When Body Shaming is Part of the Culture – My Experience in Thailand

Body Shaming in Thailand

I am curvy, and I am absolutely fine with it (just want to make that clear). This isn’t a post about being ashamed of my body. It is a post to make you laugh and let things roll off your back.

I should have named this post “Big Bodies Tour Thailand”.

I went to Thailand with my partner in crime Molly back in 2013, we worked together when I lived in Colorado Springs. At work we were known as “Mischief and Mayhem”. Word got around that we were going to Thailand and people were honestly fearful that we’d be on the next season of “Locked Up Abroad”. Molly and I still have our “baby fat”…or at least that is what my mom would call it when I’d complain about my chunk in high school (as I said before, I am completely fine with being curvy now, it is more to hold on to).

Apparently we are an anomaly in Thailand, the first place we got a glimpse of this was on a zip line tour in Chiang Mai. We were instructed that we couldn’t do flips and crazy stunts on the line because we were larger. There was a dude in our group that had to be 6’1 pushing 225 lbs. and he could do all the flips he wanted. We were definitely smaller than him. Anyway, my favorite part was when our guide, who had to be all of 5’3 and 90 lbs asked Molly what she weighed in a casual conversation.

Thai Guide “Molly, how do much you weigh?”

Molly responded with her weight.

Thai Guide “WOW! That’s AMAAAAAZING! You have a big baaady.

He was genuinely in shock. Now, Molly is also pushing 5’11…she is a tall girl. Molly, being the awesome person that she is just laughed at his boldness and we giggled about it over drinks later that night.

Full Moon Party Molly & I
Mischief and Mayhem

This big body thing soon became a trend.

The next day we go ride some elephants (I do NOT suggest this…go to the Baanchang Elephant Park where these sweet babies are well taken care of). I cannot remember the place we went but it was awful. Do your research. Don’t be like us. Okay, back to being a big body. Everyone was able to ride twosies and threesie on their elephants. When Molly and I got to the loading zone, they took one look at us and we each got our own elephant. Which would have been fine, other than I’d of liked to shit talk the place with Molly while riding the elephant.

Can we say #trending?

When checking into our accommodations in Koh Phangan the owner asked which villa we wanted to stay in. We let her know the one with the best view, she looked at us up and down, raised her eyebrow, and said “are you sure you will be okay to walk up the hill?” This was the pot calling the kettle black. She was also a “Big Body”. We let her know we didn’t mind. We will be fine and we will love every second of walking up the damn hill (don’t worry, I didn’t say this last part to her). Yes, the hill was a bitch but we survived and had a fabulous view.

Side story – Notice in the picture below there is a hammock on our deck. The “bros” next to us also had a hammock. Had as in past tense. One afternoon while enjoying the sunset we heard a loud thump and a whine come from their bungalow. One of the bros was chilin’ in their hammock and it gave out, sending the bro to the floor.  At least the “Big Bodies” didn’t break their hammock. Boo-ya.

Thai Bungalow
The Bungalow Hike From Hell

Want more? I thought you would.

Snorkel tour of Ang Thong National Marine Park, the guides are filling up the boat, Molly and I are the first ones in and sit together at the back of the boat because we know what is going to happen if we sit in front they will make our big butts move. Well, after filling the boat (over) capacity they look at us, and ask us to separate. This is part of their culture, I understand, but geez, give a big body a break!

So, here is my PSA to all of you “big boned” ladies, you might get insulted about your stature just let it roll off your back, embrace your curves, drink a beer (or a delicious pineapple shake) and laugh about it.

Remember – you are here to enjoy yourself, this is part of their culture, and you are beautiful.

3 thoughts on “When Body Shaming is Part of the Culture – My Experience in Thailand”

  1. Loving the hilarity of it all and the body confidence. I have a lot to learn from you because I’m not sure I would have been able to handle that many instances. But again, it’s good to put everything into a cultural perspective!

    P.S. Great meeting you at WITS16!

    1. It is what is is. We should all be proud of what we’ve got! 🙂

      It was great meeting you as well!

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