, if your testosterone levels are too high, we might need to move them down because it'll throw off your weight. And you already have this family history for the men in your family. So we're going to play with your body regulators, so that way, maybe you lose weight.’ It's like a whole scientific bullshit thing. So I hate having to go to Student Health because in any given moment, someone's going to make a comment about me being black, or… about someone else who's a person of color in that space, or… whole process about me being trans. It literally is just a deeply uncomfortable space. And yet, I have to go there every month to get my prescription refilled.

    But it is Student Health in particular that I find to be really frustrating…you have Student Health, you have the Orthopedic, Personal Training, Physical Therapy Center, and then you have Disability Resource Center Services. And so you're frequently standing in this place where at any given moment you have people using different types of mobility aids working out next to the basketball team, next to people who are sick. It is a really interesting space to be someone who doesn't have a normative body type because you're consistently having to collide with types of othering in any way.

Bus seating above wheel well

"I really love the bus, no hate to the bus but, one of those spaces where I'm very aware, those layers as a person who's being perceived as a woman and then someone who is socialized as a woman, and then as a fat person how much space I'm taking up on the bus. Especially when you're getting crammed in there."

Spacious student lounge with tables, chairs, upholstered furniture, and a television

“Everyone's looking at me, or no one's paying attention to me. There's no middle ground. Same way I was thinking about dating in my freshman class where it's not that I want people to come up and talk to me, but it's like there's a filter where I'm not even option for clubs or Greek Life or anything. I'm very aware of that. Or if I don't feel very confident in the way that I'm dressed or if I'm having a bad hair day, I feel like everyone is staring at me. So kind of hyper visible and invisible.”

Student in green dress walking through grassy area

"My friend wanted to [take] graduation photos here. All the other places people typically do photo shoots aren’t comfortable; they're a lot more public. I think I feel my best when I'm in more private spaces than anything. Even if it’s a public space [with] little pockets of where I can be just with my friends or be by myself. I think it's sad that I have to go outside with hedges that are three, four, five times as big as me to feel as if I'm not just being an obtrusive force within a space."

Receptionist area of office

"I'm a receptionist, so these meetings are when people are coming in the most dressed up. I feel like, both as a graduate student myself, and then as a fat graduate student, the way people interact with me is very dismissive. But also, I think the fatness really goes into how I act; where I feel like I have to be overly polite, overly respectful of everything to be treated well in this kind of service role as a receptionist at the desk."

Narrow bridge

"Here's a bridge on campus. If you're walking by yourself, it's fine, but if you're attempting to pass somebody, it can be a little crunched. That's part of the reason that I would feel least comfortable there. I think it also had to do with the fact that when I would cross it… [there’s] a bit of anxiety, like I need to get to class on time and hopefully not disrupt anybody else's path to class. [It’s] not really a great bridge. I guess, I would've liked it to be a bit wider."

“Whatever I have in front of me, whether it's my planner, or if it's homework, or if I'm doing something on the computer, is it professional enough looking towards other people that they don't notice my fatness?

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"You can't really see it that well from the angle, but this is one of the largest hills on campus. It doesn't sound that bad, or it's definitely not that bad compared to some other hills that I've had to climb up. But my dorm is at the very top of the hill, and it's all the way on the farthest edge of campus, very far where my classes and the dining hall are.

So it's a long walk back to there, and then I have to climb this hill. And because of my disability, climbing hills is very difficult for me and I'll get out of breath even quicker. And I've oftentimes like, while I'm trying to get up the hill and I'm panting a bit, I notice people staring at me.

It's not just social anxiety. I see them actually looking at me and raising an eyebrow. Sometimes they even look a little disgusted. And to be honest, when that happens, my thought is just like, "Go away. What's wrong? I'm trying to get up this hill, this isn't your business."

I feel like they often think, "Oh it's because she's fat. She's out of shape. They can't climb the hill because they're a fat person." And that really bothers me for some reason.

Because it's true, I have trouble climbing the hill, but they always assume, "Oh it's because they're fat." … a lot of people just chalk it up, "They can't do this because they're fat. They have trouble breathing?

Fat, fat, fat fat, fat."



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I was waiting on the elevator, and I'm like, "What the heck?" So, there's this platform next to the elevator saying, "Take the stairs. Don't spend a hundred dollars on novelty sneakers. Climbing stairs shapes your glutes and legs. Health cares, take the stairs." And there are these two thin, white people just standing there. I'm like, "Jesus, okay. I could do a whole rhetoric assignment on this."

    It's almost like inducing shame for taking the elevator.

And then, it has all these assumptions it's making, like A, that glutes and legs need to be shaped a certain way, and that only happens through a certain kind of activity. And that people who don't have those glutes and legs are not doing that activity. And there's also this sort of moral judgment because it's like, "Don't spend a hundred dollars on novelty sneakers." 

    Like, okay, you're saying I'm lazy. I want to take the easy way out to get my legs and glutes to look a certain way. And if I just took the stairs, I wouldn't have to be so stupid and lazy to do that, to get that result. And you're assuming I want that result. I was just like, "Oh, my God."

If you look closely at this email but there is no unsubscribe button. I had to block that email. Because all it’s like, “hey, weight loss, hey you're fat probably, we don't know,” kind of thing. My cohort peer is sort of a campus sponsor and she was trying to tell us, oh sign up for the thing it's a wellness thing. I was like no, I'm not going to do that. I almost wanted to tell her, hey how do I unsubscribe from those emails? [They make] me feel self conscious. It triggers my disordered eating behaviors. I don't want to think about that at work. That kind of thought.

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"I'm finally in a place with classmates and professors who are really hearing [my experiences] and understanding it. I'm queer as well, so I felt comfortable talking about it in the classroom. 

In a larger sense, just being able to be an academic and talk about these identities like any other identity is kind of a new thing for me. I think, even when I started college in 2016, we were not having conversations about fatness."

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"These are some examples of shirt sizes from the book store. I kind of did a spot check like, 'okay what does this rack show?' And some of them were going up to mediums, most of them ended around extra large, extra extra large. I think the biggest size I saw was a three x in that orange shirt that says school dad. I could probably wear a school dad shirt, but I'm not going to. It's hard to find anything larger than a two x."

Auditorium seating accomodating various body sizes

"I guess the one thing I wanted to point out is the side by side. The one on the right there, is just the contrast and how visibly obvious it is that someone's using a modified chair."

Student seated in small armchair

"[I feel] most comfortable in chairs that feel sturdy, that have proper support, and that don't have arms."

Chart providing shirt size recommendations

“This… annoyed the crap out of me. I know my measurements, but can't pick a feminine cut shirt. It’s not an option in my size, and that hurts a little bit. I know what men's sizes look [like]; really big in the arms for me and… very long so they drop down past my waist, and I don't like the way I look in those shirts. I look sloppy. And that's not my fault, that's the fault of the person who chose that particular vendor, and the vendor itself who decided not to include a certain size for women.”

Parking lot with view of campus building

This is just a front view of the Honors College here. So a lot of the things that we were saying. It's kind of the closest living center to any of my classrooms... So along with that is, with those expectations are, are you doing well in classes? It's kind of reminding yourself that, Hey, you're the fat girl in class. You have to be the smart girl too. Those identities have to go together. Otherwise, you're just dumb and fat and lazy.

Auditorium stage with unisize seating

"I don't even think about my size here, on the stage. I'm way too focused on performing, whatever it is, whether it was music or I participated in the drag show for our LGBT organization that was so much fun and there was all of this wide open space. I didn't have to worry about running into any props or other people. I was just worried about performing to the best of my ability."

Outside seating area with metal tables and chairs

“When I first saw this setup outside, I was like, "Oh, yay, there's an outdoor seating area without arms. I might come out here and hang out before class sometime." But one of the chair legs is warped. I think it represents that sometimes, the places that we create to be recreational or fun, or even open to everybody, if they're not maintained well, or if someone damages something, that can also reduce access.”

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