Fatphobic parents

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Anomaly

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I'm interested in reading about the experiences of others who grew up in an environment where body-shaming and particularly fatphobia were a problem.
My mother was aware of my fat fetish long before I ever came out, and she detested it. I remember there used to be a TV show hosted by a very voluptuous man in his 20s, and try as I might I haven't been able to find out what it was. He used to wear Hawaiian shirts which didn't succeed at disguising how well endowed he was in his chest area, and one time as I sat there watching him in sheer joy, she shouted at me, "That's disgusting! It just wobbled!" Apparently it was allowed for her to say she liked Colin Firth, but if I mentioned someone I liked, she made a revolted noise.
My sister has always been a large curvy lady. A couple of years ago she confided in me about how awful our mother had made her feel about herself as a child. Her self-confidence still suffers and she has spent all her life trying to lose weight and has only grown bigger over time. I wish she could be happy with herself as she is. And it wasn't just fatness. I was made to feel bad for being thin and told that thin women in the media were only chosen because the people who controlled the media were gay men and the thin women's bodies looked like boys' (which is a horrible thing to say about gay men as well as thin women), and unpleasant comments were always made about people's bodies. This had and continues to have a profound effect on me. My mother once told me that a childhood friend had front teeth that made her look like a rabbit, and as a child I innocently repeated this and got in trouble for it. Even today, I'm acutely aware of an urge to notice and comment on people's physical qualities from experiencing my mother laughing at athletes on TV because a horseman had big thighs or she said she only watched winter sports because she found it amusing when skiers fell over. Being creative was seen as unworthy and if I drew or wrote anything I was always told it was crap, and my first instinct when someone tells me they have written a poem or done a painting is to think it is crap. Certain words we were not allowed to use (I don't mean swearing or rude words, they were just ordinary words she happened to dislike), and I have to resist criticising how other people use words.
I don't want this to degenerate into a rant about parents, and have come to terms with this as my mother having had children too young and for the wrong reasons. I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this, and how do you deal with the conflict of being fat or finding fat people beautiful against this poisoned background?
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
I can relate to this in many ways, even though my mom was not fatphobic, my grandmother had lots to say about it. She was a big influence (no pun intended) in my life and she would always remark when she saw someone who was bigger.

I carried that mentality with me into early adulthood but slowly changed my mindset on this and other subjects. This was not based on any ideas about physical attraction. Rather, I understood that it was a prejudicial way of thinking and that I wanted to remove it from my thought processes.

The influences of our childhood cannot be easily undone but they can. It takes effort on our part and a willingness to WANT to change. Otherwise, we will continue to walk that path until something tragic/traumatic happens or we personally work to change things.
 
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agouderia

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A (more or less) fatphobic environment is the rule and not the exception for those of us who grew up fat - almost irrespective of how "fat" someone actually was. For girls this starts at the top end of what is a medically normal weight.

And as BEK pointed out, these feelings stay with you, especially since appearance is such a judgemental issue in general. Time, growing up but also the internet and noticing one is not alone certainly helped.
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
For the most part, I never had to deal with this situation (personally) growing up. I only became fat(ish) into my 40's and even then, as I was in the military, I was still exercising fairly regularly. But I saw how others were treated and the older I got, the more I became aware of how wrong it was to treat people so badly because of their weight.
 

Pluviophile

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I didn't know before that fatphobic is what it's called. Now I take it that my father was a fatphobic. I had to take in a lot of negative words in my childhood that made me upset all the time. I even shed tears in solitude. I still remember his disappointed reactions when we used to go to shopping for new clothes and whatever I tried was either tight at my chest or didn't slide up my waist and thighs. The despondent faces of some of my family members' and so-called-friends really got into me for years. I started hating myself and used to question myself that why was I like this and why was I born this way. It's not my fault and it's not a mistake or a crime, yet it forced me to feel traumatic.
But by God's grace the situation has now been a bit ease. But still the pains are locked in my memories.
 
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Wow, thanks OP! I can reeeeeally relate to this.

I'm not sure where to begin--should I list all the memories I have of my parents or other family members making fat-shaming comments about others? Or their negative comments about the women I found attractive? Or their comments about a girl I wanted to date in high school? I have nothing but compassion and solidarity for other members of this community, fat or admirers, who grew up experiencing this.

In general the members of my family are very fat-shaming. It's taken me a long time and a lot of inner work to realize that they, particularly my parents, had their own very negative, body-shaming experiences. So I think it was insecurity, fear and blindness to their own prejudices that drove their attitudes and comments. Still, it would have been great to have been supported instead of shamed. That's just how they are, but it was really damaging for me, and it's made embracing and loving my sexuality challenging. I say that as someone who has done and continues to do a lot of work on himself to correct and overcome "childhood wounds" in this and other areas. Anyway, when I began to realize just how much negativity I'd inherited from my parents (and culture!), I started seeing it as my job to adjust my thinking. One thing that helped me was to actually write these negative messages out. I did this for about 2 weeks, anytime a judgemental thought would pop up. I probably missed a few, but I did my best. After I'd done this, I could see them clearly and became really aware of them. When they'd come up I could work to correct them. The negative thoughts about being an FA are non-existent today, which is a big deal for me as I was really hard on myself for a long time. This community has been a bit part of that, as have other resources. Feel free to PM if you want to talk at length or in more detail about growing up as an admirer.
 

mathfa

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My parents have always been fatphobic. I think for my dad, it's largely been because he is very into personal health, and I think he sees being fat as rejecting available information, that everyone should be thin. For my mom, it's just deeply ingrained from my very hateful grandparents.

It's been hard honestly. Took me years to realize that I could actually just be with a larger lady one day instead of this having to be some secret thing I held inside while dating smaller women. My upbringing contributed strongly to my anorexia as well (I know, an anorexic FA is very silly sounding :D ). And I think their predjudices have had something to do with their lack of acceptance of my partner.
 

carib

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I was a fat shamer growing up. i remember in high school being part of the group that shamed and ridiculed fat kids. as an adult , i also fat shamed men with big bellies - i thought how can a person look like this. and low and behold - im now a big bellied man in my 50's. Sometimes i think its karma , although i don't believe in karma. I am on some sites where people i mostly get along with make fat shaming post and i offer a mild resistant response becuase i don't want to appear as " hit dog , hollers"
 
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I came across a Facebook post today, in which a wonderful American lady, recalled in very positive terms her visit to New Zealand a few years ago. What she does is very relevant to this thread as it is meant to challenge bad attitudes towards fat and fat people, and to create positive images of fat people. She presents us as beautiful people.
She does trips to places around the world to meet fat people and take photographs of fat people. Many of her photographs are are nudes. She also displays her photographs in art galleries and museums.
She came to our little city to do some photographs of fat people from various community groups. She displayed some very tasteful nudes of fat people in our art gallery/museum. Our Mayor even gave a speech to open the gallery of her work. She took some photos of members of our local LGBTI+ organization. She even has a nude photo of me on her website. I bet that no one on here knew that I was a nude model.
You can find her website by Googling the name of her project. It is called the Adipositivity Project. We hear so much about fat shaming. I think it would be good if we had more material, which gives a positive portrayal of fat people.
 

carib

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Feb 2, 2022
Messages
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nyc
I came across a Facebook post today, in which a wonderful American lady, recalled in very positive terms her visit to New Zealand a few years ago. What she does is very relevant to this thread as it is meant to challenge bad attitudes towards fat and fat people, and to create positive images of fat people. She presents us as beautiful people.
She does trips to places around the world to meet fat people and take photographs of fat people. Many of her photographs are are nudes. She also displays her photographs in art galleries and museums.
She came to our little city to do some photographs of fat people from various community groups. She displayed some very tasteful nudes of fat people in our art gallery/museum. Our Mayor even gave a speech to open the gallery of her work. She took some photos of members of our local LGBTI+ organization. She even has a nude photo of me on her website. I bet that no one on here knew that I was a nude model.
You can find her website by Googling the name of her project. It is called the Adipositivity Project. We hear so much about fat shaming. I think it would be good if we had more material, which gives a positive portrayal of fat people.
 

luckyfa

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Apr 2, 2021
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138
Location
Paris
My parents were certainly fat-phobic when my wife and I started dating. They deemed her fat although she weighed a mere 155 lbs then. As she managed to increase her weight up to 285 lbs within 10 years, with a rapid initial weight gain of 45 lbs within our first 5 months, their fat phobia was effectively silenced. I have always been unapologetic and matter-of-factly about my preference once I had discovered it. This may have helped to re-educate them.
 

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