Body Image as a Tourist


Last night before the sun set I walked down Sussex Drive – the Pennsylvania Avenue and Downing Street of Canada – just to say I passed by the prime minister’s and governor general’s houses. And for the exercise, but as the blisters on my already most calloused toes tell, I’ve done a fuck-tonne of that already.

But in tourist areas, you can tell the tourists from the locals and notice that the locals who serve tourist hubs are more attractive and thinner. I’m clearly not suited for that industry, by those standards, and it touches a sensitive spot.

But when I was walking down Sussex Drive I was passed by a woman a size smaller than me who was jogging. Few tourists go jogging during their trips, and this was in the evening after the local attractions had closed down. I felt a connection with a local, because there was a non-skinny person living an active lifestyle, like I do at home (and have been doing here – as said earlier, a fuck-tonne of walking).

Overpriced restaurants will sell more to the overeaters. Eye candy will make the city look like a better place. Having a chance to jump out of that dichotomy of tourism is heartwarming. To the self-conscious eye, a thinner city image is unwelcoming. I just want to know that the people I see, the people who serve me and whom I tip, see me as more than a fat moneybag.


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