Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 6, 2010

Suck It Fatosphere.

Filed under: Suck it,TELLING YOU THINGS,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 6:04 pm

A pal and I were chatting last night about The Fat Mafia.

Okay, she didn’t call it The Fat Mafia but it seems fitting.  Apparently a college friend of hers was a pretty big deal –no pun intended– in the size-acceptance world and then –horror of horrors– she lost weight.

She went from very very fat to merely very fat.  She “sold out” they said.


I don’t even get it.  Is the fatosphere REALLY the body police now? Isn’t that kind of what we’re fighting AGAINST? Because I think it is, and to call someone a sell-out because she changed her body size? That is crackery of the highest order and if you subscribe to that nonsense you deserve a life of bad chocolate, worse sex and unflatteringly back-lit polyester chiffon.

Listen. You don’t owe it to me or anyone else in the universe to be fat or thin or tall or short or anything at all except for healthy for your kids if you’ve got ’em, and that’s not even because I care all that much about your special little snowflakes, but I’m a sucker and somehow I’d probably end up taking care of them and oh God won’t SOMEBODY think of my white furniture?!

The point is this:

If you’re fat and you’re at peace with being fat? Stay fat. I don’t care.

If you’re fat and you don’t WANT to be at peace with it?  Get less fat.  Again, and I think perhaps you might be sensing a theme, I don’t care.

It’s your body and you don’t have to justify it.

Does this mean you get to expect everyone to approve of you? No. If you swallow a tapeworm because the boy you like only digs girls who look like Puccini heroines in the last act, I’m going to laugh at you. Hard. And probably make a bitchy comment about your daddy not showing up to enough ballet recitals. BUT. Other people’s disapproval is the price you pay for living the life you want, and it’s worth every penny.

When I first took this gig, I knew I wanted it to be for Big Girls, but not just for the type of Big Girl who wore plus-size clothing.

Anyone who knows what it’s like to feel excluded for being “different” is a Big Girl.

Anyone whose mother ever crushingly raised an eyebrow and asked if you *needed* that slice of pie is a Big Girl.

Anyone who looked in the mirror one day with bad lighting and acne and said “Well, this is who I am so I better start loving it” is a Big Girl.

Anyone who just needs to take up more room because that much love, affection, personality and style simply *cannot* be contained is a Big Girl, and if that means you’re a man, woman, thin, fat, gay, straight, confused or just a really well-trained labradoodle with access to an iPhone, if you like this site you’re a Big Girl and I don’t give a chocolate-covered damn what your scale says about it. You are welcome here.


  1. You know the Manolo, he is sometimes the tad hyperbolic…



    P.S. You are all indeed most super fantastic!

    Comment by Manolo — April 8, 2010 @ 12:16 am

  2. >Harry, telling people that the way the interpret their own experience, and the feelings they have in response to those experiences, is most certainly rude.

    This is where we disagree. Also, you’re missing a verb there somewhere. I don’t think all feelings are equally valid and worthy of support. Sometimes someone is just being a self-pitying, self centered mess, and it really isn’t all about you, and the kindest thing one can do is point it out.

    And that goes for the overweight and the non-overweight.

    Comment by Harri P. — April 8, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  3. >P.S. You are all indeed most super fantastic!

    Not me, I’m wearing Crocs!

    Comment by Harri P. — April 8, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  4. You know, it really sucks when someone blasts a large group of people based on second hand information without linking to anything directly.

    I’m guessing you’re talking about when Hanne Blank (noted awesome fat activist) started a blog “The Fickle Finger of Fat” to document her attempt to lose weight. The blog has since been deleted (you can get some of the material via the Internet Wayback machine:*hh_/

    She intended it to be provocative. She did not anticipate all of the upset/outcry but she knew that she would get some. Reactions varied widely. You can read about that here: Please note no one in any of those linked posts called Hanne a sell out. Hanne got support for her individual decision and her personal bodily autonomy. The issue of what it means to call yourself a fat activist *and* pursue deliberate weightloss is really complicated and people have a variety of personal opinions. I think you’re doing your readers, and yourself, a disservice to reduce a complicated painful discussion to some kind of “mean girls” situation, especially without actually reading about the discussion. Google “fickle finger of fat” and you’ll find a TON more posts about this.

    Comment by Julia — April 8, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  5. Kate, I don’t think most FA supporters think of HAES as bad. It’s more that on certain occasions I have seen some fatosphere posters have negative reactions to the *results* that moving your body more and eating nutritious food have for some people, i.e. weight loss. When people share that result, some posters get very righteous; it seems OK with them if HAES results in stable weight, but not in weight loss. Certainly I am not saying every poster, or even the majority of posters, are this way, but I have encountered it. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a specific instance.

    However, the main point of my post is that we can love our bodies and still want to make changes that will result in a different (and yes, possibly thinner) body, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to accept that you only have today, and hating your body isn’t going to magically change it or your life.

    Comment by Orora — April 8, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  6. Orora, it seems we agree about HAES, I am just shocked to hear you say you’ve seen FA folks say that losing weight is itself a bad thing. Nowhere have I ever seen this sentiment, and I’ve been reading and participating in the fatosphere for almost a decade.

    What I HAVE seen is people wanting to be patted on the back for losing weight; to be congratulated. Rarely do FA people congratulate weight loss, because to us, it is a potential–but not necessary–side effect to making healthy changes and the actual health results, such as feeling better, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. are what the FA generally celebrates. If people who have lost weight have been criticized or had posts deleted it is not just because they lost weight; it is for however they were framing their weight loss that was found to be offensive. I would encourage you to keep your eyes open next time you see this happen to see if I’m right. Perhaps somehow I missed it, I am always open to being wrong. I just, as I said, have been part of the fatosphere for a looooong time and have never once seen what you describe. I’ve seen a lot of people claim it’s happening; I’ve never once seen it actually happen.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  7. Harri,

    We do, apparently, have to agree to disagree. But, I would encourage you to think that it is very often the opposite of kind to “point out” that you think someone is overreacting. For one thing, you can never be in that person’s experience; as much as you might want to think you understand where they are coming from you simply don’t. Therefore, claiming that we can is a very arrogant thing. Thinking that we can understand someone’s complete reality from an online discussion group disregards their complex humanity and treats them as “less than.”

    For another thing, it is a common misconception that feelings are sometimes inappropriate. Feelings themselves are never “inappropriate” because we can’t control them. If I feel sad because I see a commercial on TV that yet again holds up a beauty ideal that my body doesn’t conform to, that is no different from me realizing that I need to use the toilet. These are chemical and physiological processes within the brain that we cannot control. What we can control is what we do with our feelings. And choosing to wallow in those feelings is one way to behave that is not the healthiest. Another example is anger; anger itself is not right or wrong, but behaving violently out of anger IS wrong. Therefore, it is never, ever okay to tell someone that what they are feeling is wrong. It can be okay, in limited times, to as Mifty put it, “ask for context or point out a possible misinterpretation of events,” but again, this is not something you can do as a blanket statement to an entire community and as a rule of thumb, it is also not something you can do to anyone you just know online.

    I really hope you will give this some thought, because even if I’m wrong about feelings having validity, the fact of the matter is that people simply don’t respond well to being told that they are overreacting. It hurts people deeply, it makes them rebellious, it makes them defensive. It is not productive. I happen to think that makes perfect sense because it is insensitive and rude, you happen to think that it’s not rude. But either way, whether you’re right or I’m right, that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t work anyway. It doesn’t help. Period.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  8. > Feelings themselves are never “inappropriate” because we can’t control them.

    Oh baloney, of course we can. We can tell ourselves to get over ourselves.

    >But either way, whether you’re right or I’m right, that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t work anyway. It doesn’t help. Period.

    Yes, of course it can. It doesn’t always, but sometimes it does.

    And please, spare me the patronizing claptrap about giving your ideas some thought. I have. I still completely disagree with you.

    Comment by Harri P. — April 8, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  9. @Orora: Unfortunately, I cannot give you a specific instance.

    I can think of a specific instance that happened on this blog back in its earlier days. Francesca made a post about how she had decided that, for health reasons, she needed to make some changes regarding diet and exercise and lose some weight. She, as I recall, pointed out in her post that she was doing so not specifically because she wanted to be thinner, but because she needed to get healthier. She was happy to have found a good nutritionist who was giving her reasonable advice as to how to accomplish her goals, and she shared that advice in her post.

    As I said, this was some time ago, and I’m not sure how to go about finding the original post, but there were several commenters who were upset about the post and some even stated that they were going to stop reading this blog because they didn’t want to hear anything to do with losing weight because of medical issues, even though Francesca was not saying “Everyone should do this, and here’s how;” she was merely saying, “This is what I’m doing, and here’s why.” Some people told her that if this were truly a fat acceptance blog, she shouldn’t talk about wanting to lose weight for any reason. There were also several supportive comments, but I remember being a bit taken aback by the amount of flack she got from some of the commenters.

    Comment by Cat — April 8, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  10. (because the VAST majority of fatshionista is OOTD’s, sales posts, etc.)

    Oh, you mean the OOTD’s that no one under size 16 can post? That edict came down a few months ago, and that was when I ditched the LJ Fatshionista. Even though I wear an 18 (most of the time), I thought it was crappy to exclude OOTD posts from people who are considered plus-size by the fashion industry and often mean-girled by other online fashion communities.

    Comment by Chicklet — April 8, 2010 @ 11:23 am

  11. Cat, that is an example of intentional weight loss, though, which is different from weight loss as an unintentional side effect of healthier changes. The FA movement has typically taken a very hard line against intentional weight loss, and I think it’s for the better. We have to be defined by something.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  12. Harri,

    I apologize for coming across as patronizing. That was not my intent, but I will consider different ways to word things in the future so that it is less like to happen again.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  13. Chicklet,

    I don’t know much about fashion communities because frankly, my only fashion concerns are basically “do I look decent in this, is it occasion-appropriate, and is it comfortable?” :) But, I am torn about the decision that fatshionista mods made there. I don’t think they would have excluded someone who wears a 14/16 in Lane Bryant clothes, but maybe someone who wears a 14 in straight Old Navy sizes–because let’s be honest, there is a huge difference between an Old Navy straight 14 and an LB 14/16!

    Basically, they had to draw the line somewhere, and wherever it was, the people just under that line were going to feel excluded :( I don’t know what the answer is, because I see the problem with having a community that is called FATshionista, where most of the OOTD’s were coming in from people in the 12-14-16 size range… it’s not exactly welcoming to folks who are higher up. Anyway, yes, it is a tough call. I don’t clearly come down on one side or the other, except to say that I can see what is motivating both sides.

    But what I really don’t think it’s about is prejudice against people who lose weight. It is, instead, their attempt to privilege those who experience the least size privilege in the wider society. Life is rough for a size 14 woman, I grant you that. But based on size alone, she has no idea how rough it is for someone who is a size 24. Attempting to privilege the size 24 voice is not the same as silencing the size 14 voice…

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  14. @ Katie Brilliantly exposited. Thank you. There are many times as a large woman I get the impression that many fat-blog posts smell of the sentiment “I’m fat at size 16 but at least I’m not one of those REAL fat slobs over a size 20″…when I am well over a size 20. I’m not generally sensitive so I ignore it, but that stuff can be there. And having cycled through the 14/16 to size 30 range, I can say without reservation that your clothing choices at the fat hate aimed at you is very different at each end of those spectrums.

    @ the Manolo. No problemo. Clearly you might have been pushed into a heightened emotional state by that heinous pair of Stella McCartney’s you have up today. Most upsetting.

    Comment by Lisa — April 8, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  15. Katie, but what’s wrong with intentional weight loss that Cat mentioned? From what Cat says, Francesca wasn’t telling others they should do it or doing it to “be thinner”. She did what she needed to do for her health. To me, and I admit I am not particularly active on FA blogs, the focus should be on health. People can be fat and healthy, and they can be less fat and healthy. Why is the very act of weight loss so off-putting? I know it can be triggering, but so can living in the world. As long as someone isn’t telling me how to do it or implying I’m a bad person for not doing it, *I* am responsible for how I respond to their life choices. I am not entitled to go through life without being offended. But I also understand the need for “safe places”. That’s why I say I see both sides. It’s not a simple issue, and I certainly wouldn’t want to imply that it is.

    I do agree with you that feelings are never inappropriate. Reactions to the feelings can be directed in a more healthy manner; the feelings themselves are not good or bad. They just are. And by the same token, if people feel they are being attacked for losing weight, that feeling is absolutely real to them, whether the person making the comment intends it or not.

    Comment by Orora — April 8, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  16. so i had to google ‘fatosphere’ because i had no idea what the hullabaloo was about. apparantly it is blogs concerning weight? meh, so not interested. live your life how you want to, or dont, but let others make their own choices. i read plumcake for the fashion, not the fat.

    Comment by spritle — April 8, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  17. Orora,

    There are several concerns I have with talking about intentional weight loss. One is that scientifically, there is no known way to make people thinner. In fact, dieting and calorie restriction the vast majority of the time lead to weight gain and heart problems later in life (because fatness isn’t related to heart disease, but weight cycling is). So for that reason, intentional weight loss is actually often antithetical to health goals. I just had a conversation with my endocrinologist about this a few days ago–intentional weight loss will often lead people to abandon better-health measures (like exercise and healthful diet) because they are not seeing the weight loss results they hoped for or expected.

    The second reason is that trying to lose weight necessarily puts a value on bodies based on their size. And this value is more than health value–it’s beauty value, social value, etc. It says that it is “better” to be thinner. That is not really fitting in with a FA viewpoint.

    The bottom line is, no, I’m not going to tell anyone that they can’t or shouldn’t try to lose weight. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for folks in the FA community to take a stance on intentional weight loss as being antithetical to Fat Acceptance and Health At Every Size Principles.

    When it comes to triggering, which is another concern I have with intentional weight loss posts, sure you are right that the world is triggering. But do you really mean to say that you think that it is not okay for FA bloggers to try to create a place–just ONE place!!–where they won’t be triggered? I mean, I just breathe a breath of fresh air when I’m reading certain fat bloggers because I know, this is the one place–the ONE place–in my entire reality where people are not going to trigger my ED. I don’t know why the fact that “you get triggered everywhere else” should mean we shouldn’t try to create a place where we’re not triggered.

    A final word on feelings. Yes, feelings are inappropriate, but actions in response to feelings can very much be appropriate. Plumcake is talking about *someone else’s* feelings–in fact, someone twice removed from her–and calling the entire fatosphere “the fat mafia.” That, to me, is pretty much the definition of an action that is unreasonable. If Plumcake’s friend’s friend felt upset or bullied or excluded then there are many different ways she could have expressed that feeling. It is also important to note that feelings are different from interpretations. We may feel like we are being attacked or excluded as a whole person, when really someone is just calling into question our ideas (not feelings) about weight loss. The fact that feelings are not right or wrong doesn’t give us license to do whatever we want with them, and it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take some time to think about where the other person is coming from.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  18. oops, first line in the last paragraph should read: “feelings are always appropriate” not “feelings are inappropriate”! whoops!

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  19. Holy Crap!!! Please take this self righteous diatribe somewhere else and lets get back to the wonderous prose of Plumcake! Please!!! All for this proposal say “AYE”! All opposed….go away… LOL!!!

    Comment by Jennie — April 8, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  20. I haven’t had time to read all the comments but this post reminds me of Monique. If you don’t know her, she’s a big girl and proud of it. She was even bigger and proud of that, too. However, when her husband mentioned that he was getting worried about her health, she decided to be proactive and shed a few pounds. Now, she’s still a big girl, but she mentioned that she received a lot of complaints from some of her fans who felt that she had “betrayed” them by having the audacity to lose weight. I thought that was pretty ridiculous. Were they her fans only because she was large or for her work?

    Comment by enygma — April 8, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  21. Also, I forgot to mention that I every fat acceptance activist I know of, and every fat acceptance blog I know of are HUGE supporters of HAES. I first learned about HAES from …. the Fatosphere.

    Comment by Julia — April 8, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  22. Julia,

    I somehow missed your previous post about Hanne Blank… thanks for the back story, because while I’ve been participating in Fat Acceptance online for awhile, I managed to miss all that.

    The issue is indeed complicated, and people seem to have very strong emotional reactions to all of this (quite naturally!). This is why I think it is so important to stick to the facts and avoid vilifying each other.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  23. I learned about HAES from FA, too. I’m a big fan of it, and the FA movement. Please don’t think I believe FA hates HAES. I’m indebted to both for helping me come to terms with some of my own body issues.

    Katie, I see all your points. I do. My only point is that in trying to be a safe space for some people, the Fatosphere can feel like an unsafe space for others, and their feelings of it being a not safe space for them are just as valid. It’s incumbent upon all of us to put ourselves into others’ stilettos and try to not generalize.

    I hope we can agree to disagree, Katie. I’ve had a great conversation with you, and I think you’re darned smart and articulate. And, since you read this blog, probably super-fantastic, as well!

    Can we talk about shoes now? :)

    Comment by Orora — April 8, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  24. Orora, we can definitely agree to disagree–I have appreciated the dialogue!

    I also think your name is beautiful; is that your “real life” name or a chosen online user name?

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  25. Cat, that is an example of intentional weight loss, though, which is different from weight loss as an unintentional side effect of healthier changes. The FA movement has typically taken a very hard line against intentional weight loss, and I think it’s for the better. We have to be defined by something.

    See, this is where you fall down in my estimation. Because the FA movement has been focusing not on the acceptance of fat people by society but the acceptance of fat people of their own fat. I simply cannot accept a movement that casts measures taken by a fat person to improve their health as a betrayal if those measures include intentional weight loss, even if weight loss is medically indicated.

    You say you’re unfamiliar with the whole Hanne Blank brouhaha. I was involved in that, which you may find in your Googling. Suffice to say I wasn’t terribly impressed by the arguments of those who questioned her commitment to fat/size acceptance because she had some orthopedic issues that would respond positively to weight loss. And regardless of what you’ve claimed, yes there were indeed a number of people who expressed feelings of betrayal at her decision and at her decision to write about it. Some of them showed up in my comments section. So did some other people who were appalled that anyone would feel betrayed by someone who had made a decision about her own body, in consultation with her doctor.

    Doesn’t “Health at Every Size” include taking care of one’s health regardless of one’s size? Doesn’t it encompass changing one’s size if one’s size is negatively affecting one’s health?

    And a word about your claim (one that I see a lot) that attempts to lose weight result in weight gain and a messed-up metabolism: losing weight often means losing muscle mass, which, yes, can affect metabolism. But metabolism is elastic; if muscle mass is regained, the effects can be corrected.

    Finally, I have to ask: you’ve dominated comments to this post with your rather spirited and at times condescending* responses to Plumcake and those who agree with her. What’s it to you?

    * Your word. And before you go there, I’ve also considered all the arguments, and simply disagree.

    Comment by zuzu — April 8, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  26. I’m with Jennie. I read Plumcake because she is interesting and fun – including this post. But these comments!!! word to the wise – “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

    Comment by Anne — April 8, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  27. zuzu,

    Condescending was not my word, it was Harri’s. I don’t

    A plethora of scientific studies show that attempts at weight loss, in the vast majority of people, are only successful (if at all) in the short term, and people put back on the weight, plus more, long term. The fact is, scientifically speaking we just don’t know how to make people thin. Furthermore, dieting with the goal of weight loss is actually harmful to our health. Non-dieters (who learn intuitive eating) are more successful at boosting health than dieters. And attempts at weight loss, leading to weight cycling, are related to heart problems later in life (Campos, The Obesity Myth). In fact, people who are obese have lower risk of cardiac death than underweight and normal weight people (according to BMI). This is not something I “claim,” the science speaks for itself.

    There may be cases where someone’s weight puts strain on his or her joints, but that doesn’t mean weight loss is possible or even optimal for other aspects of that person’s health. And just because a doctor recommends it doesn’t mean it’s right. For more than a decade, my own serious metabolism-related health problems have gone undiagnosed by doctors who just kept telling me to “lose weight and come back” without realizing that my health problems weren’t caused by my weight, my weight was a result of my health problems. In any case, people’s individual decisions about their body are always up to them; I am a strong supporter in bodily autonomy. But there are certain choices that are not compatible with FA and/or HAES philosophies. It doesn’t make those people bad people, but it also doesn’t mean that specific attempts to lose weight can be reconciled with FA/HAES.

    What’s it to me? The title of this post is “suck it, fatosphere.” I’m part of the fatosphere. So she’s talking to me. That’s what it is to me. A lot of people who disagree with me have just ignored me here, so I might also pose the question to you; what’s it to you how much, and what, I post here in response to this thread?

    To you and everyone else; I think I’ve pretty much said all I can say here. If anyone wishes to converse with me further, my name links to my site. It’s unlikely I’ll be returning to this thread.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  28. shoot, I caught my mistake too late. Delete “I don’t” from the first line.

    Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  29. And just because a doctor recommends it doesn’t mean it’s right.

    As opposed to someone on the internet?

    Comment by zuzu — April 9, 2010 @ 12:36 am

  30. A lot of people who disagree with me have just ignored me here, so I might also pose the question to you; what’s it to you how much, and what, I post here in response to this thread?

    I was curious as to why you were so defensive, and why in an 80-comment thread your name popped up every third post or so.

    As for me, I’m one of those fatties who doesn’t feel represented by the fatosphere. I’d much prefer the FA movement, such as it is, direct its efforts toward ending discrimination towards fatties in accommodations, employment and healthcare rather than cajoling us to embrace our fat and shaming us if we aren’t happy with our present weight and would like to change it. I have a lifetime to come to grips with my size, but what would really help in the meantime would be knowing I can’t get fired or denied health insurance or made to purchase a second seat because NAAFA’s legal and legislative arm got those things made into law.

    Comment by zuzu — April 9, 2010 @ 12:43 am

  31. There are an awful lot of TLA’s in these comments: is there a glossary somewhere?

    Comment by raincoaster — April 9, 2010 @ 2:29 am

  32. raincoaster, I see FA (Fat Acceptance), HAES (Health at Every Size), and OOTD (not certain, but I think Outfit of the Day), along with some Internet standards. OOTD is the one that threw me, too.

    Comment by TeleriB — April 9, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  33. @ Anne Brevity is also the source of a lot of miscommunication and vagueness. I write books; I also write op-eds–and I know which one has the more complex thinking conveyed. People feel strongly, and I think FA is a pretty complicated topic…so it takes some time to explain. We don’t have 80 comment threads very often, nor do we have long comments all that often.

    Comment by Lisa — April 9, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  34. Zuzu wrote: Doesn’t “Health at Every Size” include taking care of one’s health regardless of one’s size? Doesn’t it encompass changing one’s size if one’s size is negatively affecting one’s health?

    Yes to the first question. No to the second. HAES is a holistic, weight-neutral approach to health, which means whether someone gains, loses or stabilizes weight is of lesser concern than the adoption of long-term, sustainable behaviors that promote improved health. HAES is predicated on the belief that for most people, joyful movement and intuitive eating will allow their body to settle in a healthy weight range for them.

    And I have to agree with Katie and others here in that I don’t think it’s fair to assassinate what is a loosely-organized, mostly online movement of very diverse people based on one person’s negative experience. Sure, there are folks in the Fatosphere who believe that weight loss of any kind represents “selling out.” But then there are also folks (like me) who are much more moderate in their views on weight and health.

    Comment by Rachel — April 9, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  35. Yes to the first question. No to the second. HAES is a holistic, weight-neutral approach to health, which means whether someone gains, loses or stabilizes weight is of lesser concern than the adoption of long-term, sustainable behaviors that promote improved health. HAES is predicated on the belief that for most people, joyful movement and intuitive eating will allow their body to settle in a healthy weight range for them.

    Joyful movement’s a little difficult if your joints are shot to hell from injury and your weight is preventing you from moving as well as you could on your damaged joints. It’s easy to dismiss someone’s motives as not-health-related when you don’t live in their body.

    I guess what I always find amusing is that the people in the fatosphere who are quick to say “diets don’t work” are really hard to pin down on what they mean by “diets.” Because no question, extreme dieting is damaging. But there are also “diets,” for lack of a better term, that resemble HAES in every particular except motive yet are scoffed at.

    BTW, I have nothing against HAES and in fact think it’s a great approach to one’s own health *if* that’s what one wants. I just think some of its proponents aren’t thinking about health as holistically as they could.

    Comment by zuzu — April 9, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  36. And I have to agree with Katie and others here in that I don’t think it’s fair to assassinate what is a loosely-organized, mostly online movement of very diverse people based on one person’s negative experience.

    “Suck it” is assassination?

    Comment by zuzu — April 9, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  37. alright, I am late to get back to the party and everybody has gone home now but I would like to respond to Katie here:

    First – this is EXACTLY what I mean. Mis-interpreting everything that people say is what makes peoples life more difficult. I was not trying to say “oh ya fatties, shut up and just ignore the hate” – that’s not who I am. In retrospect I realize there is no good way to say that to a group of people. As I said, my best friends taught me how to be more confident and how to try and see things in perspective and when I originally submitted my post to Fatshionista (that was about two years ago by the way), I intended it to be an uplifting post, kind of like “guys, the world seems bleak but it’s not as bleak as you might think.” But that is something that I could say to a friend not to a bunch of people who don’t know me (though I WAS pretty active on Fatshionista at that time, also posting pics of my OOTD – so they should have at least known that I am not an intruder because fat – I am – undeniably) because there are a million ways you can interpret it.

    So yeah, maybe it was a mistake to try to cheer people up and make them more confident. English is also not my native language so sometimes I have problems expressing things exactly the way I want to express them. BUT banning me and calling me a troll when I have exposed a lot of myself on that website for a long time? I think that was not cool.

    But ANYWAY. I am not anti-fatosphere at all. As I said before I still am part of other groups and I read a lot of fat-positive blogs. Just that one LJ group is done for me.

    And about the cliquishness – please. You can’t deny that there is cliquishness on Fatshionista (to be fair, it might have changed in the last few years). The “cool” people get a million comments on their posts and the new-commers or people who aren’t as loved get hardly any. And I have seen plenty of snakiness on there too. You might say “Well, you have that everywhere” but I used to read a lot of wedding blogs and now I am totally into home-improvement and cooking blogs and I never, ever, ever see any snarky comments on there.

    Comment by Ali — April 11, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  38. TeleriB, thanks for the decoding. The only one I knew was FA. More proof the fatosphere can indeed be cliquey.

    Comment by raincoaster — April 12, 2010 @ 1:01 am

  39. “Other people’s disapproval is the price you pay for living the life you want, and it’s worth every penny.”

    These are words to live by.

    Comment by Linda — April 12, 2010 @ 8:12 am

  40. Harri P. Says

    Geez, rude much? How does being a self-centered bitch solve anything? Katie was FAR MORE polite to you than you deserved. Maybe you should take note, and maybe you’ll learn something from the process.

    zuzu Says

    A diet is when a person intentionally reduces calorie and fat intake for the purpose of losing weight – very rarely does this diet get chosen for health reasons. This is what the FA movement takes issue with. Most diets are chosen for the purpose of looking better physically, and I’m not going to support that.

    HAES is not a diet. One component of HAES, described by Jon Robison:

    Normalized Eating: Support for discarding externally-imposed rules and regimens for eating and attaining a more peaceful relationship with food by relearning to eat in response to physiological hunger and fullness cues.

    Dieting would fall under that “externally-imposed” rule and regimen.

    Exercise is described as, “support for increasing social, pleasure-based movement for enjoyment and enhanced quality of life.” Being disabled does not keep you out of this category – there are many ways to get active even if you are to the point where you can’t leave a sitting position. If you can only raise your arms up in the air, you are starting the process.

    The benefits of HAES blows dieting for “health” out of the water. There is no such thing as a diet for “health.” How is forcing yourself to eat less and engage in exercise you absolutely loathe and have to FORCE yourself to do healthy?

    I’m sorry you are dissatisfied with the FA movement, but don’t extrapolate upon it. The FA movement has help far more women (even if just emotionally) than your negativity has.

    Comment by Sarah — April 13, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

  41. “Suck it” is assassination?

    Character assassination, yes.

    I don’t understand why so many people have bugs up their asses about the FA movement. Well, actually, I do – it’s a social movement that is attacking old notions of health and physical appearance. Like most social movements, it deals in black/white morality and idealism. I don’t see these concepts as bad things, I see them as necessary. It’s a movement attacking conventional wisdom, which is why it’s so uncomfortable to most people.

    FA sees dieting for what it really is – body modification in the pursuit of an “ideal” imposed by outsiders. Very few people diet for health reasons – you don’t have to diet in order to GET healthy in the first place! It’s all BS, and I’m sorry so many people fall for it.

    There was a post in the FA movement a while ago you should all read:

    Comment by Sarah — April 13, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

  42. It’s great that you’re not defensive about this.

    Comment by raincoaster — April 13, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  43. This, Plumcake, is one of the reasons why I feel you’re the best part of the manolo blog umbrella. Even if I’m strictly speaking lack even one literal dress sized plus to my name, you have content I enjoy and that can apply to me.

    Just because it fits, doesn’t mean I fit in.

    Comment by Phalene — July 29, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  44. Plumcake, you rock. I have gone from a size 24 to a size 16 but I am still at heart, a BIG GIRL. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Comment by javajeanelaine — December 4, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

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