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Old 02-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default is there a BBW/BHM closet

there are lot of discussions about closeted FAs and FFAs. But is there a BBW or BHM closet? sure, its obvious that a BBW or BHM is fat when they go out into the world. but, are they hiding from being in the world because of thier fat? are they hiding in the house? when they go out are they only going SA events? can they function around other people or are they painfully uncomfortable when out and about. have they compromised on all of their hopes dreams and wishes because they are fat? are they justified in that or do they need a little push? do you think its fair or unfair that they don't seem to get the same kind of anger for being in a BBW/BHM closet if there is one?
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:32 PM   #2
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I always thought there was a closet, but in more than just the way you mentioned. Yes, there are those who simply hide in the literal sense, but to me it was always more of a confidence thing within your social life. Growing up, I always had friends, but I was insecure. If someone made a fat joke, I just remained quiet. You know, in a "they aren't talking about ME" sense. If something Size Acceptance-related came up, I'd just be quiet.

When I "came out of the closet" as I see it, I took the "yes, I am fat, and I am fine with that. I am confident and wonderful-- not in spite of my fat, but along with it." I now have no trouble speaking up if I hear derogatory fat jokes, or speaking my piece about the injustices of our society regarding fat.


I hope that makes sense!
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tooz View Post
I always thought there was a closet, but in more than just the way you mentioned. Yes, there are those who simply hide in the literal sense, but to me it was always more of a confidence thing within your social life. Growing up, I always had friends, but I was insecure. If someone made a fat joke, I just remained quiet. You know, in a "they aren't talking about ME" sense. If something Size Acceptance-related came up, I'd just be quiet.

When I "came out of the closet" as I see it, I took the "yes, I am fat, and I am fine with that. I am confident and wonderful-- not in spite of my fat, but along with it." I now have no trouble speaking up if I hear derogatory fat jokes, or speaking my piece about the injustices of our society regarding fat.


I hope that makes sense!
i think that makes a whole lot of sense. i think its more focuses than even what i was thinking of. goodness knows its a serious closet if someone isn't even admitting that fat applies to them and being ok with that.

glad you are out and kicking!
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by superodalisque View Post
i think that makes a whole lot of sense. i think its more focuses than even what i was thinking of. goodness knows its a serious closet if someone isn't even admitting that fat applies to them and being ok with that.

glad you are out and kicking!
Me too. Ever since I became "militant" a few years ago, I feel so much better. Life is so much better.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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Gosh this post brings back memories. I would say I was in the closet in my early 20's. I just wanted to be invisible. Everything was saved for when I loose weight, 'will go to college, fly on a plane, visit Europe". Thank the Gods my esteem improved. I love myself and the curves/mounds that are part of me. hell if no one else is in love with me, I am. I've adopted the attitude that I am big, beautiful and deal with it. I can't change the past but grateful I learned the lessons.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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I think that a BBW or BHM who is in the closet could also be trying not to be seen as “a fat person.” They might be a person who is fat, but they are adverse to being seen as “one of those fat people.” So they may do some things like:

- avoid eating in public,
- do not hang around with other fat people,
- make sure that they always have some diet in progress which they can talk about,
- lie about their weight or clothing size, in an attempt to minimize their size in other’s eyes,
- stand on a bus or subway that sit down and be seen to fill up more than one seat,
- accept whatever limited clothing options they can find at department stores, rather than go into a ‘fat persons store.’
- cram themselves into too small clothes rather than admit to themselves their real size
- avoid size acceptance sites and occasions.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:30 PM   #7
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OMG this is my mom. She is about a size 24 and refuses to admit it. Swears she's too small for lane bryant and the avenue clothing stores. Will only wear sweat pants and tee shirts. buys all her clothes in smaller sizes, so she looks like a sausage. My sister and I have to buy her clothes in order for her to look decent. When she sees the size we bought, she swears the clothes run very small and that's why she can fit them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edx View Post
I think that a BBW or BHM who is in the closet could also be trying not to be seen as “a fat person.” They might be a person who is fat, but they are adverse to being seen as “one of those fat people.” So they may do some things like:

- avoid eating in public,
- do not hang around with other fat people,
- make sure that they always have some diet in progress which they can talk about,
- lie about their weight or clothing size, in an attempt to minimize their size in other’s eyes,
- stand on a bus or subway that sit down and be seen to fill up more than one seat,
- accept whatever limited clothing options they can find at department stores, rather than go into a ‘fat persons store.’
- cram themselves into too small clothes rather than admit to themselves their real size
- avoid size acceptance sites and occasions.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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There is definitely a closet...and it gets to a point where its just sad and pathetic, to me at least. There is a big fascinating world out there and hiding behind a computer or going to SA specific events all the time isn't the be all and end all. I guess if that's simply what you choose to do then fine, but for alot of women there is still some kind of void. And I'm sorry but it gets tiresome to hear how its so hard because of the fat, etc, etc...

Case and point, I have a friend who is also fat, but the difference between us is that she is really really unhappy with herself. Not just her fat, but just her life in general -- she truly believes that if she loses about 100lbs she'll be happier and life will be sunshine and unicorns (nevermind that she attempted this before and she was still the same woe is me, life just seems to hate me type of woman). It's gotten to a point where I've just stopped asking her to do things. She's really become a drain on me, as much as I care about her...I can't do it anymore. And quite frankly, I don't feel I should have to. Change starts with self and it doesn't matter how much I preach from my diamond encrusted soap box (I'm classy like dat ), she has to just do the work herself...and I know its scary but you gotta start from somewhere.

I always say...go hard or go home!
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:19 PM   #9
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I Was Like That.
For a Long Time, in my Earlier Teen's.
But For the last two years, I've slowly been making progress.
..Then when I joined Dim's it became quick progress, Lol.


I still have minor issues going out in public alone, though. [If it's like, a mall or something. You know, TONS of people.] I Get extremely nervous and I swear everyone looks at me. [Probably cause I -LOOK- like a nervous wreck. Lol] Though I don't think that has much to do with my weight.... Anyhow, Change won't happen overnight. For ALL of my teen years, until recently, I wouldn't eat in public if there were alot of people around. I was one of those "Oh, I'll have a ... salad.. " Sort of Women. But For The Last 6 Months I've been working on that.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Maybe I'm over simplifying things here, but it seems to me that these issues ultimately come down to being self-esteem or confidence issues. In this example, it simply happens to be that fat, or a person's size is the focus of the esteem issue. There are plenty of thin people (or people of all sizes and colour) that go through these sort of self-esteem issues to some degree or another, for whatever reason. The only difference I can see about the fat related aspect is that a person's size is something that's obviously visible and because of that, perhaps the issue of the person's size becomes more focused.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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I have to admit, when I saw this thread I wasn't sure as to what it meant, but now I'm agreeing. I think there is definitely a closet, so to speak. I've been part of that closet my entire life. I've always hated being fat, I never used to eat in public, and I definitely can relate to the thing Tooz said about insecurity. I had never felt secure with myself or my weight, up until a few months ago. I think some people are just in denial, but there's really no reason. It's just trying to help them to realize that.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fa_man_stan View Post
Maybe I'm over simplifying things here, but it seems to me that these issues ultimately come down to being self-esteem or confidence issues. In this example, it simply happens to be that fat, or a person's size is the focus of the esteem issue. There are plenty of thin people (or people of all sizes and colour) that go through these sort of self-esteem issues to some degree or another, for whatever reason. The only difference I can see about the fat related aspect is that a person's size is something that's obviously visible and because of that, perhaps the issue of the person's size becomes more focused.

yeah, sometimes people have an unreasoning fear of being in life. it could be that everyone is looking around for an excuse for why they can't take part or why they can't make it. and maybe the shame that people feel is really about something deep down but its easier to focus on some external thing. for some people maybe fat can be just the thing everyone can see that keeps you out of play--so there's your built in excuse.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fa_man_stan View Post
Maybe I'm over simplifying things here, but it seems to me that these issues ultimately come down to being self-esteem or confidence issues. In this example, it simply happens to be that fat, or a person's size is the focus of the esteem issue. There are plenty of thin people (or people of all sizes and colour) that go through these sort of self-esteem issues to some degree or another, for whatever reason. The only difference I can see about the fat related aspect is that a person's size is something that's obviously visible and because of that, perhaps the issue of the person's size becomes more focused.
Stan, I know you're a good-hearted man, but here is my emotionally driven response to what you wrote:

You're blaming the victim. Stop it. This is why the whole "self-esteem issues" and "not confident enough" bullsh*t" makes a lot of us so effing angry.

.

I'll respond more later when I've cooled down.

.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:44 PM   #14
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I think there definitely is a closet. I know people who are afraid to go out and have fun because of their self-esteem issues regarding their weight. It's really sad.

One of the things I find interesting is how my local chapter of NAAFA, the DC chapter, chooses not to publicize its events. Only a few people show up to the events. But I know the organizers are trying to help people who are still in the closet regarding their weight and to give them a safe space.

In this discriminatory society, there are all kinds of closets for people who are afraid that they won't fit in.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genarose54 View Post
Stan, I know you're a good-hearted man, but here is my emotionally driven response to what you wrote:

You're blaming the victim. Stop it. This is why the whole "self-esteem issues" and "not confident enough" bullsh*t" makes a lot of us so effing angry.

.

I'll respond more later when I've cooled down.

.
Genarose, I'm not blaming those victimized by these sort of situations by any means. As with anyone who has a self-esteem or self confidence issue, there may very well be external forces that are a very real part of this. I'm not saying that these sort of issues are necessarily self-inflicted.

What I'm saying is that the common denominator of these issues seems to be the low self-esteem for whatever reason the cause (external or internal). If I'm understanding you correctly, I agree that there are many instances in which external forces hurt the person, across the spectrum of why a person may have such an esteem issue.




And to answer the original question you presented Superodalisque... I do think there is a "closet" where people hide into to escape whatever it is they are escaping, but it is more or less a general sort of closet that many other people might hide into for whatever reason.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genarose54 View Post
Stan, I know you're a good-hearted man, but here is my emotionally driven response to what you wrote:

You're blaming the victim. Stop it. This is why the whole "self-esteem issues" and "not confident enough" bullsh*t" makes a lot of us so effing angry.

.

I'll respond more later when I've cooled down.

.
self esteem issues that can be equated to other people's self esteem issues might just be a way to help people to get out of the fat "closet". then people might see that they aren't so freakish or weird. everybody has something to deal with. sometimes you can see it , sometimes you cant.

the world may not change toward fat people ever, but we have to love ourselves enough to live without fear and shame and to get all of the good stuff that life has to offer. we are worthy of that.

i don't mean this as a personal attack but an honest thought. when i see people get very angry over the concept that it would help thier life if they could somehow enhance their self esteem it makes me wonder if deep down they might know thats the truth but they are really afraid to make the steps necessary. its a lot easier to blame other people if you feel that your life is crap. its easy to take offense. then nothing you do is your fault. i think it helps a lot when fat people can stop thinking of themselves as victims but simply as people who have to live life and get everything out of it that they can. that should not have to depend on everyone on earth being nice to you or receptive to who you are. but i do think it has everything to do with whats going on inside of you.

respectfully,there are no living victims. there are just people who decide to overcome negative and even traumatic events in their lives or people who chose to surrender to that. the only real victims are people who are dead and have no chance to recover the valuable thing that life is.

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Old 02-25-2009, 04:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CurvaceousBBWLover View Post
I think there definitely is a closet. I know people who are afraid to go out and have fun because of their self-esteem issues regarding their weight. It's really sad.

One of the things I find interesting is how my local chapter of NAAFA, the DC chapter, chooses not to publicize its events. Only a few people show up to the events. But I know the organizers are trying to help people who are still in the closet regarding their weight and to give them a safe space.

In this discriminatory society, there are all kinds of closets for people who are afraid that they won't fit in.
good point. i always wonder why you never see BBW events published in the newspaper etc... the same as any other event. i know that a lot more people would come but it seems almost like the underground railroad. if you don't know the code words or the secret handshake no one says anything about it. so are even our supportive groups in some kind of a closet? i can understand that they don't want the kooks showing up and starting trouble, but kooks are everywhere. maybe they could just hire more security. what does the underground nature of all of this say to BBWs/BHMs about their place in society if even the events organizers look like they are ashamed of their own events? i have no idea about the NAAFA chapter in Atlanta and i've been around for nearly 6 years. you'd think i would have heard something by now.

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Old 02-25-2009, 04:16 PM   #18
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self esteem issues that can be equated to other people's self esteem issues might just be a way to help people to get out of the fat "closet". then people might see that they aren't so freakish or weird. everybody has something to deal with. sometimes you can see it , sometimes you cant.

the world may not change toward fat people ever, but we have to love ourselves enough to live without fear and shame and to get all of the good stuff that life has to offer. we are worthy of that.

...
If I may comment as to what you said Superodalisque... I agree with Genarose (if I'm understanding her correctly...) that the causes of low self-esteem can be external, (condescending remarks and actions from others, a spouse, family members, or whoever...) these being the things that may drive a person "into the closet" so to speak. The closet being a place where the victimized person has difficulty accepting themselves as they are, or being proud of who they are. I do believe that the causes of low self-esteem can be external, but ultimately the "cure" for these esteem issues must come from within. Only the person by themselves (perhaps with external assistance... i.e. a counselor or whatever...) can raise their own self awareness to a place where they can feel good about themselves, and maybe eventually to a level where they even feel pride in who they are. But these feelings of pride and well being are only something that can come from within.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:22 PM   #19
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:24 PM   #20
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If I may comment as to what you said Superodalisque... I agree with Genarose (if I'm understanding her correctly...) that the causes of low self-esteem can be external, (condescending remarks and actions from others, a spouse, family members, or whoever...) these being the things that may drive a person "into the closet" so to speak. The closet being a place where the victimized person has difficulty accepting themselves as they are, or being proud of who they are. I do believe that the causes of low self-esteem can be external, but ultimately the "cure" for these esteem issues must come from within. Only the person by themselves (perhaps with external assistance... i.e. a counselor or whatever...) can raise their own self awareness to a place where they can feel good about themselves, and maybe eventually to a level where they even feel pride in who they are.
yes i can understand that. there are external reasons. people generally get to a bad place because of them. but, basically like you said, when your dealing with self esteem the problem is learning not to internalize the negativity of other people anymore. you can't take the opinion of other people as fact. if you do you'll freeze. and you can't submit to being a victim either. maybe its more of a coffin than a closet. if you decide that you are victim and you decide not to live you are in a coffin. you have to wake up to your life and chart your own path. i can definitely understand why people have that feeling but its not good to let them stay there. people who try to help are kind of like people trying to shake someone awake. sometimes you can and then again sometimes they have to wake up on their own.

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Old 02-25-2009, 04:48 PM   #21
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good point. i always wonder why you never see BBW events published in the newspaper etc... the same as any other event. i know that a lot more people would come but it seems almost like the underground railroad. if you don't know the code words or the secret handshake no one says anything about it. so are even our supportive groups in some kind of a closet? i can understand that they don't want the kooks showing up and starting trouble, but kooks are everywhere. maybe they could just hire more security. what does the underground nature of all of this say to BBWs/BHMs about their place in society if even the events organizers look like they are ashamed of their own events? i have no idea about the NAAFA chapter in Atlanta and i've been around for nearly 6 years. you'd think i would have heard something by now.
I'm afraid NAAFA doesn't DO much of anything.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:03 PM   #22
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You know, when I think of a 'fat closet,' i don't think so much about fat people either staying segregated in a SA environment, or fat people who stay out of life altogether. Instead, I think of people who are so ashamed to be fat that they live a life in complete denial of their bodies. In some ways, this can be good, in situations where one can transcend the limitations society imposes on fat people, but in other ways, it speaks to a deep shame over one's body, and a complicity in sustaining the messages that fat=bad and that no one would ever want to be fat.

There's this quote I like, from an academic article on fat, where the person says that "there is no such thing as a fat body." What she means is, our society tells us that all fat bodies are really just diseased/disordered/pathological thin bodies, and that fat is incidental to our core sense of self. One can have an intrinsic identity based on race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, gender, sexuality, etc., but such a core fat identity, and thus a right to exist as is, without medical and societal intervention and disapproval, is denied.

When we live in a world where all sizes of bodies are granted a basic right to normality, then we can hopefully see the end of any fat closets. I don't think that will happen until a sizable majority of fat people embrace their bodies as is, not as capitulation because 'diets don't work,' but because all bodies are beautiful and have worth.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:16 PM   #23
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There's this quote I like, from an academic article on fat, where the person says that "there is no such thing as a fat body." What she means is, our society tells us that all fat bodies are really just diseased/disordered/pathological thin bodies, and that fat is incidental to our core sense of self. One can have an intrinsic identity based on race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, gender, sexuality, etc., but such a core fat identity, and thus a right to exist as is, without medical and societal intervention and disapproval, is denied.
I am fat on the inside. No-one believes this and thinks i'm mental. Ive tried to come out the closet many times but to no avail. I think i need fat re-asignment or something..not sure.
I am mentally and emotionally fat but my body doesnt really match that. If you belive that fat is more than physical you will get what i mean. Queer/Fa is my sexuality and so is Fat.
Any more fat people trapped in not so fat bodies? Should we get a support group together? I hear about thin people being trapped in fat bodies all the time, even though they have been fat their whole lives and have no concept of 'thin'. I think its time that 'fat' the sexuality came out the closet..Its in all shapes and sizes and is totally and utterly subjective, geographical, historical, meaningful and meaningless.
As for the closet, well i'm trying to come out but i keep getting pushed back in.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:40 PM   #24
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I am fat on the inside. No-one believes this and thinks i'm mental. Ive tried to come out the closet many times but to no avail. I think i need fat re-asignment or something..not sure.
I am mentally and emotionally fat but my body doesnt really match that. If you belive that fat is more than physical you will get what i mean. Queer/Fa is my sexuality and so is Fat.
Any more fat people trapped in not so fat bodies? Should we get a support group together? I hear about thin people being trapped in fat bodies all the time, even though they have been fat their whole lives and have no concept of 'thin'. I think its time that 'fat' the sexuality came out the closet..Its in all shapes and sizes and is totally and utterly subjective, geographical, historical, meaningful and meaningless.
As for the closet, well i'm trying to come out but i keep getting pushed back in.
i agree. really interesting points. i was surprised because i find that people
( not necessarily in SA but sometimes them as well) put fat love in the same category as swinging, wife swapping and S&M etc... i found this really surprising. i never thought of myself as part of the sexual underground.
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:25 PM   #25
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good point. i always wonder why you never see BBW events published in the newspaper etc... the same as any other event. i know that a lot more people would come but it seems almost like the underground railroad. if you don't know the code words or the secret handshake no one says anything about it. so are even our supportive groups in some kind of a closet? i can understand that they don't want the kooks showing up and starting trouble, but kooks are everywhere. maybe they could just hire more security. what does the underground nature of all of this say to BBWs/BHMs about their place in society if even the events organizers look like they are ashamed of their own events? i have no idea about the NAAFA chapter in Atlanta and i've been around for nearly 6 years. you'd think i would have heard something by now.
I have to disagree on your assumptions as to why BBW events are not advertised in the newspaper.

I don't think it's the "underground" nature - though in my opinion the BBW movement was never underground.

It was always out there. It's just that now you have a different medium to get your message out there. In the past, the SA movement has been featured in news shows over the years (60 Minutes, 20/20) to name a few.

A good deal has to do with the impact of technology and the Internet. Technology changes things and the way businesses are run. With newspaper readership down there is no point to advertise in the print medium.
Also with the Internet- it might force things to become more 'less active' as they get all the information on their computer.

I'm not sure of how you became aware of the SA movement-but, for me it was definitely in the Pre-Internet era. My exposure was through a local news show (Eyewitness News - Channel 7) which featured a NAAFA dance at a local church. NAAFA was fairly active at that time and in the media and you often saw local NAAFAN's like the late Susan Mason take on the media (Bill Boggs on WNEW-TV now FOX , Danny Bonaduce, when he had a talk show ) and more than handle any of their 'snarky' remarks.

When NAAFA was in it's heyday and had Regional chapters a strong NY presence, they would advertise events in the Village Voice;don't recall if they advertised in the other local papers Daily News or the Post. It's a shame that the DC Chapter of NAAFA is one of the rare active chapters that is left. The DC folks run a great organization.

As for other areas in the country- I can only comment on NYC. The NYC NAAFA Chapter only exist as a YAHOO Group and does some informal events;but, in no way can they compete with folks that do dances on a regular basis. "Goddesses" does most of the dances here in NYC.

In the tri-state area you have: NJ Bashes - Goddesses, Big Connections (CT) , Heather's dances in Mass, Ample Beauties Hartford CT, DC NAAFA to name a few as well as other groups that one can find on the net. I guess the demise of NAAFA can be pointed to many reasons;but, one can conclude that Technology - and Alternative 'Social' options played a big role.

Now as far as the 'Kooks' - you can have your flaky Men and BBW show up to these events;but, this is what can happen at any public function.
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