Fat Admiration and Fat Acceptance

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this for months, but was given a kick in the pants by a post on Big Fat Deal titled ‘Fat Fetishists on Tyra’.

First of all, we need to work out our definitions. There are very clear differences between fat admiration (a preference for fat people), fat fetishism (can only be aroused by fat), and feederism (actively wanting/making your partner fatter). People have used these terms interchangeably and they shouldn’t.

More than anything, my problem with the whole Tyra thing (that bastion of media integrity) is that those who are attracted to fat women are considered so odd, their preferences considered so bizarre, that they have a whole segment dedicated to them. Really, Tyra? REALLY? You wouldn’t base a segment on men who prefer blondes, so you’re revealing yourself to be incredibly judgemental by treating fat admiration as an ‘issue’ to be dissected.

Straight up: I have no problem whatsoever with fat admirers. I was introduced to the online fat admiration scene by a boy. At that time, my self-esteem wasn’t the best – I tolerated my body, but I certainly didn’t love it. I figured guys were attracted to me in spite of my body, not because of it. As taboo as this is to admit in the Fatosphere, it was a huuuuuuge revelation to find that people not only thought I was sexy, but preferred my fat self.

Don’t get me wrong – some guys on those websites are creeps. I’d get ridiculous messages that were obviously written with one hand. And I am not defined by how many people find me attactive. Having said that, realising that there were people out there who thought my body was perfection meant that I could finally let go of all the ‘my body isn’t good enough” bullshit that I had held onto for years.

I’m not saying that external validation is the only measure of worth. But I can’t ignore the fact that fat admiration was a significant part of my fat acceptance.

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21 Responses to “Fat Admiration and Fat Acceptance”


  1. 2 Atchka! 29 October, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I give you two thumbs up. Three if you count the hand in my glovebox.

    Oh crap, does this make me one of the creepy FAs?

    Peace,
    Shannon

  2. 3 thesportsbramonolgue 29 October, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I’m hoping Tyra does a “Frances Fetishists” segment because I’d be on that show in an instant!

    I may find you hot hot hot but if my husband asks, he’s still the only one for me (unless of course you don MC Hammer pants and then all bets are off!).

    Love

    Kate F

    P.S. I’m starting a new blog and you’ll be on my blog roll. Let me know if that’s okay.

    • 4 Frances 30 October, 2009 at 9:15 am

      Hahahahaha Frances fetishist. So, by definition, you can only be aroused by Frances? Yessssss, I’m a stud.

      PS. Ohh, new blog! I’m looking forward to having a squiz at it. Of course I’m happy to be on your blog roll.

    • 5 Frances 30 October, 2009 at 1:58 pm

      And don’t act like you wouldn’t go bananas for me in a pair of Hammer pants. I’M NOT BUYING IT, KATE.

  3. 6 thepocketrocket 29 October, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Any guy that goes out with a larger lady automatically gets labelled a feeder around these parts. It’s kind of ridiculous.

  4. 7 Nicholas Perkins 29 October, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    It’s funny to think that I’m considered a freak because I like women who are fat. Or is it ok to like fat women if you are a fat man? Perhaps that’s it!

  5. 8 lifeonfats 30 October, 2009 at 1:51 am

    I totally agree!

  6. 9 Patsy Nevins 30 October, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Good post. I have no problem with men (or women) having a strong preference for fat people, as long as they are not ‘creepy’ & predatory about it & do continue to see people as human beings &, in actual relationships, love & appreciate the whole person, not just the fat. I think it is wonderful to know that there are people who find me more attractive at my natural size than if I were very thin & I have even been somewhat amused over the years to discover a few men who were not attracted to me because I was not fat enough, which, for a fat woman in this fat-phobic culture, is a novel experience. While I don’t want a man to only desire or reject me for the amount of adipose tissue I carry (or, as one genius quoted on BFD says, ‘for my “bad” eating habits), & in any genuine, committed relationship, it is about a lot more than physical traits, there is nothing any more abnormal or psychologically unsound about desiring fat people than about only wanting Barbie doll clones. Historically, the survival of the human race has depended on women who had enough body fat to conceive, support pregnancy, survive birth, & be able to breastfed. Those genes have survived in much greater abundance than the genes for slender &/or athletic bodies, so it pays to be able to see the attraction of people with some meat on their bones; that makes it a lot more likely that a lot more people will HAVE relationships & not just meaningful intervals with centerfolds.

    There are a fair number of people who are attracted to fat people & I have a feeling that there are a lot more than we realize, since fat is so demonized in this culture that a lot do not talk about it. There are also, of course, a fair number of us who are open-minded & mature enough…or learn to be thanks to life experiences to see people as individuals & to appreciate, desire, & love people of every size & shape. Whoever you are, however fat you are, whatever you look like, & (of personal meaning to me as I have cerebral palsy) whether or not you have disabilities, there will be people who are attracted to you & desire you, &, somewhere along the way you will also find at least one or two who can genuinely love you. It is very good & reassuring to know that love & sex are not only for the young, the thin, the ‘beautiful people.’

    • 10 Frances 30 October, 2009 at 9:26 am

      Whoever you are, however fat you are, whatever you look like, & (of personal meaning to me as I have cerebral palsy) whether or not you have disabilities, there will be people who are attracted to you & desire you, &, somewhere along the way you will also find at least one or two who can genuinely love you.

      This was worth repeating.

  7. 11 Nate Perkins 30 October, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Excellent post, ma’am! There have been a few times where women I’ve dated have been SO suspect of my intentions that we’ve had to sit down and have “the talk” about me, my taste, and my life long preference for voluptuous women. It probably won’t surprise you that more than one has passed on me, suspicious of my motives. Not that I blame them, either- far be it from me to ever protest what a person chooses to do in order to feel safe. But it seems like a catch-22; a woman looking for love, who is then suspicious of the men who approach her looking for her love, simply because of the shape of her body. It’s disappointing that as a society we’ve come to that place, isn’t it?

    There ARE creeps out there- you’ve encountered them, and in the Big Girl Club scene I encountered some of them as well. I can say with conviction, though, that most of the men I meet who also identify as FA’s are simply men with a preference, just as some men prefer blondes, petite women, etc. But because our preference is viewed by society as a whole as “abnormal” (even to the women themselves), people are naturally suspicious of us. I understand this suspicion and am sympathetic toward it, but it breaks my heart that so many women think no one could possibly be attracted to them unless they’re fetishizing them. Tyra Banks (as usual) isn’t helping.

    • 12 Frances 30 October, 2009 at 9:25 am

      For sure. You can get creeps in the chubby chasing scene, but you can get creeps in the supermarket. It’s no reason to dismiss the whole bunch. Most of them men who have identified as a fat admirer have been perfectly lovely, respecful men. And sometimes these perfectly lovely, respectful men can be so scared to ‘out’ themselves to their friends, family, and even their partners… It’s a wee bit sad.

  8. 13 Greg 30 October, 2009 at 7:50 am

    There really is no such thing as a fat fetish unless the person is turned on by lipidous substances like lard. A fetish is a sexual fascination triggered by something non-sexual. FA or chubby chasing is just a matter of preference.

    Tyra is really just objectifying her guests. She’s making the men seem like freaks and women seem like they aren’t worthy of admiration.

  9. 14 richie79 30 October, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Nothing to add to this that hasn’t been said before besides ‘awesome post’, and ‘thank you’.

  10. 15 Anna 30 October, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Oh man, I love you.

  11. 16 crookedfinger 30 October, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Yeah, I remember the first time I came across a guy who was into fat women, my reaction was nothing short of “WTF is wrong with this guy?” …but I wasn’t involved with fat acceptance at the time, so it completely didn’t make sense. It’s funny how perceptions can change so dramatically when you peel away the veil of self-hatred.

  12. 17 kuka 31 October, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    hehe Tyra probably *would* do ‘men who prefer blondes’ – I saw a whole Tyra show on bi-racial hair once!

  13. 19 William 14 November, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Hi

    You have a great Blog

    I think that unfortunately the historic input of Male Fat Admirers has helped form Fat Acceptance into what it is today instead of what was in the early years, a movement to support Fat People and fight for their rights.

    Without this input there would have never been abbreviations like BBW and certainly not SSBBW. There would not be so much fixation in Fat Acceptance over if a woman was a apple, pear or hourglass. Anti-Fat Acceptance people would not be able to malign Fat Acceptance from its past and present association with feeders and things like funnel feeding.

    I think that the best thing that happened to Fat Acceptance has been the rise of Blogs. I think that Fat Acceptance on the Blogs has more of a singleness of purpose than on other online channels.

    William

    Fat Acceptance would be more like most of other communities that support groups of people.

  14. 20 scatteredmarbles 17 November, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I so get what Nate was talking about when he said that often he has to have a talk with the girl because they find it so hard to believe that he could truly be attracted to them. My whole life I was told by everyone close to me that no man could ever love me, that I would only be loved if I lost the weight, that the only reason anyone would love me was if they wanted something or if there was an ulterior motive. I am 31 and I still struggle with that everyday. I have had two other serious relationships that I started to believe they truly loved me and we were planning a wedding and future and then out of the blue they tell me that I am everything they want but they just can’t get over the weight, or that they can’t imagine waking up next to me and smiling, and finding out that they have cheated on me.

    I have been in a long distance relationship for a few years now, we are both in school so meeting is not a possibility and I love him deeply and hope that I can someday spend the rest of my life with him. He often tells me he loves me, and that I am beautiful but I find it so very very hard to believe. I find it so hard to be able to wrap my mind around the idea that someone could love me, in this body, because my whole life I have been told that was impossible. I find myself discounting what he says. If he says he loves me, mentally I add “for now” or “sort of” or if he tells me I am beautiful I tell myself he can only say that cause he doesn’t have to be with me in person, so he can imagine me any way he wants to. I am always on the lookout to spot that ulterior motive, and I am always prepared for that day when he will tell me he met someone better, or that he just can’t be with me. I hate that I can’t just accept it and believe it. I hate that he has to pay for all the junk people have made me believe, it isn’t fair to him that all his actions get second guessed. He is a good guy, he has never tried to hurt me and he has been with me through a whole lot of stuff these past few years and he still stays with me.

    I really hate that, there is a part of me that is beginning to know, feel, and believe that I AM beautiful, I know that I am an awesome girlfriend, and I am starting to believe that I am worth love. I am starting to think of me in a much kinder light, but I still struggle everyday because of the messages I was taught that any man who would ever claim to love me either wanted me for something, was just using me, or was some sort of messed up deviant to be feared.

    I have tried BBW/Fat admirers dating sites before and I get frustrated because none of the men I met seemed even remotely interested in me as a person but only as a sexual plaything which is not what I am into. The majority, in the first conversation we have always turn the conversation into some kind of attempt to start some kind of sexual encounter which though I am not a prude puts me on guard that all they are interested in is some kind of fetish fantasy.

    I know there are good guys out there! I also know there are many men who ARE afraid to be upfront that they do find fat women attractive because of the stigma of it and the reactions they will get from many people. I wish they didn’t have to go through the mistrust when they do meet a girl they really like and are attracted too because that must make it even harder for them. this kind of attitude really hurts both men and women.

  15. 21 Karol 4 December, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    When a guy would like me, I use to say to myself,” What’s wrong with him, can’t he see me & my fat ass!” Then I learned that sometimes, that’s exactly why he liked me. And yes, you have to review men with a fine eye for who’s the pervert & who’s not. Thankfully, I’m a pro at it now and once I stop letting everyone else’s issue about being fat disturb my own self-worth… I found acceptance and a love for my curves and myself.


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