what happened to all the naafa and bbw events?

Discussion in 'Daily Living' started by svenm2112, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Aug 20, 2018 #81

    Mack27

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    Man I remember the days when there were 3 separate groups having BBW dances in New England. There were some Summer months when you could hit 4 different events. There's not much now, Club Ample has events trickling out every few months now, the same with Curves. The Big Beautiful Jersey Bash is coming up in September. Too much of the community has been gobbled up by intersectionality, we were better off on our own.
     
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  2. Aug 20, 2018 #82

    DragonFly

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    I totally get intersectionality.... but then again it seems to be anti-intuitive when we haven’t fixed the big problems like male female inequality, racial discrimination and fat Discrimination. Do we need to make less divisions and work in larger groups on one issue.. probably. I miss the diversity within the bbw party scene. There used to be a much wider age variety and people variety!
     
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  3. Sep 23, 2018 #83

    KHayes666

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    I could be here all day squawking about how and why the NE scene went down the crapper but you lived it, you already know.
     
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  4. Sep 24, 2018 #84

    Ned Sonntag

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    NAAFA imploded in late spring of '95... even the remnant that pulled-itself-together in ~what? ~ '04? was a shadow of one faction. The Perfect was the Enemy of the Good. Heavenly Bodies attempted a rapprochement in '06 in Needham but it didn't go well. So it's an entire generation later and very few of the original '68ers survive. But they succeeded in changing the culture a great deal... no failure there!
     
  5. Sep 26, 2018 #85

    JoeBananas

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    Approach Feabie at your peril, it's mostly a newsfeed of millennials' petty complaints ("I'm so bored" and such) and females with Amazon wish list items you can buy them if you want a return private message.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2018 #86

    DragonFly

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    Good description of Feabie - the complaints in the feed is actually quite funny. Nothing like an 18 year old, crying about the state of their lives, so long it has been so hard it as been. Lol
     
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  7. Sep 30, 2018 #87

    Scotter

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    This thread really asks two separate and distinct questions. The fate of NAAFA, and other size-positive events, are two different things. It seems that the whole concept of social gathering, even among mainstream life, has declined. Why that is could be any number of reasons, but I suspect it has to do with changes in the economy.

    With respect to NAAFA in particular:

    I first became aware of NAAFA circa 1983 in an article I read somewhere. My most recent activism was 2003, closing Hipsters, which I had started in 1997.

    I NAAFA go through it's life cycle, and became versed in its history dating back to it's inception in 1968, straight from the mouths of the founders.

    When I first heard on local radio that there was a Michigan Chapter of NAAFA, I clamored to join, but was disappointed at what I found. The first meeting I attended was five people. Meeting attendance was considered huge if there were a dozen people. The chapter "Bulletin," (so referred to because only National was allowed to have a "newsletter," don't you know), was a complete joke. Multiply replicated copies of copies in letter size stapled together, much of it handwritten. Circulation was about fifty.

    By my second meeting, I realized that I had choice to make. I could either accept it as it was, which would mean leaving altogether, or become active in order to help it fulfill it's potential. I chose the latter. I offered to publish the chapter bulletin using the newfangled desktop publishing technology, reformatting it to a bi-fold center-stapled 1/2 letter size booklet form, with a colored cover page and a custom graphic on the front. At every meeting I pushed to dedicate as much of the budget to marketing as possible, which usually was met with fierce resistance.

    The biggest hurdle seemed to be the fact that because the chapter was modeled after a political body, those in office were highly resistant to expanding membership, because that would potentially threaten their ability to keep their position of "power." The office holders apparently feared newcomers because they could not be relied upon to show loyalty to the status quo. Particularly with respect to NAAFA, this seems to have been its plight throughout it's entire life-cycle.

    I read in this thread that alcohol was prohibited at local events because National feared liability issues for someone at the local level getting a DUI? Give me a freaking break. I don't believe for one second that's the real reason, since it's virtually impossible that a liability link could be established between a local organization for a state-based misdemeanor and a national 501c-something corporation, merely because the later charged money to license the use of it's name to the former, with no other contractual legal ties. Ridiculous. I would surmise the real reason was that some faction of the board wished to impose the personal sensibilities of a few upon the entire organization.

    Alcohol is a social gathering tradition that dates back to the Old Testament and other contemporaneous scriptures. To try to ban it at social functions is to drastically limit their appeal.

    Through NAAFA's lifecycle (I now consider it defunct, despite the fact that some ghost of it still exists -- RIP), I witnessed many similar self-inflicted wounds, ranging from cut-throat power struggles that fragmented the organization, to ridiculous bureaucracies that stunted its potential for growth.

    In that light, it was little wonder that one of the first splinter groups, Goddesses, started by Nancy Esposito, took off like a rocket. Goddesses was purely social in nature, and was a for-profit endeavor, in stark contrast to NAAFA's staunchly non-profit sensibilities. Esposito was considered a traitor and persona non grata in the NAAFA elite circles. Upon that, all factions agreed, though nobody came up with a good reason to ban her.

    I do recall there being some committee set up to oust members based on arbitrary standards of appropriate conduct, which quickly devolved into a platform for bullying. After a couple years it had to be scaled back, with the sacrifice of many dozens of members to the fledgling organization.

    In my opinion, NAAFA's strict approach to centralization of power was one thing that permanently stunted its potential for growth. Rather than taking a more federal or franchise approach, all power remained with the national board, and the chapters were merely wholly subjugated colonies. There was no design to allow chapters to take any part in national policy discussion, no incorporation of chapter "bulletins" in the national newsletter to provide a view of what different areas were trying and their results, only National's way or the highway.

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." ~ Princess Leia

    Eventually, political underpinnings overshadowed size-acceptance as NAAFA's primary focus. When Conrad was finally ousted from the Board, the new Chairwoman boasted of how they had finally rid NAAFA of all male influence. When I heard that, I knew I was done with NAAFA. I would still take advantage of its social events as long as they lasted (which wasn't much longer), but never again would I consider contributing to or participating in the organazation.

    One of the things that NAAFA's tight reign on chapters caused was lack of local growth. People mostly became involved with the chapters either through word of mouth, or by referral from National. Because the chapter structures were also required to take political entity form, their flexibility in adapting to and promoting growth was limited. Further, any incentive to create growth, as mentioned above, was likewise limited.

    Lessons learned: Political structure and fierce centralization of power are probably not a good idea on a national scale.

    With respect to Non-NAAFA groups and BBW evens in general:

    Prior to advent of the internet, there was nothing out there save a few groups like Goddesses, Plump Pals, Large Encounters, etc., all of which were located in the densely populated East Coast, and a couple groups on the densely populated West Coast.

    With the advent of the internet and America Online, other groups were able to start popping up in densely populated areas such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, the East Coast of Florida, etc. These groups were mainly supported by regionalized chat rooms such as AOL's FLBBWforFLMen, or ChicagoBBW, which allowed people in a close regional area to congregate and form a will to gather locally.

    The internet also allowed BBW bashes to become a thing so long as they could gain wide regional or national draw. Throughout it all, my observation was that internet chat, with people sitting home at their computers spending hours chatting in real time according to niche interests, such as size acceptance, was the backbone marketing most of it.

    The one anomalous exception to this phenomenon of which I am aware was Hipsters in Atlanta, but that was the result of pure brute-force local advertising, rather than internet dependence. Hipsters' success attracted NAAFA to have its National convention in Atlanta in 2002, despite NAAFA's having virtually zero presence in the entire Southeast.

    When mobile devices started supplanting the phenomenon of people sitting at computers for hours, chat rooms became impractical as full-size keyboards were replaced by slow, clumsy, but pocketable touch screen keyboards. Similarly, the ubiquitous, massive-capability, all-powerful, but processing-power pig that was Myspace, fell into disuse in the wake of the much less capable, but mobile app'ed Facebook.

    To this day web surfing remains clunky and awkward via mobile device, so if you don't have an app, nobody is going to see you. The small content creator's accessibility to web pages allowed all kinds of start-ups to bud and flourish, but the high hurdle to making the leap to from web-site to mobile app pretty much killed the cottage industry start-ups in favor of the more well-heeled who could afford to develop apps.

    Meanwhile, the advent of social media tended to supplant all in-person social activity even in mainstream culture. The draw of real life first-time encounters seems to have faded dramatically across the board. Bar strip nightlife in most major cities appears to have more than halved. "Going out" on Friday and Saturday nights has become something of a past concept, it seems. I think for the BBW scene, the effect has been all the more devastating.

    For the dating scene, everyone seems to want to meet online these days. For the more general social scene, that effect seems to fragment what's left.

    I predict that the online trend will get old though, and the desire for real-life social settings will return.

    That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2019 #88

    Killexia

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    Scotter, your statement about getting burned out on social media is 100% correct. After reading through this thread, I was going to mention that.

    I am at the point where Dims, Gab, and Instagram are the only social media things I do. I'm rarely on Instagram lately and check into Gab every so often when I want to post something.

    I crave real world socializing. I haven't had it in years and I miss the camaraderie.
     
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  9. Apr 11, 2019 #89

    DragonFly

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    I agree, Dimensions is the closest to that feeling of community I have found!
     
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