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Old 06-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #51
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Okay, going to elaborate on the other side.

Location and culture really does play a huge part. My little sister is 125lbs or so, her BMI is 22. That makes her borderline overweight (BMI cut-off for East Asians is 23) and much bigger than most women where she lives. She is the fattest girl in her school of 1200+ people, half of them girls - hard to believe, maybe, but I could send you comparison pics of my 98lb self looking huge in a sea of 80lb girls. Height and weight is taken once a week, in public and she is openly mocked and humiliated. It is also compulsory for her to join the Trim And Fit (FAT spelt backwards, basically) Club. Members of that club are forced to exercise everyday, put on diets in school, paraded in front of everyone, praises for those who lose and punishments for those who gain. It doesn't help that everyone has to wear uniforms that look like crap on anyone who has tits or ass - she had to get hers special ordered, so did I - my uniform even looked different from everyone else's. She has never had a boyfriend, or at least, one that is willing to acknowledge her in public. I'm a little luckier because I like older butches who generally care less about my size. She can't shop for clothes from most stores, she orders them from US websites where she wears a size 6/8. Most people, including my parents, relatives and even strangers on the street openly ridicule her "fat" and tell her she should lose 30lbs. And of course, fat is synonymous with ugly. Imagine she stumbles upon Dims for the first time, realises that fat women are beautiful and HUMAN too, that there are people who actually prefer bigger girls, feels a little better about herself... and then get told that she's "not a BBW at all"? Sure, she won't have such a hard time if she grew up in the US but she didn't. Undoubtedly, a 450lb woman will get HELL (my ex is 250-330 and I saw how people treat her) ... unless she is "exotic", then the locals don't seem to care.

Even if you talk about physical limitations, it is still tricky. Yes, it is unlikely that a 150lb person can have the same limitations as one who is 450lbs, but there are still some people who struggle with health issues at 250lbs, while others remain healthy even at 450lbs.

The bottomline is that it might be difficult for someone who is much bigger to realise and accept that others who are smaller, whether a little or a loooot go through something similar.

Last edited by Cors; 06-11-2009 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:36 PM   #52
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Cors, that's crazy and also sad.

Like I said there is something off here. Makes no effing sense.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:45 PM   #53
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Oh well, at least the official program has supposedly been scrapped (Wiki link, you'll find enough depressing articles if you search) but from what I hear the new one isn't any better.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:53 PM   #54
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Oh well, at least the official program has supposedly been scrapped (Wiki link, you'll find enough depressing articles if you search) but from what I hear the new one isn't any better.
That just gives me the heebee jeebies. I'm really sorry they had/have to go thru that.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:45 PM   #55
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Cors: Wow. I hope your sister realizes what total bullshit that whole system is. My previous post was from a completely American point of view; I'm sorry if I came off as narrow-minded.

I've really been gnawing on this issue for the past few days, and in my opinion, claiming the label of BBW, or fat chick, or anything along those lines, has to do with having and accepting a body that is outside what is considered "acceptable" by the mainstream. I think I'm comfortable with looking at it that way. (Until someone comes up with a clever way to debunk my definition, that is. )
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:06 AM   #56
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If a woman wants to call herself a bbw, then that's fine. I don't think anybody's arguing that. But it does beg the question, "What does it mean to be fat?" For me that answer really comes down to quality of life. At what point is your quality of life affected to the point where you have to organize your day around your physical limitations - what you can't do that thin people can? Since the world isn't designed for very fat people's bodies this means you have to come up with "life hacks" that thin people don't have to think about, and wouldn't even begin to fathom. And when trying to explain how those hacks work would only ilicit confused, blank, or disgusted looks. There is a huge difference in terms of quality of life between 150lbs and 350lbs and 550lbs.

And yes, someone who was 100lbs and becomes 150lbs will experience things in a different way. So how profound are the changes? Obviously that depends on the person's coping skills, but I feel like if someone at 150 feels the need to adopt the term bbw for themselves, something's off in our society, especially if that size is more average than not. So again, I'm left with the question, what does it mean to be fat?

It is an interesting question...but at 350lbs my life hacks don't seem to be a huge quality of life issue for me. They're more like minor annoyances most of the time. I'd rather be able to find shoes that fit than clothes--I can make clothes. (Shoes are much harder.) Up the ante by 200 lbs and yes, it would be whole different story. I'm not sure, however, that we need specific labels for every grouping; different people find different challenges in life, no matter what their size.

Like, for example, the clothing thing--some people can't just make their own clothes and be happy with that. (And I can still buy clothes fairly readily at my size--3/4x stuff isn't too hard to find.) Perhaps it doesn't seem as radically different for me because I've always been fat, so I don't have "thin" experiences to compare my life to.

I think it ultimately comes down to your individual experience what fat means for you. That's one more reason I think the label should be flexible and we shouldn't try to nail it down and insist on a concrete definition. We won't succeed anyway; people use terms the way they've come to understand them, not the way that other people say they should. Like "xerox", which the company owning that word as a brand name objected to for a while as the general term for photocopying. Didn't stop people from using it as a verb, regardless of the equipment used.

There's enough room in the world for all of us, whatever our fat experiences. I should hope there's enough room at Dimensions for BBWs of all sizes, too.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:11 AM   #57
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I'm a size 10-12 and I am not thin. I don't claim the BBW label, because I believe that I'm an "average" size (that term being relative ... a lot of people would consider me to be at least chubby, but I don't give a flying fig what a lot of people think, nor do I feel threatened by any labels). I don't think that defining BBW has to mean that the person in question struggles with health or mobility issues or has a difficult time finding clothes that fit or faces public ridicule. I'm with Keb; I think that a large part of it lies in how a person defines him/herself. I know people whom I consider to be quite large; they'd adamantly reject the BBW label because they associate it with a negative, and they'd rather delude themselves that they aren't "that big", Lord no, not as big at THAT fat man/woman . I know others who embrace the label and, at least here at Dims, would be considered quite average-sized. I think that if the term had all negative connotations removed, INCLUDING some that I've seen here (i.e., you can't possibly be a BBW unless you're struggling in some way), more people would feel free to embrace it ... and wouldn't feel threatened by others who do, for that matter.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:36 AM   #58
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All I know is, I'm not one. (Because I have a penis.)
A big beautiful Wang??
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:40 PM   #59
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I'm a size 10-12 and I am not thin. I don't claim the BBW label, because I believe that I'm an "average" size (that term being relative ... a lot of people would consider me to be at least chubby, but I don't give a flying fig what a lot of people think, nor do I feel threatened by any labels). I don't think that defining BBW has to mean that the person in question struggles with health or mobility issues or has a difficult time finding clothes that fit or faces public ridicule. I'm with Keb; I think that a large part of it lies in how a person defines him/herself. I know people whom I consider to be quite large; they'd adamantly reject the BBW label because they associate it with a negative, and they'd rather delude themselves that they aren't "that big", Lord no, not as big at THAT fat man/woman . I know others who embrace the label and, at least here at Dims, would be considered quite average-sized. I think that if the term had all negative connotations removed, INCLUDING some that I've seen here (i.e., you can't possibly be a BBW unless you're struggling in some way), more people would feel free to embrace it ... and wouldn't feel threatened by others who do, for that matter.
Agreed. For me my use of term has more to do with how you see yourself then one's attractiveness, or "Good qualities" that may or may not transcend those of others.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:37 PM   #60
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It is an interesting question...but at 350lbs my life hacks don't seem to be a huge quality of life issue for me. They're more like minor annoyances most of the time. I'd rather be able to find shoes that fit than clothes--I can make clothes. (Shoes are much harder.) Up the ante by 200 lbs and yes, it would be whole different story. I'm not sure, however, that we need specific labels for every grouping; different people find different challenges in life, no matter what their size.

Like, for example, the clothing thing--some people can't just make their own clothes and be happy with that. (And I can still buy clothes fairly readily at my size--3/4x stuff isn't too hard to find.) Perhaps it doesn't seem as radically different for me because I've always been fat, so I don't have "thin" experiences to compare my life to.

I think it ultimately comes down to your individual experience what fat means for you. That's one more reason I think the label should be flexible and we shouldn't try to nail it down and insist on a concrete definition. We won't succeed anyway; people use terms the way they've come to understand them, not the way that other people say they should. Like "xerox", which the company owning that word as a brand name objected to for a while as the general term for photocopying. Didn't stop people from using it as a verb, regardless of the equipment used.

There's enough room in the world for all of us, whatever our fat experiences. I should hope there's enough room at Dimensions for BBWs of all sizes, too.
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I'm a size 10-12 and I am not thin. I don't claim the BBW label, because I believe that I'm an "average" size (that term being relative ... a lot of people would consider me to be at least chubby, but I don't give a flying fig what a lot of people think, nor do I feel threatened by any labels). I don't think that defining BBW has to mean that the person in question struggles with health or mobility issues or has a difficult time finding clothes that fit or faces public ridicule. I'm with Keb; I think that a large part of it lies in how a person defines him/herself. I know people whom I consider to be quite large; they'd adamantly reject the BBW label because they associate it with a negative, and they'd rather delude themselves that they aren't "that big", Lord no, not as big at THAT fat man/woman . I know others who embrace the label and, at least here at Dims, would be considered quite average-sized. I think that if the term had all negative connotations removed, INCLUDING some that I've seen here (i.e., you can't possibly be a BBW unless you're struggling in some way), more people would feel free to embrace it ... and wouldn't feel threatened by others who do, for that matter.
Still begs the question, what does it mean to be fat? If there are fat people who don't want to use the word cause they don't think it's an accurate descriptor, and thin people who do want to use it cause they think it is, then the term is meaningless, and other "fat terms" are meaningless by extension. From now on, I'm a tree.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #61
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Would you consider yourself a fat tree?

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Still begs the question, what does it mean to be fat? If there are fat people who don't want to use the word cause they don't think it's an accurate descriptor, and thin people who do want to use it cause they think it is, then the term is meaningless, and other "fat terms" are meaningless by extension. From now on, I'm a tree.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:47 PM   #62
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Would you consider yourself a fat tree?
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:30 PM   #63
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Still begs the question, what does it mean to be fat? If there are fat people who don't want to use the word cause they don't think it's an accurate descriptor, and thin people who do want to use it cause they think it is, then the term is meaningless, and other "fat terms" are meaningless by extension. From now on, I'm a tree.
Hmm, I see fat as a descriptor (subjective) and fat as an identity (personal) as two different but related things. Most people who look fat identify as fat, but there are fat people who do not and then there are thin people who do.

Not sure if this helps, but I guess you can compare it to the term butch, which is both a descriptor and an identity. A woman who looks and acts masculine isn't neccessarily lesbian (and the other stereotypes that come with it - Dominant, likes femmes, have stereotypically male interests etc) and might not care for the term, let alone make it part of their identity. And then there are those that may not look butch (this is subjective, just look at how people talk about Ellen Degeneres) but identify as such because of their preferred role in a relationship and/or in bed.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:38 PM   #64
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I think I may be part of the minority in saying this but I don't think that just because you use the term fat or BBW to describe yourself, it makes you that.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:51 PM   #65
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I think I may be part of the minority in saying this but I don't think that just because you use the term fat or BBW to describe yourself, it makes you that.
Well, it is one thing to say that you don't think someone has a fat body, but another to completely invalidate their "fat experience". Whether they feel insulted or not depends on how you and the other person see the word fat - as a descriptor, adjective or both. The former is fine since it is just an opinion and we are all entitled to have them, some people just have more extreme views than others. My parents happen to think that anything above 85lbs is disgustingly fat and then there are overzealous FAs who think 300lbs is small.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:01 PM   #66
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Cors droppin' the knowledge! And this is why she's so awesome.

(Oh: And she's pretty too, but no need to mention that again )
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:33 PM   #67
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:51 AM   #68
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I'm a size 10-12 and I am not thin. I don't claim the BBW label, because I believe that I'm an "average" size (that term being relative ... a lot of people would consider me to be at least chubby, but I don't give a flying fig what a lot of people think, nor do I feel threatened by any labels). I don't think that defining BBW has to mean that the person in question struggles with health or mobility issues or has a difficult time finding clothes that fit or faces public ridicule. I'm with Keb; I think that a large part of it lies in how a person defines him/herself. I know people whom I consider to be quite large; they'd adamantly reject the BBW label because they associate it with a negative, and they'd rather delude themselves that they aren't "that big", Lord no, not as big at THAT fat man/woman . I know others who embrace the label and, at least here at Dims, would be considered quite average-sized. I think that if the term had all negative connotations removed, INCLUDING some that I've seen here (i.e., you can't possibly be a BBW unless you're struggling in some way), more people would feel free to embrace it ... and wouldn't feel threatened by others who do, for that matter.
i agree with you 100%. this suffering sad sack club has to go. what happened to the celebratory nature of BBWdom? if you don't whine or feel yourself a victim sometimes you aren't seen to be a real BBW. never mind most people in the world have a struggle of one kind of another. only my struggle at my particular BBW size is valid. it also seems to make it okay to be abusive to people who differ from me ideologically because "i am a BBW" like some kind of asshole license. and because i am depressed about who i am i feel i have the right to judge and pick apart anything anyone else is trying to do for the BBW cause that is positive even though i myself may do nothing to advance it. i can't even be encouraging to those who do because i'm secretly jealous that they have the attention that i want.

that attitude has to go. its not a wonder people don't want to be involved with that. people want to relate to something uplifting and positive --not depressive. it makes us look like a negative stereotype for sure. it makes us look greedy selfish and uncaring even though most BBWs are the exact opposite. also focusing on the negative most of the time does not help us to move forward. we have to learn to leave scars we might have in the past so that we can move forward with hope. i'm not saying that people have to pretend that they don't have struggles but it can't be your life's focus except to overcome them or negate them as much as possible. what i would personally call a true BBW is a person who focuses on or tries to focus on the positives she has rather than the negatives. the center of her life is I CAN. i think the term BBW at its most positive is a spirit that guides your lifestyle in the face of some social prejudice and not a handicap.

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Old 06-14-2009, 11:02 AM   #69
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i agree with you 100%. this suffering sad sack club has to go. what happened to the celebratory nature of BBWdom? if you don't whine or feel yourself a victim sometimes you aren't seen to be a real BBW. never mind most people in the world have a struggle of one kind of another. only my struggle at my particular BBW size is valid. it also seems to make it okay to be abusive to people who differ from me ideologically because "i am a BBW" like some kind of asshole license. and because i am depressed about who i am i feel i have the right to judge and pick apart anything anyone else is trying to do for the BBW cause that is positive even though i myself may do nothing to advance it. i can't even be encouraging to those who do because i'm secretly jealous that they have the attention that i want.

that attitude has to go. its not a wonder people don't want to be involved with that. people want to relate to something uplifting and positive --not depressive. it makes us look like a negative stereotype for sure. it makes us look greedy selfish and uncaring even though most BBWs are the exact opposite. also focusing on the negative most of the time does not help us to move forward. we have to learn to leave scars we might have in the past so that we can move forward with hope. i'm not saying that people have to pretend that they don't have struggles but it can't be your life's focus except to overcome them or negate them as much as possible. what i would personally call a true BBW is a person who focuses on or tries to focus on the positives she has rather than the negatives. the center of her life is I CAN. i think the term BBW at its most positive is a spirit that guides your lifestyle in the face of some social prejudice and not a handicap.
Who said anything about focusing on the negative?

For me this is really simple. I wouldn't want to hear a white person claiming they are black. That just sounds ridiculous. To me it sounds equally ridiculous for a thin person to call themselves fat. But since fat is not as easy to define as race or nationality, then there has to be some way, somehow to define this quality. It makes sense to me for that definition to come down to quality of life if size is inadequate. No one said anything about whining. One's quality of life can suffer, but one can still cope - and celebrate. I see good coping skills as a strength, not a weakness. To me that strength should be acknowledged - with terms like BBW. These words sprung to life out of necessity; cause fat people needed them, not thin people. So why should thin people need to claim them? But if they really feel like these fat words are empowering then okay. It's a bit of a head scratcher to me, but whatever.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #70
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I think 'Fat' can only truly be an internal and subjective concept. Like cors talked about being 'fat' above 85lbs and for some people who may have been 600lbs and lose weight to become 400lbs they may feel pretty thin at their new weight. I say that it has to be internal and subjective because even if the sense of being fat is geographical, we live in a global village where our perceptions of ourselves cannot just shift because we do. For example the person who has been chastised for being fat at 90lbs may always feel 'fat' even when they move to a place where they are deemed underweight. So if different societies cannot agree on what is fat then it becomes an internal model for people living within these societies.
As to the question "what is a BBW?" I think it is a term constructed to sell pornography and to make people in personal ads sound less self deprocating.
Why seperate beauty into catagories?? Why 'big' beautiful woman? Why not just Beautiful woman?
Beauty is subjective and so is big.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:57 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by olwen View Post

For me this is really simple. I wouldn't want to hear a white person claiming they are black. That just sounds ridiculous.
But Olwen... My soul IS black.
I love you sistah!!

*Just watched the secret life of bees*-So technically AM black.

Just adding a wee spin on this though- Why do people understand (well kinna sometimes) when someone says "I KNOW i am a boy on the inside" When on the outside they have a vagina and breasts? Maby some people's brains are programed to say they are another body shape e.g people with body dysmorphia or even people who become gainers because they feel they are ment to be fat. Hmm.. even though its a far stretch of the imagination and i AM kinna playing devils advacado here, maby some people 'just feel black'. Its more that just a colour, there are a whole load of conotations, cultural expectations...etc that people may identity more with than their own 'white' culture. Just as being a woman is MORE than just having tits and a vagina. You may not understand why someone might identify as being something they are not externally, though the way i see it is, that most of what we are and goes on with us is on the inside anyway, so does it really matter as to other peoples understandings of which ever way we decide to identify with and relate to our piece of meat?.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:19 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by mergirl View Post
I think 'Fat' can only truly be an internal and subjective concept. Like cors talked about being 'fat' above 85lbs and for some people who may have been 600lbs and lose weight to become 400lbs they may feel pretty thin at their new weight. I say that it has to be internal and subjective because even if the sense of being fat is geographical, we live in a global village where our perceptions of ourselves cannot just shift because we do.

...
Just an off the wall observation relating to this... Our daughter has recently discovered 'fat people' and is using the term 'fat' to describe people (a tall person, thin person, fat person... etc... she simply uses it as a descriptor... I dont' think she's latched onto the negative connotations yet...) What is interesting is that she seems to only recognize 'fat people' as being people with big bellies. She will describe a person who is even fatter but has fat in different places as either being 'tall' or 'big' something else. As Cors, Mergirl and others here have pointed out, it's all a matter of perspective and perception IMO. A BBW is whatever you make a BBW to be... it's simply another label in a sea of descriptors which are basically impossible to definitively define.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:30 PM   #73
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Just an off the wall observation relating to this... Our daughter has recently discovered 'fat people' and is using the term 'fat' to describe people (a tall person, thin person, fat person... etc... she simply uses it as a descriptor... I dont' think she's latched onto the negative connotations yet...) What is interesting is that she seems to only recognize 'fat people' as being people with big bellies. She will describe a person who is even fatter but has fat in different places as either being 'tall' or 'big' something else. As Cors, Mergirl and others here have pointed out, it's all a matter of perspective and perception IMO. A BBW is whatever you make a BBW to be... it's simply another label in a sea of descriptors which are basically impossible to definitively define.
haha..its kinna like when children socially construct the things that are around them, they have schemas in their heads to catagorise stuff, just to make the world less HUGE. My friend doesnt like spiders and freaks out and yells 'spiders' when she sees one. Her kid calls everything insect like "spider" -(in her head ..scary thing i dont like) She fell and was crying and yelling at her skint knee "spider". Yeah, my freind has fucked up her kid psychologically.. BUT we have learned something important grover and cookie monster.. ...Words are just words, it's the representations of them;the fears, experiences and teachings of others that make them a real experience.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:45 PM   #74
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Who said anything about focusing on the negative?

For me this is really simple. I wouldn't want to hear a white person claiming they are black. That just sounds ridiculous. To me it sounds equally ridiculous for a thin person to call themselves fat. But since fat is not as easy to define as race or nationality, then there has to be some way, somehow to define this quality. It makes sense to me for that definition to come down to quality of life if size is inadequate. No one said anything about whining. One's quality of life can suffer, but one can still cope - and celebrate. I see good coping skills as a strength, not a weakness. To me that strength should be acknowledged - with terms like BBW. These words sprung to life out of necessity; cause fat people needed them, not thin people. So why should thin people need to claim them? But if they really feel like these fat words are empowering then okay. It's a bit of a head scratcher to me, but whatever.
but who gets to decide who is what? i have relatives who are probably white if you look at the caucasian percentage of DNA. if you saw them you'd definitely assume they are white. but the thing is they identify as black. its family history and how our society has oreinted itself toward us. it is essentially how they feel. one thing i learned from that is no one can truly define who you are except you. other people can have opinions but you are truly the only one who knows how you feel or relate to the world. if a thin person feels like a BBW whats the big deal? maybe they were fat before. maybe they are the fattest person in ther community or social group. whatever it is that makes them relate--they do. its just another person in the right camp supporting us as far as i'm concerned. i don't think it matters as long as the support and love is heartfelt and genuine. the black community learned that a long time ago when even the slave masters children were sold but men who weren't even thier fathers and did not look like them in the least took them in and loved them like thier own.

it was just me talking about the focus on the negative. its in dims, the media at large and society. there is a lot of poor poor pitiful me encouraged even when its unwarranted. sure its good to vent when your sad and be angry sometimes. but on balance there tends to be too much of it in general and thats why people have the negative impressions about BBWs that they do. in my personal opinion, in general we feed right into it. the joyous things we do are kept hush hush under raps and secretive for the most part because we are so afraid that someone will make fun of us or say something negative. i remember how much younger dimmers were derided for posting pix being young and fun at bashes and got so many negative comments. so now thier lively fun filled posts are not to be seen here. a lot of nice things that prove we have a life like anyone else have been stopped like that because instead of being glad that they allowed people to live vicariously through them, people who didn't have that opportunity at that age, got jealous and called them attention whores etc... so now they have basically gone elsewhere, who can blame them?

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:50 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by mergirl View Post
But Olwen... My soul IS black.
I love you sistah!!

*Just watched the secret life of bees*-So technically AM black.

Just adding a wee spin on this though- Why do people understand (well kinna sometimes) when someone says "I KNOW i am a boy on the inside" When on the outside they have a vagina and breasts? Maby some people's brains are programed to say they are another body shape e.g people with body dysmorphia or even people who become gainers because they feel they are ment to be fat. Hmm.. even though its a far stretch of the imagination and i AM kinna playing devils advacado here, maby some people 'just feel black'. Its more that just a colour, there are a whole load of conotations, cultural expectations...etc that people may identity more with than their own 'white' culture. Just as being a woman is MORE than just having tits and a vagina. You may not understand why someone might identify as being something they are not externally, though the way i see it is, that most of what we are and goes on with us is on the inside anyway, so does it really matter as to other peoples understandings of which ever way we decide to identify with and relate to our piece of meat?.
I can understand why someone would feel like one gender on the inside despite what's on the outside. That makes total sense to me since so much about gender is a social construct. There are aspects of fatness that are socialized as well, and the way we are socialized about it makes it seem ridiculous to me that thin people would so easily identify with fatness when there are so many other cues from society that they are more accepted than not. I know it's hard for people in general to just sort of believe in and accept themselves, but common sense has to kick in sometime.
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