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Old 01-17-2006, 03:27 AM   #1
SilkyAngela
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Default omfg she is not a BBW

The words of the title were posted in the pic post thread where I had posted my pictures by one of the members of a BBW/size positive forum (not this one). Perhaps I should let this go, but I feel it needs to be said since I wrote to this individual explaining how his words made me feel and yet his reply merely restated the same words that hurt me to begin with. I checked out his posts and it seems I am not the first female to come under his judgemental comments.
Where am I going with this? I want to educate you all. Not about the rules of weight or size that place us in categories. I would think that most of us have had enough of that bullshit anyways. No. I want you all to understand that the only thing more vile and disgusting than a fat-hater is a so-called Fat Admirer who then wants to exclude individuals because they are either too big or too small to fit what HE thinks is attractive. To me he is 1000 times worse to encounter because at least with a fat-hater...we all know where we stand.
I will be honest, I don't know who coined the terms we use in the plus size community. I never even knew before a year ago that there were men who found women attractive who weren't anorexic (besides my husband). I am 35 years old and have been my current size for almost 20 years. I have suffered the scorn of fat-haters and even worse I have hated myself for being unable to change what God designed me to be. So I come into this internet world of so-called size acceptance and I take refuge thinking that finally, I have found my people. I become liberated to the point of taking my clothes off for both my own and my viewers pleasure only to be attacked for it (yes, I am one of those dreaded web girls with a site). I am called a whale in other internet communities and then treated like I don't belong in the plus size community either? I am blown away!
Mind you, I would not be sharing this if it was just about his preference. If he had made his statement saying "not my cup of tea" it would be different. It was as if he was saying I should not be part of a BBW/size positive forum and was opening the door for someone else to agree and chime in. No need to address the rudeness...that much is clear and let me add that I am not bothered at all that I am not appealing to him because of my size. After 20 years of being this size and seen as too big, being too small to be attractive isn't much different.
I wanted to share this with you all to remind you that BBW or plus size boards are not just clubs where we gather and then pick and choose who belongs and who doesn't because of size. If you think I am too small to be a BBW, you are wrong.....that is like saying a SSBBW isn't a BBW. BBW is one big collective term for big beautiful women. If you want to get specific, then by all means, call me chubby or a plumper...but understand that I am still a Big Beautiful Woman. I and others like me belong in the plus size community. If we aren't what you personally find attractive, that is cool...don't be a plumper hater and be rude to us.
I have seen the beauty of all sizes and shapes in the plus size community...some bigger than me and some smaller. The most beautiful part of the community to me has always been that its members are loved, accepted, and appreciated for all they are (yes, even their sexuality)! So the words of this person have left me reeling and wondering if I have been living a fantasy for the past year. I think this guy is just one rude person who will be hurting someone whereever he goes, but we all feel the urge to voice things at times that are better left unsaid.
So if you ever feel tempted to chime in or comment to anyone's post or pics that would suggest they don't belong because of their size whether they are too big or too small for YOUR TASTE, please consider that you are no better than the bully on the playground shouting and pointing to hurt and embarass their victim and in my book you are just as bad as a fat-hater. Don't do it! Seek to unite this wonderful community of ours and not to divide. If you have nothing nice to say...duh...you know the rest!
Thank you for your time and attention,
Silky Angela
Plumpers are fat people too!
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:38 AM   #2
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I know exactly how you feel! When I was a SSBBW (size 26-28) no one disputed that I was fat. That was actually the best situation to be in, because after I dropped a lot of weight yet was still fat by the WORLD'S standards, I had lots of ppl in the SA movement saying to me (and to others), "She's not a BBW" or "she's not a BBW anymore". This was back when I was size 18! I remember trying on clothes in Lane Bryant when I was still a size 14-16....you know how the dressing rooms have a low wall? Well I heard two women in the next changing room talking about "I wonder why SHE shops here? She's not fat!" I didn't realize they were talking about me until I came out of the room and they had this guilty look toward me, avoiding my glare. Sheesh!

I don't think there is any situation worse than being too fat for the skinny world, yet too skinny for the fat world. At least when you're a size 2, OR size 22, you KNOW where you stand with EVERYBODY. But heaven help you if you're a size 10, 12 or 14 because then you belong NOWHERE.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitChick
I don't think there is any situation worse than being too fat for the skinny world, yet too skinny for the fat world. At least when you're a size 2, OR size 22, you KNOW where you stand with EVERYBODY. But heaven help you if you're a size 10, 12 or 14 because then you belong NOWHERE.
Amen sister! I am sorry that you have been made to feel the same sting I was talking about. But I am glad to know that I'm not the only one who has noticed such hypocrisy. And after posting about my experience I realize that this individual simply used me and my picture post to express his preference for girls bigger than me and from his reply to my private message, he feels entitled to use me that way. I don't expect or care to change his opinion, I just wish to spare someone else from being used that way when he could better express his preference by posting in a positive way to those who better suit his personal taste. Maybe my little rant will enlighten others who have been tempted to use this same means of expression to how it feels being subject to it.
After decades of hating my body, I have finally come to love and accept every inch of me and I make no apologies for my size. I am too damn stubborn to leave what I still see as a haven over one jerk's comments knowing full well that his attitude is shared by MANY in the SA community. If we are a minority in the community, so be it. We still belong and are still worthy of being treated with respect.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:52 AM   #4
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Thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt post, Angela. I am sorry that you were hurt in this way.

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Originally Posted by SilkyAngela
Perhaps I should let this go, but I feel it needs to be said...
Yes, it does need to be said, and you did an excellent job voicing what many BBWs have experienced. Sadly, men of his type are legion in the SA community. How do I know this? When I first became aware of this community (despite my knowledge of the existence of NAAFA) via chat in 2000, I was accused of "not being fat enough to be here." At the time I was roughly 235 lbs. and had suffered a lifetime the standard affronts and indignities that most fat people go through. So it was quite disturbing to me to hear (and be made to feel) that I didn't belong "there," either. In time I discovered that virtually all fat women (BBWs AND SSBBWs) received this same treatment at some point. I'm not saying that all men made such remarks--but just enough for me to realize that it was a common problem. The thing about this group of men...this is where I really take issue with the term "FA," because I feel that it is these such men who truly deserve that term, because they are only viewing a woman as a number on a scale (or on a measuring tape, or what have you) rather than as a human, a person with feelings. Some men are obsessed with numbers--it's just their thing. So, regardless of how heavy the heaviest woman in the community may be, still, they aren't satisfied--the titillation factor inherent in such desires requires that they demand more and more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkyAngela
I want you all to understand that the only thing more vile and disgusting than a fat-hater is a so-called Fat Admirer who then wants to exclude individuals because they are either too big or too small to fit what HE thinks is attractive.
Many people in this community voice their dissatisfaction with labels but, in instances such as this, perhaps a more distinguishing label is warranted. I think I saw, in another thread on these forums, the term WOSA, for "Women of Size Admirer," or something to that effect. Perhaps such a distinction would separate those who choose to view us as real people, potential partners, human beings who share this earthly plain with them, rather than as slabs of fat who exist for their own entertainment. I'm sure that you will receive responses from men who do NOT share this man's viewpoint; those who do will likely remain quite silent on the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkyAngela
So if you ever feel tempted to chime in or comment to anyone's post or pics that would suggest they don't belong because of their size whether they are too big or too small for YOUR TASTE, please consider that you are no better than the bully on the playground shouting and pointing to hurt and embarass their victim and in my book you are just as bad as a fat-hater.
Well said. I only hope that your sentiments will get through to at least some of them--but I'm not holding my breath on this one.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitChick
heaven help you if you're a size 10, 12 or 14 because then you belong NOWHERE.
Are you kidding me?

First of all, I don't believe in emphasis on what size you are, period. It's a subjective thing, based not only on genetics but also on the whim of clothing manufacturers ... and certainly, size is in the eye of the beholder. To many of the FA's here, a size 10 is unattractively thin. To a self-involved hausfrau, it's obscenely fat.

I doubt that many women who are a size 10, 12 or 14 would spend much time wondering where she fits in. It's average. I don't have patience for anyone who whines and mewls about feeling "fat" at this size. I have a friend who is my current size (anywhere from 8 to 12, depending on manufacturer) and she's constantly complaining about how fat she is. Finally, I just came out and asked her -- we're the same size, and if she's such a "cow", what am I? Clueless. Sheesh. I lack the same level of patience for upper-middle class morons who complain that they can't afford a bigger house/better car/nicer vacation. I'd like to drag them to India, and show them what *true* poverty looks like.

It's interesting that you consider a size 26-28 to be of "SSBBW" stature. A woman of average height could be that size and nowhere near the vicinity of 300 lbs. I was wearing that size at 270, and I'm 5'6". Within this community, that is nowhere near a SSBBW stature (some would consider it barely BBW). BTW, I really HATE that term anyway. Of course, there are lots of gorgeous fat women -- sheesh, many of the women here are -- but equating fat to beauty is akin to saying that all black/hispanic/latino/white people are beautiful just by virtue of their race.

I wish that I had time to worry about whether what clothing size I am makes me thin, fat or average. That would mean that I don't have other, graver, concerns to occupy my time.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:07 AM   #6
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FitChick, your anecdote reminds me of some things I have heard in chat, on more than one occasion. It is the stories of women who would attend organized SA functions only to be shunned by the other females, simply on the basis that they were smaller than themselves. This just blows my mind. It is one thing for this type of behavior to occur at social functions where the emphasis has always been on the social aspect alone, but some instances that I heard of firsthand occurred at NAAFA conventions (in particular, at more recent ones.) Can you imagine? I know that organizations cannot be held responsible for the actions of its members, but you would think that an organization that touts itself as "advancing size acceptance" would do a better job at getting its primary message across.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:32 AM   #7
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I hear what everyone is saying, I always thought it was just me facing this, because nobody talked about it.

I have been every size from size 28 to size 8-10 (currently), and before I got fat I was as small as size 2 (teen years), so I have "been there, done that" with just about every size in creation from 28 on down. It was especially hard for me emotionally, because I'd just discovered fat acceptance, and was really into it. I lost weight as a result of certain lifestyle changes that ironically, came about when I started to love my body and wanted to end a medical condition I had caused by poor food choices and inactivity. So I did not "ask" for the weight loss, and really felt emotionally alone and scared...I no longer knew where I fit in. It took me a couple of years to finally come to grips with it, but I remember the first feelings I had of not knowing where I belonged or who would understand.


One thing I feel sad about (I know this will sound silly)...is I miss being able to shop in stores like Lane Bryant. In my area at least, the saleswomen are very nice, friendly and down to earth. In the skinny stores, they are not friendly and seem stuck up. I don't know why that is, but I miss my old life a lot. And no one seems to understand because they just think I am "ungrateful", that I should be happy to have lost all that weight.

But bottom line, what I personally seemed to experience, attitude-wise, was(going down the weight loss scale): size 28-26, yep, you're FAT, no one will deny that, in either the thin or fat world!

Sizes 24-20....yep, still fat, just not as much.


Sizes 18-16: "you're a little overweight"

Size 14: (skinny world): "You're fat but not by much". Fat world: "BBW? Get the hell out of here!"


Sizes 12 and below: (skinny world): "You're a little overweight, better watch that!" Fat world: "Did you see that woman? She CAN'T be more than a size 12! Some BBW that is, where do these magazines get off pretending a woman of her size is plus size, LOL!"

In short: Size 20 and up: fat heaven

Size 12-14:Purgatory

Under size 12: hell
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJo67
I doubt that many women who are a size 10, 12 or 14 would spend much time wondering where she fits in. It's average.
Traci you are wrong about this. Angela is RIGHT ON for saying what she said. This isn't just a matter of looking in the mirror and feeling fat or wishing to be thinner. It's about a culture of systematic discrimination and marginalization that's just as powerful for them as it is for me at 380.

I have a sister who is a size 12. I've seen for myself the validity of the dilemma of the midsized community. At the mainstream clubs and parties, on the street, in the supermarkets she is routinely called fat. It is the first slur hurled at her by nasty people looking for something to say to inflict pain or insult. Then she comes here to a community that is supposed to be size accepting and supportive only to hear ignorant cracks from people about how she's unwelcome here because she isn't fat enough.

Just as interesting as a person thinking a size 26/28 is supersized it is not nearly as absurd as having you call a person at size 14 skinny given the climate of our culture. Could it be possible that just maybe it's your view on the subject that is a bit skewered because of your own experiences as a supersized woman? It's like saying racism is only racism when it's against blacks. When it's against Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Whites or Women it's not worthy of serious concern. Using size or status to discredit legitimate concerns elsewhere is wrong in any circumstance.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LillyBBBW
Traci you are wrong about this. Angela is RIGHT ON for saying what she said. This isn't just a matter of looking in the mirror and feeling fat or wishing to be thinner. It's about a culture of systematic discrimination and marginalization that's just as powerful for them as it is for me at 380.

I have a sister who is a size 12. I've seen for myself the validity of the dilemma of the midsized community. At the mainstream clubs and parties, on the street, in the supermarkets she is routinely called fat. It is the first slur hurled at her by nasty people looking for something to say to inflict pain or insult. Then she comes here to a community that is supposed to be size accepting and supportive only to hear ignorant cracks from people about how she's unwelcome here because she isn't fat enough.

Just as interesting as a person thinking a size 26/28 is supersized it is not nearly as absurd as having you call a person at size 14 skinny given the climate of our culture. Could it be possible that just maybe it's your view on the subject that is a bit skewered because of your own experiences as a supersized woman? It's like saying racism is only racism when it's against blacks. When it's against Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Whites or Women it's not worthy of serious concern. Using size or status to discredit legitimate concerns elsewhere is wrong in any circumstance.

THANK YOU THANKYOU THANKYOU for saying this. You said it so well, in a far more articulate manner than I can right now because this issue is so emotional for me even now.


Traci, TO YOU sizes 10-14 are "average". In the "real world" (for lack of a better term), ITS NOT. TO ME sizes 26-28 were "supersize" because I FELT they were. When I went shopping and the highest clothing size I could find was 3x-4x (my size then), that made ME feel I WAS supersized because I couldn't find anything bigger.

Its all relative.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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First, let me say that I appreciate very much the thoughtful discussion about this. It is good to know that I am not alone in finding the labels and the dividing lines both confusing and frustrating at times.
Second, I do think that many women do think about or wonder if they are fat, too fat, etc. even when by most standards they are average. At my smallest, I excercised excessively thinking that I was too fat....when in fact I was average. A distorted body image in our society has almost become normal and it's no surprise when supermodels and celebrities who are too thin are projected as being "ideal".
And finally, when it comes to numbers and size, I never mentioned mine. I currently weigh right at 230lbs and stand 5'5", I wear sizes 18-22 depending on the manufacturer. I am evenly proportioned for the most part, but I do have a nice soft round belly and wide hips. I am not seeking to find my label based on my size, but I would like to raise awareness that size positive and size acceptance communities should be those things...positive and accepting of all sizes.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitChick
In short: Size 20 and up: fat heaven

Size 12-14:Purgatory

Under size 12: hell
LOL FitChick, I've always thought that size 12-16 was pretty much the size of the damned in that no matter where they go there will always be a faction of resentful people. When I complain among my friends about not being able to shop for clothes, they all chime in for one reason or another that they can't find clothing of their own: legs are too long, petite, short waisted, clothing not conservative enough, etc. People LOVE my clothes and rave about them all the time. (I admit I do get this evil sense of satisfaction when I tell them that it's not made in their size ) As hard as it is to find things, there are some great people out there making fashions for the super plus sized woman who cater specifically to this market whereas my friends are forced to play hit or miss with the retail circuit. I get to actually talk to a person who can accommodate my concerns at no extra charge sometimes while they are forced to leave the store and look elsewhere and still find nothing. They are much more likely to have a sales person look at them and think, "You cow," than I will shopping with the merchant's that cater to me. Costs a little extra but well worth it in comparison.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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Isn't acceptance acceptance? Isn't it being comfortable with who we are and who others are, regardless of size?
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:24 AM   #13
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Not to sound like a whiner but someone who wears under a size 12 may perceive themselves as flawed but I'm sure they aren't nearly as much. I know people who were thin, who wore a size 10/12 and were praised for "hotness" at a lower size. Once they gained weight, criticisim was heaped upon them.

Then again,I see a lot of new diet ads that target people who fit into the above size range. Sick, sick sick!
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:27 AM   #14
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What that fellow said is more to do with him than you. I know this sounds easy to say, but don't take it personally.

I've been around the size acceptance movement for ten years now. People are going to say a lot of things---all sorts of things. I can't think of one person I've known here either directly or indirectly, myself included, that hasn't been stung by something someone has said on line, and thought about vanishing from the community, forever.

The ones who have stuck around and continue to enjoy participating here are the ones who---I don't know, I guess I ought to speak for myself---kinda take it less seriously than we once did.

Like that guy who was pro-Nazi who posted here a little while ago. Though his posts weren't directed at anyone in particular, I almost replied with the most sarcastic reply I could think of, then said, "ehhh, t'hell with it."

I was pleased to see nobody responded to his post right up until the time it was deleted.

One thing I quickly learned after hanging around the community in general, here and in NYC where I live, is that---just like anywhere else---I was going to meet people I liked, and people I did not like. And just like in real life, it was up to me to be ok with it, and not withdraw, to come forward despite having my heart broken a couple of times and drawing fire for being a jerk when it was my turn.

In closing, I will repeat what I've said before---most people only have the slightest of inkling of how to relate to others. The guy OMFG is one of them.

More to do with him than you.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissToodles
Not to sound like a whiner but someone who wears under a size 12 may perceive themselves as flawed but I'm sure they aren't nearly as much. I know people who were thin, who wore a size 10/12 and were praised for "hotness" at a lower size. Once they gained weight, criticisim was heaped upon them.

Then again,I see a lot of new diet ads that target people who fit into the above size range. Sick, sick sick!

I think part of the problem for thinner women is, when a size 10 woman gains 5 lbs, its NOTICED. When a woman who weighs 290 lbs gains 5 lbs., no one notices. In that sense, larger womnen are more fortunate because they can gain some weight and no one picks on them anymore than if they'd stayed 5 lbs lighter. But when you're thin, and gain 5 lbs., its noticed! That may be why thin women get more nuts over a slight weight gain.

After losing 150 lbs., I find I get VERY annoyed at skinny women who get on TV and say, "I LOST FIVE LBS AND I FEEL GREAT!" I mean, give me a break! Five lbs is NOTHING! But then I realized, to someone of the size I used to be, five lbs loss WAS nothing. But to a skinny woman, its something.

I guess its all perspective!


LILLYBBBW: I AGREE! Once you get into that dreaded size 12-16 range, you can just give it all up. I used to love shopping for clothes when I was 2x-3x because the stores ALWAYS had stuff in my size. And, I always found cool stuff on the clearance racks too. It didn't dawn on me until much later WHY--because so few women were those sizes. But hey, I benefitted from it.

But once I got into size 14, I'd go to stores and they almost never had things in that size. I complained about it once in Walmart and the woman said, "Most women seem to be that size, so good luck finding things". (she was a size 14 herself, she said.) As for size 12, I'd always thought it was "lowend plus size" because Roaman's sells size 12. But in many plus size stores, it starts with size 16 and up the way it did in the 1980s!

Bottom line: worst sizes to be....sizes 12-14. Once you get below size 10, you can start finding stuff again, but it gets more costly too. What the hell is it with that? Really skinny AND really fat clothes cost an arm and a leg!
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:35 AM   #16
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It's true that size 10-14 is average -- it is the average size of American women, and has been in news reports for several years. But, just because that is the reported average, that doesn't mean that this culture of extreme thinness, and the insurance tables, doesn't dictate that that is too fat.

Still, women are taught to be ever dissatisfied with our bodies no matter its size, and it irks me when someone is made to feel inadequate because of their size, fatter or thinner.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:40 AM   #17
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It's true that size 10-14 is average -- it is the average size of American women, and has been in news reports for several years. But, just because that is the reported average, that doesn't mean that this culture of extreme thinness, and the insurance tables, doesn't dictate that that is too fat.

Still, women are taught to be ever dissatisfied with our bodies no matter its size, and it irks me when someone is made to feel inadequate because of their size, fatter or thinner.

You know what depressed me last week? Over a year ago I bought a messenger bag from http://www.bigfatblog.com It says on it, "The average American woman is a size 14". OK, cool. It has really come in handy for taking my kids to Hebrew school, carrying their artwork, etc. And I liked it because at the time I was still size 14 in skirts/pants (barely). So I felt that bag represented ME.


So now I go back to BigFatBlog and looking in their online store, I see the same bag, but now it says, "The average American woman is a size 16". When did THAT change???? So do I get rid of the bag I have since now its incorrect? My husband said, just write over it with black marker, and it will actually look more dramatic as a size acceptance message.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:43 AM   #18
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This guy does sound like that kid on the playground, the bully that picks on everyone. Like I told my nephew (he's getting called Jams and he hates that), just ignore them and don't give a reaction and sooner or later they will get bored and leave.

Sorry for the simplistic reply.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:46 AM   #19
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That's what I was thinking -- get a thick black permanent marker and cross it out and write "16". I had no idea of this new development, but I'm not surprised.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:24 AM   #20
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I can understand why there are people, both men and women, that would not consider a size 12/14/16 a bbw. For starters, like has been already stated, that's what is consider the average normal size for women in the US.

An average sized women is not going to get the kinds of size related harassment her larger counterparts will. An average sized women is not going to face discrimination at the workplace because of her size. She doesn't have to worry about potentially humiliating situations like fitting into airline seats, theater seats, restaurant seats, etc.

Average sized women will not get a second glance from the vast majority of people as she goes about her daily business. While her larger counterparts are often the subject of rude comments and scorn.

No one will question a guy dating a size 12 and is not going to have to deal with the negative comments a guy dating a size 28 would. If you date an average size women there is nothing wrong with you. You date a size 28 or above and there will be both men and women that will think you are a pervert.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jack Skellington
An average sized women is not going to get the kinds of size related harassment her larger counterparts will. An average sized women is not going to face discrimination at the workplace because of her size. She doesn't have to worry about potentially humiliating situations like fitting into airline seats, theater seats, restaurant seats, etc.

Average sized women will not get a second glance from the vast majority of people as she goes about her daily business. While her larger counterparts are often the subject of rude comments and scorn.

No one will question a guy dating a size 12 and is not going to have to deal with the negative comments a guy dating a size 28 would. If you date an average size women there is nothing wrong with you. You date a size 28 or above and there will be both men and women that will think you are a pervert.
Mmm hmmmm. What he said.

Now that doesn't mean that all women aren't affected by the "lookist", judgmental culture that we live in. I mean, little girls as young as 8 years old are "dieting", and I have to believe that it's at least in part because of the predominant cultural paradigm that you can never be too thin. So yeah, we're all affected by it. But I think it belittles what plus and supersize women go through by saying that those who are average sized (culturally, even if it's not reflected in the media) suffer as well. Yeah, they probably do. But it isn't to the same degree that our plus and supersize sisters go through.

That being said, what that guy said to Angela was uncool. Could his body stand up to such critical evaluation? Probably not. And Angela, at her size, is a BBW because she can't wear clothes off the "normal" size rack. To me the BBW differentiation starts when you can no longer buy "any old thing" from the Misses size rack at Macy's. (But that's just me -- others will draw that line differently).
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:02 PM   #22
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Just as interesting as a person thinking a size 26/28 is supersized it is not nearly as absurd as having you call a person at size 14 skinny given the climate of our culture. Could it be possible that just maybe it's your view on the subject that is a bit skewered because of your own experiences as a supersized woman? It's like saying racism is only racism when it's against blacks. When it's against Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Whites or Women it's not worthy of serious concern. Using size or status to discredit legitimate concerns elsewhere is wrong in any circumstance.
Lilly, I never claimed - or even implied - that a size 14 is skinny. To some FA's, it certainly would be; it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it? You are right - in this culture, a size 14 is considered large. So what? No matter what size you may be, there are going to be people who think it's too fat. Last weekend, I went shopping with my size-obsessed friend, who wishes to look like Skeletor (otherwise known as Teri Hatcher). We both tried on the same style of pants. When she found out that mine were the same size, she looked horrified. She thinks that I'm fat. C'est la vie. I think that she looks great. But I also think that she's self-absorbed and shallow.

Last summer, I had what was something of a life-altering experience for me. I went to Malaysia with my husband, which is something that we do every 18 months or so (he is originally from Malaysia). We have been pretty much been all over SE Asia - Thailand, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka. What was different for me was that I was no longer a big, blonde Amazon of a woman. Going to Malaysia was always distressing for me, because I was treated like a circus sideshow freak. People would stop in their tracks and openly stare at me ... nudge their companions to get a look .... loudly and excitedly start talking in a language they assumed I could not speak (I can understand quite a bit of Malay - including phrases that translate to 'look at that big fat white woman'). I grew wearily accustomed to people snapping pictures of me, while making only token efforts to pretend they were photographing the scenery. I am a very shy and private person, and the attention that I received was horrifying to me. At any rate, during this particular visit, I was no longer caught up in shame over my body size. And while traveling with my husband's family, I noticed some things that I had been too self-absorbed to fully appreciate before. Namely, abject poverty. People do not routinely starve in Malaysia - but they sure do in India, and in some parts of Indonesia & Sri Lanka. In my travels, I've seen children with the tell-tale stomach bloat that is a sign of advanced starvation. I've seen people who are so removed from their humanity that they squat in the middle of a crowded street to move their bowels. I have seen beggars with no legs, rotting stumps wrapped in filthy bandages, laying in the middle of the street and begging for money. Nothing that I saw was new to me. I was just viewing it with a less self-absorbed perspective.

I'm not immune to the size discrimination and self-hatred that seems to go hand-in-hand. I'm not thin, and I'm not pretty, and I never will be. I can choose to live with that, and be happy for the many advantages that I do have (not the least of which is, I will never have to worry about where my next meal is coming from). Or I can whine about how society doesn't afford me the same advantages that it does to thin, pretty women. I *know* that it's not that easy. There's no magic cure for low self-esteem; telling someone who suffers that she's self-absorbed is about as useful as telling a raging alcoholic to stop drinking. Doesn't make it any less of a truth - it's just not very practical.

One thing that you and Olive said, and I agree with (and I'm sorry I did not see it & comment before) was that rejection from any quarter is painful. I can understand that it would hurt to be snubbed by people within the SA movement for not being seen as fat enough - and that shouldn't happen.

I am no longer a fat woman, but I have lived that experience, and it will forever be a part of me. In many ways, I feel more at home here than I have ever felt in the mainstream. And I've met many wonderful people who have accepted me unconditionally, just as I am.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by LillyBBBW
Traci you are wrong about this. Angela is RIGHT ON for saying what she said. This isn't just a matter of looking in the mirror and feeling fat or wishing to be thinner. It's about a culture of systematic discrimination and marginalization that's just as powerful for them as it is for me at 380.

I have a sister who is a size 12. I've seen for myself the validity of the dilemma of the midsized community. At the mainstream clubs and parties, on the street, in the supermarkets she is routinely called fat. It is the first slur hurled at her by nasty people looking for something to say to inflict pain or insult. Then she comes here to a community that is supposed to be size accepting and supportive only to hear ignorant cracks from people about how she's unwelcome here because she isn't fat enough.

Just as interesting as a person thinking a size 26/28 is supersized it is not nearly as absurd as having you call a person at size 14 skinny given the climate of our culture. Could it be possible that just maybe it's your view on the subject that is a bit skewered because of your own experiences as a supersized woman? It's like saying racism is only racism when it's against blacks. When it's against Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Whites or Women it's not worthy of serious concern. Using size or status to discredit legitimate concerns elsewhere is wrong in any circumstance.


I keep reading your post and wishing I could shake your hand or hug you or something. It is a rare and wonderful person who can see both sides of the coin, empathize, and explain so well as you have here.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jack Skellington
I can understand why there are people, both men and women, that would not consider a size 12/14/16 a bbw. For starters, like has been already stated, that's what is consider the average normal size for women in the US.

An average sized women is not going to get the kinds of size related harassment her larger counterparts will. An average sized women is not going to face discrimination at the workplace because of her size. She doesn't have to worry about potentially humiliating situations like fitting into airline seats, theater seats, restaurant seats, etc.

Average sized women will not get a second glance from the vast majority of people as she goes about her daily business. While her larger counterparts are often the subject of rude comments and scorn.

No one will question a guy dating a size 12 and is not going to have to deal with the negative comments a guy dating a size 28 would. If you date an average size women there is nothing wrong with you. You date a size 28 or above and there will be both men and women that will think you are a pervert.
I still think this is relative. I'm sure others would agree. I'm toot tired and disconcerted to argue, though.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:10 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TraciJo67
Going to Malaysia was always distressing for me, because I was treated like a circus sideshow freak. People would stop in their tracks and openly stare at me ... nudge their companions to get a look .... loudly and excitedly start talking in a language they assumed I could not speak (I can understand quite a bit of Malay - including phrases that translate to 'look at that big fat white woman'). I grew wearily accustomed to people snapping pictures of me, while making only token efforts to pretend they were photographing the scenery. I am a very shy and private person, and the attention that I received was horrifying to me.
God, honey, how awful. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I think that until people have experienced being a "circus freak" as you said, they can't fully appreciate how painful it is being other than average or "normal" (Damn, I hate that term). I think it's especially difficult when it's relating to our size because it's a complete and total rejection of who we are.

BTW, I know it's irrelevant, but I think you're gorgeous. You were gorgeous as a fat woman and you're gorgeous now. So there! And don't even get me started on your friend...
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