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The Fat Lady

Hi! How are you?” The woman smiled as she took the seat beside me. She had to lower herself slowly, squeezing her ample bottom into the seat, filling all available space.

Positioning herself comfortably, she plopped her enormous arm on our common armrest. Her immensity saturated the space around us, shrinking me and my seat into insignificance.

I cringed and reclined towards the window.

She leaned towards me and repeated her greeting in an upbeat, friendly voice. Her face towered above my head, forcing me to turn to look at her. “Hi,” I replied with obvious loathing.

I turned away to stare out the cabin window, sulking silently about the long hours of discomfort I was going to experience with this monster beside me.

She nudged me with her meaty arm. “My name is Laura. I’m from Britain. How about you? Japan?”

“Malaysia,” I barked.

“I’m so sorry! Will you accept my heartfelt apology? Come, shake my hand. If we’re going to spend six hours side-by-side on this flight, we’d better be friends, don’t you think?” A palm waved in front of my face. I shook the hand reluctantly, still silent.

Laura started a conversation with me, taking no notice of my unfriendly reactions. She talked excitedly about herself and her trip to Hong Kong to see her frinds. She rattled off a list of things she was going to buy for her students in the boarding school where she was teaching.

I gave her one-word answers to her questions about me. Unperturbed by my coldness, she nodded as she made appreciative comments to my answers. Her voice was warm and caring. She was considerate and obliging when we were served drinks and meals, making sure that I had room to manoeuvre in my seat. “I don’t want to clobber you with my elephant size!” she said with utmost sincerity.

To my surprise, her face which repulsed me hours before, now opened into extraordinary smiles, lively and calm at the same time. I couldn’t help but let down my guard slowly.

Laura was an interesting conversationalist. She was well read in many subjects from philosophy to science. She turned a seemingly unimportant subject into something to explore and understand. Her comments were humorous and inspirational. When our topic turned to cultures, I was pleasantly surprised by her intelligent comments and well-thought-out analysis.

During our conversation, Laura managed to make every cabin crew who served us walk away laughing at her jokes.

When a flight attendant was clearing our plates, Laura cracked several jokes about her size. The flight attendant roared with laughter as she grabbed Laura’s hand, “You really make my day!”

For the next few minutes, Laura listened attentively and gave pointers to the flight attendant’s weight problem. The grateful attendant said before she rushed off, “I’ve got to work. I’ll come back later and talk to you about it.”

I asked Laura, “‘Have you ever thought about losing some weight?”

“No. I’ve worked hard to get this way. Why would I want to give it up?”

“You aren’t worried about cardiovascular diseases that come with being overweight?”

“Not at all. You only get the diseases if you’re worried about your weight all the time. You see advertisements from slimming centres that say, ‘Liberate yourself from your extra baggage so that you are free to be yourself.’ It’s rubbish! You’re liberated only if you’re comfortable about who you are, and what you look like any time of the day and anytime of the year! Why would I want to waste my time on slimming regimes when I have so many other important things to do and so many people to be friends with? I eat healthily and walk regularly; I’m this size because I am born to be big! There is more to life than worrying about weight all day long.”

She sipped at her wine. “Besides, God gives me so much happiness that I need a bigger body to hold all of it! Why would I lose weight to lose my happiness?” Taken aback by her reasoning, I chuckled.

Laura continued. “Folks often see me as a fat lady with big bosoms, big thighs and a big bottom that no man would even bother to cast a glance at. They see me as a slob. They think I’m lazy and have no willpower. They’re wrong.” She held up her glass to a passing flight attendant. “More of this magnificent wine, please.” She smiled sweetly at the attendant. “Great service from your crew. May God bless all of you.”

She turned to me, “I’m actually a slim person inside. I’m so full of energy that people won’t be able to keep up with me. This extra flesh is here to slow me down, otherwise I’ll be running everywhere chasing after men!”

“Do men chase after you?” I asked jokingly.

“Of course they do. I’m happily married but men still keep proposing to me.

“Most of them have relationship problems and they need someone to confide in. For some reason, they like to talk to me. I think I should have been a counsellor instead of a school teacher!”

Laura paused before she said thoughtfully, “You know, the relationship between men and women is so complicated. Women worship men and call them, ‘Honey’ until they find out they have been lied to, and then they turn into bitter gourds! Men love women so much that they see them as their soul mates until they look at their credit card bills, and then women become devils with tridents!”

Laura’s enthralling conversation had turned the flight into something thoroughly enjoyable. I was also fascinated by the way people were drawn to her. By the end of the flight, almost half the cabin crew was standing near the aisle by us, laughing and joking with Laura. The passengers around us joined in the merry-making too. Laura was the centre of attention, filling the cabin with delightful warmth.

When we waved goodbye to each other at the arrival lounge at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, I watched her walking towards a big group of adoring adults and kids. Cheers sounded as the group hugged and kissed Laura. She turned around and winked at me.

I was stunned, as the realisation set in: Laura was the most beautiful woman I had ever met in my life.

By Chong Sheau Ching

{ 76 comments… add one }
  • Ivy paulus August 25, 2021, 4:43 pm

    Hey This was. Great story.. I truly felt inspired. I have also felt this way…
    I hav been bullied and made fun of and I have made fun of my own body and would harm myself in anyway to try and make myself look different and pretty for my own being.. but know this bf a have changed in me. Believing god…. God is a true god. Beauty is from with in me and not from with out meaning beauty comes from all over the place. God is the one and only person who loves me and cares for me and loves me for who I am. He is a true god!! Yet there may be other people out there in the world that yet pics on other people but from my perspective they are just jealous because of the way u are. God made u in his image. And gods image is beutiful!! Be ur self and follow ur heart to what god has in the future! God always provides the future. Everyone is beutiful in gods creation!!!😘

  • Rajesh Chouksey August 11, 2019, 12:07 pm

    Each human being is with a unique purpose exists on this earth. You can’t expect every actor to play the lead role in movie. We must be proud of ourselves.

  • Manou July 24, 2017, 4:51 pm

    How great it is to be appreciate for the person you’re in the inside but not in the outside!!

  • Amertarchichi December 30, 2016, 10:19 am

    Great story and for that im gonna present it in a public speaking in class

  • Amraah December 29, 2016, 4:42 am

    Sometimes the fat are the best

  • Eunice A July 31, 2016, 8:47 am

    Awesome, we should not judge people we meet the first time before we get to know them.

  • Srinivas June 4, 2016, 2:16 am

    Very nice

  • Jagadish November 29, 2014, 10:47 pm

    This is a really amazing one,

    we need people like Laura…. and we need her inspiration words…

    and we have to remember one more thing… life is too short…….

    and we have to enjoy allot ……..

    really i would like to speak with her….

  • Moral lover October 18, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Soooooooo wonderful

  • M September 13, 2014, 3:34 pm

    Not everyone can stay positive being big. I am terrified to go back to my country because people there would make fun of me, call me names and seriously these DO bring me down.

  • Sanjay July 30, 2014, 1:06 pm

    In my day to day experience I have observed that Fat personalities are very humorous.

  • Suhani.. June 2, 2014, 2:51 am

    Person like Laura …are alone in there personal lyf..!!

  • James kangara April 8, 2014, 1:15 am

    It’s amaizing to read a story with exact character as my best friend mercy she is warm hearted huge in size. Love u all keep it up guys.

  • Fareeda March 31, 2014, 10:40 am

    In deed Laura is a great person there are many things to learn from her

  • Praveen March 30, 2014, 11:03 am

    Character is more important than physical, Laura proves, I just love this story.

  • Akhi December 28, 2013, 1:53 am

    Laura. You are totally adorable. I want to meet such type of person in my life too…

  • Franklin donald innes December 27, 2013, 6:30 am

    Really very nice thinking Laura….. hats off for your views and answers.

  • Arun s Kumar October 11, 2013, 4:21 pm

    Really inspiring.

  • Gupta Kamal alg September 19, 2013, 7:47 am

    Ladies beauty is in their heart.

  • Tom September 5, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful person Laura is, I really want to meet her.

  • Trina September 1, 2013, 11:00 am

    Wow! What a wonderful person Laura is, I want to meet her.

  • Manasi August 15, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Amazing story.. I felt lucky to read this precious story.. I have decided to be like Laura.. extraordinary attitude towards life.. very few have this..

  • Alak Mutsuddy August 12, 2013, 8:38 am

    Fat is not fat… the actual fact is how you treat yourself. Laura treats herself happy then she is really happy:) I also want to meet with Laura will be grateful to meet with her:)

  • Sandeep August 6, 2013, 9:05 am

    Very pleasant story.

  • Bhupee June 6, 2013, 1:51 pm

    I am also a fat guy, always want 2 look slim like other guys, but after reading dis story, it’s not about d way u look, its about what u are, spread happiness among people.

  • Himanshu May 26, 2013, 10:16 am

    Really one of the nicest stories ever.

  • Vincent May 13, 2013, 11:54 pm

    That’s very interesting by laura, there is nothing bad about laura been a fat girl.

  • Pooja April 21, 2013, 11:39 am feels that..Laura is my mirror image..! I realy wanna thank her for being so inspirational….am also loving myself as I’s not that bad to b fat..take it people notice u..!..from nw..if any 1 gonna ask me abt my fatyness..I would definately tell that I got the extra place in this world..given by god..that u dont have..!;)..n try to b happy always..! Thnx for sharing narrator!

  • Akbar March 14, 2013, 5:09 am

    Nice story for the people who’s worrying about their weight..

  • Maka Albarn February 7, 2013, 8:21 am

    Uhmm.. physical appearance doesn’t matter, what matters is how you treat people well and always being nice.

  • Amit Mishra February 3, 2013, 3:13 am

    Laura, I wanna marry a girl just like you.

  • Amit Mishra February 3, 2013, 3:11 am

    Really Awesome! I enjoyed it. I wish to have such a friend.

  • Marion January 29, 2013, 1:52 am

    I like this story…physical features really don’t matter so long as you’re happy of who and what you are… πŸ™‚

  • Mani Kumar December 13, 2012, 2:23 pm

    It is an very inspirational one, no matter how you are but you should enjoy the things which god has designed for you, there is a reason for every thing designed by god.

  • Maya khandelwal November 24, 2012, 5:32 am

    The story contains great depth for those who detest their own selves just because they happen to be inflicted by some or the other handicap. Obesity is the greatest cause of concern amongst our youths these days. They must learn from Laura that what matters the most is your internal beautiful self which doesn’t really require any adornment.

    They also serve God who bear His mild yoke in the most humble way.

    Shake off your complexes and be content so that you may begin the journey to make this world a better place to live in.

  • Zishan October 22, 2012, 5:00 pm

    I like this story very much bcoz this story teaches us how to live a life happily at any worst situation.

  • Ashi October 7, 2012, 9:04 am

    So beautiful story. I wish I could read and be inspired again!!! so sweet!!

  • Deepak October 1, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Anyone who is joyful, full of energy, having good heart and sense of humor, loving and caring nature will be liked by everyone irrespective of physical amenities.

  • Hidden September 26, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Best story ever.

  • shiv August 26, 2012, 10:51 pm

    Amazing ! Does such a lady exist? I am eagar to sai “hi” to Laura. I need to see her big big… But really great insight and what a nice morale !

  • RUFUS August 12, 2012, 3:03 pm

    I will like to share this story to other lady friends of mine.

  • Tushar August 7, 2012, 1:30 pm

    Gr8 lines…
    You’re liberated only if you’re comfortable
    about who you are, and what you look like
    any time of the day and anytime of the
    Loved this story…

  • Anoop July 26, 2012, 1:28 am

    How nice… she was really missing her jokes and company…

  • Feel July 5, 2012, 10:25 pm

    So cool not bad

  • Ganesh Dutt July 3, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Rightly said by someone “Beauty is skin deep”.

  • Niranjana June 23, 2012, 8:51 am

    I want to meet that cool lady!!

  • iryn June 21, 2012, 1:57 am

    They call them PHAT GIRLZ

  • Iryn June 21, 2012, 1:52 am

    Big up to Laura… I am a fat woman too… People tend to read and judge you from the outside not knowing that there is so much potential inside you… The story is to let people know that there is more than just physical appearance…

  • Joel S Das June 11, 2012, 4:52 am

    In my work in Bangladesh I had a guest from Africa of the description of Laura. We had reserved two seats for her in a domstic flight! She had teased me for that! Being with her for three days has changed my attitude towards the large persons altogether. They are very educated, very loving, their heart is as large as their physique! Thank you Mr. Ching for writing about Laura; they are praiseworthy.
    By the way, I had watched in Star Movies a film on the large women; cannot even recollect the name… something like fat madam. I would appreciate if anyone can give me the correct name of this movie.

  • June May 10, 2012, 10:31 am

    This is truly truly inspirational. =) Thanks

  • Debolina May 8, 2012, 12:26 am

    It is an awesome story………… Inner beauty is most important & it should be counted.

  • lamia May 7, 2012, 9:13 am

    And I would like to be as Laura, but I am completely opposite of Laura πŸ™

  • Akash May 6, 2012, 10:21 am

    I’m hoping for this type of life….not fat but the way she thinks……a good story!

  • curtiswhite April 10, 2012, 9:51 am

    Laura is a complete woman in every sense.

  • Queen April 6, 2012, 2:20 pm

    What people has got to know is that the world would not be fun if everyone is slim. Our difference is our beauty.

  • Everest girl March 8, 2012, 4:26 am

    Just amazing, great person. Beautiful πŸ™‚

  • Jiokeson February 23, 2012, 2:31 am

    This story is just waoh!.. What a beautiful Damsel Laura. Thumbs up!

  • Munns February 11, 2012, 4:27 am

    Happiness does not only with physical beauty. What that’s required is your mental health. Go ahead Laura and make people happy. All the best for you and your friends.

  • Pria February 9, 2012, 7:43 am

    Well… I really enjoyed the story… the prevalence of Laura is invietable … her name does have aura of personality πŸ™‚

  • Akenuwa Osayande January 18, 2012, 10:09 am

    Nice one! The most important thing is you seeing the real beauty in you.

  • Gaurav_Luthra December 1, 2011, 8:22 am

    I have a cousin like Laura, hey now I got it why my mother used to say that she is the best child in our family. What a great story to make me understand the fact. Thanx.

  • Shobu November 17, 2011, 1:01 am

    Wow Laura……very impressive person you are…… your hubby would be the luckiest and happiest person in the world..hats off to you….

  • Gaurav October 28, 2011, 8:25 am

    hey laura when u will met meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… πŸ™‚
    i like it ….

  • Gan September 28, 2011, 5:06 am

    Nice story…great to know you’re from malaysia btw πŸ™‚ me too.

  • Priyanka Kumari September 9, 2011, 4:26 am

    Outer appearence didn’t matter…………..the thing which matter is our inner beauty and our big heart

  • Jamal August 10, 2011, 3:05 am

    The inner beauty that counts!!! less worry for the other fat lady…

  • Sweety August 7, 2011, 1:23 am

    So much love it!…

  • Darlene July 27, 2011, 1:54 am

    I like this story very much πŸ™‚
    I think some other people Can relate to this story ..
    Like ME

  • Gem July 25, 2011, 8:07 am

    Are you married Laura? Just curious. πŸ™‚

  • Padmini July 23, 2011, 3:59 am

    A very nice story. We should not judge a person with physique. Laura the Great !!!!!

  • Peeyush July 19, 2011, 8:31 am

    These are amazing replies by LAURA. It is her opinion about herself that matters for her . she has good opinion about herself . therefore she has mastered her life . May she always remain like this and May God bless her for spreading happiness in the world.

  • Girlygirl July 12, 2011, 9:26 am

    I want to meet Laura!

  • Miah July 3, 2011, 4:45 am

    Nice story

  • Pawan July 2, 2011, 11:05 pm

    I am delighted reading this story….. a happy life has nothing to do with ur size,,, Laura proves it perfectly.

  • Aroonkumar June 24, 2011, 1:15 pm

    This story is awesome!! I too had a friend like laura! Really a nice one, felt glad reading this!!

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