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Over the course of the last 4 years with Comfy Fat I have been adamantly searching for, documenting, and sharing ways to make life more comfortable for myself and other superfats living in a world made for thin people. Whether it’s about flying while fat, plus size overalls, or binding for big babes, inaccessibility abounds. It affects me; it affects all of us fat folks in so many realms of our lives. One of the greatest struggles I’ve run into happens in the shower.
Being cramped in a tiny, slippery space while trying to acrobatically reach each glorious roll has been everywhere from exhausting to dangerous. In your everyday shower, I find that my feet hurt from standing pretty quickly. I don’t move very fast, so I often have to prioritize what I can get done in the time that my body will allow. I can’t reach my undercarriage and every time the shower curtain presses up against me I swear I’m about to absolutely lose it! Why couldn’t they just make these spaces wider?
Have you ever felt personally victimized by your shower?
This spatial discomfort does not encourage me to shower, and I’ve definitely pushed the limit with not getting in there frequently enough. If it hurts so much, what’s motivating me to do it after a long day? Emotionally, showering has absolutely wrecked me. I’ve had panic attacks and sobbed, naked on the floor because I wanted to give up trying. And the thought of having to suffer through showering forever leaves me feeling broken. It’s not just discouraging, it’s heartbreaking. Unfortunately, showering is crucial to staying clean. There are risks to not keeping up with our hygiene, like rashes and sores. And anti-chafe methods are great, but can only prevent so much.
I’ve had to learn how to be resilient and keep trying to find ways to make showering more fat-friendly. I’ve had to try a lot of products and just keep getting in the shower. My goal has been to find ways to make showering more accessible not only for my physical health, but for my mental health as well. I want to enjoy it and find relief in showering. And I think I’ve finally done it. If you’re looking for a broader post on all kinds of hygiene related recommendations, you can find that here.
But in this post about hygiene, I’d like to highlight my top 6 most impactful recommendations to make a shower more fat-friendly.
Goal: Provides an opportunity to rest. Extend and take full advantage of low body pain time.
This Teak Shower Stool is my best friend while I’m getting clean. A few things you will notice about this stool: the price tag and the weight limit. Coming in at $117 this stool is going to feel like it’s breaking your bank. Teak is one of the strongest wood materials you can find a shower stool made out of. I’m happy to report, I can personally vouch for this stool being sturdy and comfortable for over 2 years, as someone who is over 500lbs.
This is a quality investment. It has been well worth the money, for that added peace of mind while in the shower. I can extend the length of my shower and spend my time focusing on self care instead of how much pain my feet are in. I highly recommend this stool if you can afford it. Pro tip: Pull it away from the corner or wall a bit, to give yourself some more space to relax!
Need something a little more affordable? Try this 500lb capacity shower chair from OasisSpace.
Goal: Maximize your shower space, get that annoying, distracting curtain off your shoulder.
BINO’s Expandable Shower Curtain Rod boasts adding 33% more space to your shower and y’all, I didn’t realize until I’d tried it just how much I needed that extra 33%. It truly makes a difference between frustratingly smacking the shower curtain away from me every few minutes and completely forgetting the curtain is there. What’s it like to not be distracted by the smallness of a space? What’s it like to calmly focus on the hygiene task at hand without feeling shame about not fitting in the shower? Add a curved shower curtain rod and you’ll be able to feel that relief.
Goal: Extend your reach and maximize angles and areas you can rinse.
I’m not sure why detachable showerheads are not the standard in the US at this point. Showering without one of these bad boys feels like it barely counts as a shower. How am I to be expected to rinse areas from beneath? Am I supposed to throw cups of water up and around and hope for the best? Physics just doesn’t work to my advantage with a standard showerhead. A detachable showerhead is a game changer when it comes to reaching places and being able to flush areas with water that otherwise might be missed. If you have ever suffered from cysts, rashes, or infections, being able to push targeted water to that area can be vital for healing. I recommend finding one with the longest hose possible! This one from AquaDance has an extra long 72” hose and I find that wraps around my big body nicely.
4. Long Handled Loofah and Razor
Goal: More reach to scrub! More reach to shave! Less frustration with areas unreached.
Despite the fact that the photos always consist of your average thin white person who can be perceived as able bodied, there are tons of long-handled tools out there that are perfect for fat folks and people with limited mobility and reach. One of my most used long-handled tools is this loofah with a 15” wooden handle. The wooden handle part is very important. I have found that not all long-handled loofahs can withstand the necessary vigorous scrubbing between my apron belly and thigh bits. On multiple occasions, the plastic handled ones have snapped in half, mid-scrub, leaving me with no way to reach the remainder of my body. Not cool, not fun. Get one with a wooden handle for just 7 bucks.
Speaking of long-handled tools that I highly recommend, this 16” handled razor is one of my favorite new finds! It folds in half for easier storage and has replaceable cartridges. I’m not one to care too much about shaving, but when I get that urge to shave my pits it’s nice to know that I can manage it with very little body pain thanks to the extended reach!
Goal: Maximize ease of cleaning a spot out of reach.
One of the hardest places to reach, no doubt, are my feet. I can lean against a wall or sit on my stool, bend, and use my long handled loofah and still feel like it’s impossible to get in between my toes just right. I found this extra large silicone foot scrubbing mat that provides much more space to rub and scrub my feet on, without even having to look down. Where are my feet? Who cares, I know I can squeeze some soap onto the mat and rub my feet against it while I sit and know I’m getting a good clean. It also feels great for stimulating circulation!
Goal: Relief, preventative. Gentle soothing body wash with a purpose.
And finally, what would this list be without Remedy Soap? This is a natural and organic shower gel that helps relieve and soothe skin irritations. I listed this as both providing relief and preventative care because I truly feel that using exclusively Remedy Soap as my main shower gel has drastically improved the healing time from those tender, hot, skin rashes that sometimes show up between my folds. It also means those rashes are showing up much less often, because the soap truly cleans and penetrates deep to remove stink and germs better than any other soap I’ve tried. It’s soothing, moisturizing, and strong. This stuff works wonders if you notice having strong body odor. Trust me on this, your rolls and creases will thank you. And Remedy Soap smells real nice too.
If you have ever felt like you were being personally victimized by your shower, I understand. It felt re-traumatizing to me, honestly, trying over and over again to work within a space that was not designed with my body in mind. It certainly did not cultivate an environment where I was set up for success. I was discouraged and in worse pain after every shower, hardly providing any motivation to want to jump back in next time. Upgrading my shower space made a huge difference!
The combination of these 6 items allow me to feel what I imagine thin able bodied folks feel when they shower: Relief. Relaxation. Soothing hygienic care. So if you’re feeling miserable while you’re in there, and find yourself hesitating to get back in, I highly recommend trying out these small changes to maximize space and reach. You deserve a comfortable space to properly care for your body. Ditch the shame and upgrade your space.