Mary Fran Donnelly’s viral TikTok videos challenge hotel facilities while ‘travelling as a fat person’

·2-min read
Mary Fran Donnelly’s viral TikTok videos challenge hotel facilities (Mary Fran Donnelly/ Instagram)
Mary Fran Donnelly’s viral TikTok videos challenge hotel facilities (Mary Fran Donnelly/ Instagram)

A teacher and body positivity advocate’s hilarious series calling out hopelessly inadequate hotel facilities for plus sized travellers is a viral hit on TikTok.

Mary Fran Donnelly’s “travelling as a fat person” series shows layouts of different hotels that are uncomfortable for someone who has a plus size. In the video, the 27-year-old social studies teacher is seen cracking jokes about design flaws in hotels with her sister.

“Let’s take a look at the bathroom,” Donnelley says in the opening of her first video. “Would you like to take a pee or a poop? Don’t worry, you’ll barely fit,” she says about a commode.

Next, she moves to the shower and tries to use the hotel’s towel to dry herself. She demonstrates how it does not fit her body.

She also tries to use other amenities such as the sitting area on the balcony. She says: “After a swim, maybe you want to go sit on the balcony.” But she ends up being unsure of whether the “lovely table and chair” will “house” her.

“I’m not too sure,” she says.

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“I cope through humour... I was making light of a situation that is a very real stress for fat, plus-size people... my sister and I could only laugh at how absurd it was,” Donnelley tells Buzzfeed.

“I donÊ»t travel alone because I worry about strangers being upset about sitting next to me on a plane. [I also wonder] will the seat be uncomfortable? Will the seat belt fit? Will the towel fit at the hotel? Will the chairs at the pool hold me? Will the tables at the hotel restaurant be comfortable?” she says, describing everyday challenges that so many people face on a daily basis.

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The TikToker also points out that these challenges often do not cross the minds of most in the travel and hospitality industry.

“But I think that it’s time that (they) do. Body shapes and image have become so relevant in recent years that there isn’t any excuse as to why hotel and travel industries cannot begin to reevaluate their practices. Fat, plus-size people deserve to be seen as valid human beings in an industry that should cater to everyone’s size and physical needs,” she says.

The series has been viewed by over 6.4 million users.

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