“Weight Classes”

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1. The terms "BBW" and "Big Beautiful Women", were coined by Carole Shaw in 1979, when she launched “BBW Magazine”, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for "plus-sized" women of 250 lbs or more.

2. The term "SSBBW" (Super Size), was coined in 1991; and was originally designated at 400 lbs. It has since been assumed to be 350 lbs and upwards.

3. The term “USBBW” (Ultra Sized Big Beautiful Woman) was adopted in the U.S., circa 2010, and refers to women Size 32, up to 600 lbs.

4. The term “USSBBW” (Ultra Super Sized Big Beautiful Woman), are ladies weighing more than 600 pounds (272 kg). It is currently the largest weight class (as of 2021).

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agouderia

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A bit of research. Most of it is common knowledge, at this point.
Not to rain on your parade - but the terms BBW/SSBBW,etc. are not universally known, accepted or used, not even within the fat acceptance community. Let alone which exact weight range or class they might refer to.

BBW has gotten much more common for Beautiful Black Woman by now in public perception.

Regarding the so-called weight classes, your definition leaves out or disregards the essential height component. A woman, who is 5'2" or shorter, for instance, might already be a SSBBW at 250 lbs. since that is roughly double her median normal weight (much easier to calculate in metric btw).

In sum, this "weight class" discussion is something for the in-in-group minority with a scale number fetish....
 

Tad

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I'm pretty sure that BBW magazine never used a cut off of 250 pounds. I wasn't there, but any reading I've done suggests that it was aimed at women not served by most stores at the time. As late as the mid-90s most women's clothing stores stopped at a 13/14 (which would be more like a size 12 now, due to size inflation). I think my fiancee was all of 190 pounds when we had to start looking in plus size stores for some items in '93. We did pick up some copies of BBW magazine over the next few years and I'm pretty sure that it was covering all sizes of plus, not starting at what (at the time) would likely have been a size 22 or so for 250+ pounds.

Likewise I'm pretty sure that SSBBW Was originally used for women who couldn't buy clothes in the plus size stores of the time (which generally stopped at a size 26, (which would be more like a non-stretchy size 24 now).

Because these were related to clothing size, actual weights would vary by height, proportions, and build.
 

loopytheone

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Yeah, I'm 200 lbs and 5'2 and I can't fit into regular store clothes, as a general rule. I'm definitely a BBW, as most people on the site could attest, though I'm not sure how I feel about being told I could be a SSBBW in 50 lbs time. =p

As I remember, we had a SSBBW board here once and the cutoff for that was 400 lbs. But that was just a number picked out of thin air and caused a lot of anger from the shorter women who were, like, less than 5'0 and over 350 lbs, but still didn't 'count' as SSBBW by that definition.

I'd argue that if you are at least overweight you can call yourself a BBW, anything else is subjective because there's so many different body types and heights and stuff.

Personally, I tend to think of high 300 or 400 as being the start of supersize for most men and women, but it really does depend. Smol fatties deserve love too.
 
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I'm pretty sure that BBW magazine never used a cut off of 250 pounds. I wasn't there, but any reading I've done suggests that it was aimed at women not served by most stores at the time. As late as the mid-90s most women's clothing stores stopped at a 13/14 (which would be more like a size 12 now, due to size inflation). I think my fiancee was all of 190 pounds when we had to start looking in plus size stores for some items in '93. We did pick up some copies of BBW magazine over the next few years and I'm pretty sure that it was covering all sizes of plus, not starting at what (at the time) would likely have been a size 22 or so for 250+ pounds.

Likewise I'm pretty sure that SSBBW Was originally used for women who couldn't buy clothes in the plus size stores of the time (which generally stopped at a size 26, (which would be more like a non-stretchy size 24 now).

Because these were related to clothing size, actual weights would vary by height, proportions, and build.
I've gone back and reviewed, and you're absolutely right. BBW Magazine did not designate an actual weight to "BBW" in 1979.
My understanding though, is that 250 lbs was a milestone, at one point. And I do note that currently (2021), "BBW Wiki" defines BBW as being between 200 - 350 lbs. Category:BBW - BBW Wiki.

Though, I think that many in the plus size community nowadays (2021), would argue that a BBW is a Size 18+.
Understanding that weight, has ceased to be the main defining factor. As women can differ, such as 5'0" or 6'0", and be the same weight.

I also agree, that a SSBBW nowadays would likely be assumed to be a Size 24+.
Though I do note that, "Dimensions Magazine considers a woman over 350 pounds (160 kg) to be an SSBBW.[3]" As written on Wikipedia's description of "Big Beautiful Woman". Big Beautiful Woman - Wikipedia.
 
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Not to rain on your parade - but the terms BBW/SSBBW,etc. are not universally known, accepted or used, not even within the fat acceptance community. Let alone which exact weight range or class they might refer to.

BBW has gotten much more common for Beautiful Black Woman by now in public perception.

Regarding the so-called weight classes, your definition leaves out or disregards the essential height component. A woman, who is 5'2" or shorter, for instance, might already be a SSBBW at 250 lbs. since that is roughly double her median normal weight (much easier to calculate in metric btw).

In sum, this "weight class" discussion is something for the in-in-group minority with a scale number fetish....
I Disagree. -- The terms themselves are accepted in the Plus Size Community. It's the specific definitions that vary. Correct?

And BBBW, has long been defined as "Big Beautiful Black Woman." BBBW | What Does BBBW Mean?
My understanding is that, this definition goes back to the 80's, in the African-American community.

But, I definitely Agree with you, on the Height component. I merely wrote down, the existing terms that my research has given me.
Being that this Forum is the "Weight Board", I titled my article "Weight Classes". When it should perhaps actual be "Size Classes"?

Again, IMO: "Weight, has ceased to be a defining factor. As women can differ, such as 5'0" or 6'0", and be the same weight."
From what I can determine, the following chart is more accurate, than a weight designation. Again, given the current terms (2021).:

Size 18+ = BBW
Size 24+ = SSBBW
Size 32+ = USBBW
600 lbs+ = USSBBW
 

Orchid

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Back in the 1970s my teens was mostly imports USA clothes place I lived in my youth and was size 14 US back then that was seen as fat. You had to be below 54 kg to count as slim/normal. I was 10 above that.
BBW is only something I see think in a magazine 1980s ? article the brunette lady forgot her name she was active in fashion for fat ladies in a time where plus sizes was very little. She told about going shopping finding only a scarf to buy she had many. I too bought only a scarf and a WD magazine no clothes found.
Even today here in EU is not much at affordable prices for my age and a lot is sack/tent look in funerary colors.
I saved 2 dresses from my late teens still have them. When DD was think 15 she fit the smallest it fits.
 
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Yeah, I'm 200 lbs and 5'2 and I can't fit into regular store clothes, as a general rule. I'm definitely a BBW, as most people on the site could attest, though I'm not sure how I feel about being told I could be a SSBBW in 50 lbs time. =p

As I remember, we had a SSBBW board here once and the cutoff for that was 400 lbs. But that was just a number picked out of thin air and caused a lot of anger from the shorter women who were, like, less than 5'0 and over 350 lbs, but still didn't 'count' as SSBBW by that definition.

I'd argue that if you are at least overweight you can call yourself a BBW, anything else is subjective because there's so many different body types and heights and stuff.

Personally, I tend to think of high 300 or 400 as being the start of supersize for most men and women, but it really does depend. Smol fatties deserve love too.
DISCLAIMER: This is my first time on this site. So, I figured that I had to go by what terms currently exist. And, as all I've seen thus far is weight classifications, I went with that. That said, TBH, I actually believe that dress sizes are a better determination of BBW-ness.

I obviously came into this kinda backwards. But, if I had to fight my fight, so to speak, I'd do it on "Size Classes" in retrospect.

In any event, I Agree that at 200 lbs and 5'2" you're probably a BBW.
But, by that archaic weight scale, a SSBBW is at 350 lbs, not 250 lbs. So you're far from being perceived as an SSBBW.

Again, going by a scale that I got from another site.

Size 18+ = BBW
Size 24+ = SSBBW
Size 32+ = USBBW
600 lbs+ = USSBBW
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Massachusetts
Back in the 1970s my teens was mostly imports USA clothes place I lived in my youth and was size 14 US back then that was seen as fat. You had to be below 54 kg to count as slim/normal. I was 10 above that.
BBW is only something I see think in a magazine 1980s ? article the brunette lady forgot her name she was active in fashion for fat ladies in a time where plus sizes was very little. She told about going shopping finding only a scarf to buy she had many. I too bought only a scarf and a WD magazine no clothes found.
Even today here in EU is not much at affordable prices for my age and a lot is sack/tent look in funerary colors.
I saved 2 dresses from my late teens still have them. When DD was think 15 she fit the smallest it fits.
Interesting post. Do y'all have Stores that you can walk into, nowadays, to buy clothing your size?
And/or are you able to order a lot of your clothing online, from EU stores?

I note, that here in the US there is increasingly more variety in clothing. Though, still somewhat pricey.
A store chain called "Wal-Mart" seems to be leading the market in lower cost clothing, at sizes up to Size 30/32, or about 5X. Though, the variety at that lower cost, is not as vibrant.
 

bluetech

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A lot of what makes a BBW vs SSBBW is subjective and “I know it when I see it”. But the rule of thumb that works for me is to go by BMI instead of weight, which by definition adjusts for height.

I know that BMI is commonly disliked here. I 100% agree that it is useless as a proxy for health like it is commonly used for. However, unless you are an elite athlete which nearly everyone here probably isn’t, it is a fairly good proxy for fatness.

The scale that makes sense to me is:
BBW: BMI > 30 (i.e. “obese”)
SSBBW: BMI > 60 (i.e. you could lose literally half your weight and still be obese)
USSBBW: BMI > 90
 

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