Twice as Big; Twice the Fare

We live in a world where judging people by their appearance is condemned. Yet, if we’re honest, we’ve all at one time or another felt an unwelcome twinge when we find that the woman next to us in a flight or bus is podgy.

In a continent like ours (Africa) being fat/podgy is often related to wealth, health and even beauty. While women in the western world put on girdles to look skinnier women here pad their asses to make them look huge. Historically, the paintings of Peter Paul Ruebens  (1577-1640) shows women who are plump and overflowing. Their corpulence showed that they were well-fed, didn’t have to do manual labor, and had leisure time. Being podgy was equated with being rich. The term “ruebenesque” comes from his name.

However, when being podgy and beautiful starts to make people uncomfortable, a solution is needed. Months back, I travelled home using a public transport and it was one of the most uncomfortable rides ever. So uncomfortable that I was gloomy throughout the journey which lasted for 4 hours and if asked why, I might have just sobbed while explaining how squashed I was. Felt like I had been deprived of my right and cheated. Long and short of the gist is, I had to sit next to a Lady who was fat enough to occupy two seats yet paid for one.


The seats in most modes of transportation are designed to squeeze in the maximum number of passengers in the smallest possible space. A good example is buses in Nigeria where a minimum of 4 people are expected to occupy a row not minding their sizes. Even if all four are podgy and it is obviously impossible to fit them in the available space, the conductors will turn a blind eye towards the situation so it is either you manage or let go and drop down.

Now, what’s the best way to handle a situation like this? Asking a person who is affluent in size to pay twice the fare seems like the just thing to do. After all, they are occupying the space of approximately two average humans.  If airlines charge a person higher based on how much his/her baggage weighs, why then should humans not be charged based on their size and the space they occupy? Also, for those who feel this just act is unfair; Imagine the cost of a plate of chips in a restaurant is N 500.00, now, you walk into this restaurant to order for two plates of chips because you are hungry, you will have to pay twice the cost of a plate which will be N 1,000.00 right? No one will judge you for being hungry.


On the other hand, tolerance comes to play a role here. Businesses should be accommodating towards everyone, regardless of their size. This can be done by reducing the number of people expected to sit on a row (in buses/taxis) or providing wider seats such that both the slim and fat are comfortable.

Both suggestions are pretty solid if you ask me but I will love to hear your opinion. What do you think, Should the Affluent in Size Pay More?


13 thoughts on “Twice as Big; Twice the Fare

  1. Really Nice post and I must commend the author of this article. But if you would ask me, this has been such a silent emotional and psyco stress Generator having to think cope with the way the society sees you if your Small or really big.
    In my own opinion I think We as humans should be reasonable and logical! Yes as a cab Man, you know that the passengers your carrying are Big you let them sit comfortably. You must not let them squeeze in or have to feel bad that they are too big. Fares can’t be doubled… That could affect the persons emotions.

  2. Lmao love!! I understand wat it feels lyk to be squashed up. At d moment am nt squashed, so dey shuldnt b charged double, most fat pple re very sensitive stufz lyk dis culd get dem depressed so the society shuldnt rub it in Deir faces coz they knw..Wen we find ourselves in such condition we shuld either learn to adapt for d moment coz d journey wuld surly come to an end or board another.. In my case I adapt den get angry nd get it over it.. No1 knws tomorrow😘

  3. Pay extra? Dats a no no… Dat will be indirectly victimizing them. If it were only possible for conductors and people for that matter to be more sensitive, its gonna be difficult no doubt but its definitely possible.

  4. 🙂 nyc piece shawtty pepper,let d fat be fat nd slim be slim who knows one day the slim person can become fat and the fat person can become slim and then the slim person will see how the fat person felt when he/she was fat.

  5. If you say it’s justice for the affluent in size to pay more, What will be the minimum weight level where the price has to go up? Are you going to put a measuring scale(which WOULD be adjusted) for humans at bus parks, airports & train stations? Or are you going to leave it at the discretion of conductors? Either way, I sense a greater deal of injustice & unfairness would be done! So, while solving one problem, you create another one!

  6. Interesting thoughts! Just as you talked about the need for tolerance, and as other people have pointed out, I think we should learn learn to accommodate one another.

    Beyond the problem of physical inconvenience which you’re trying to solve, have you thought about the psychological and emotional damage this proposal may have on the “affluent in size”?

  7. Quite a question.
    Well I agree with those who say no to the proposal of having the affluent in size pay more, as it’s psychological effect would be damaging.
    Remember some are just born big and they don’t like it. Making them pay more would be outright injustice.
    Now, I think this problem is actually caused by the transporters… were made to carry just three passengers at the rear seat. So, transporters conveying four at the rear seat is just totally wrong. If they feel the revenue they’d get for conveying three would not yield profit, then the fare should be increased equally such that if they carry three, each passenger pays the same amount and they (transporters) get their required revenue.

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