Is Frances OK?

Until I did that interview with Hack, I had no idea that so many people out there were so heavily invested in my wellbeing. This is just a sample of the ~500 comments the story got on Triple J’s facebook page:

“Can she run 5km?… What are her cholesterol levels?… Does she still get a period (many obese women do not due to their size and are unable to conceive)?”

“Id like to hear what her diet and exercise regime is if she feels so healthy.”

“Frances needs to wait until she’s a bit older and suffering from osteathritis, unable to move due to the risk of her excessive body weight shattering her bones”

“Are Frances’ parents happy with her health/size? Are they happy with their own?”

“While Frances may not feel unhealthy, she is not doing herself any favours long term.”

“imagine how good she would feel if she was healthy and not obese then!”

“If she is technically obese then the reality is she is unhealthy wether she feels that way or not.”

“Being a fattie for 10 years till last year I lost my 14kgs of weight and feel great! Maybe Frances should do the same.”

“Frances may not feel unhealthy, but unfortunately, if she’s obese because of excessive fat mass and too little muscle mass, then the reality is that her body is not healthy.”

“she can feel fine with her body if she wants to but she’s not going to live past 50”


Under normal circumstances I would be totally creeped out if a strange man living in another country was thinking about my untimely death, or if an unknown woman was speculating about the regularity of my menstrual cycle. But this is different. This is borne from an unselfish and unwavering concern for my precious, precious health.

After all my ranting about weight stigma and thin privilege, it never occurred to me that these people actually loved me. Why else would they care about my parents’ approval of me? Or the details of my food intake and physical activity? Why else would they ignore my lived experience to insist that I am not living my life to the fullest? Their concern is not a general ‘I care about my community’ sort of thing; they genuinely want to know microscopic details about my life.

Some cynical folk may try to say that comments like these are intrusive and offensive. And maybe that’s true of some, as Triple J did have to explicitly state that personal attacks on me would not be tolerated. Fortunately, however, others have been able to recognise that it’s all just a bit of tough love:

“[H]ave any of you ‘no fat chicks’-type commenters (excluding anyone who is genuinely concerned about people like Frances) thought about the impact of your comments?” (emphasis mine)

See? That woman knows that most were just being cruel to be kind.

Please know, random facebook folk, that I truly appreciate your concern. Unfortunately, I’m pretty busy and I don’t think that I have room for all of you in my life. I have a full-time job, a relationship, a great circle of friends I don’t see nearly enough, a family, a social life and an internet life. I just don’t have the energy to constantly reassure a few hundred people that I’m doing alright. But it is clear to me that, without this reassurance, you are going to keep fussing over whether my femur has shattered into a million pieces due to the sheer bulk of my arse.

To put everyone at ease, I have created a twitter: @IsFrancesOK. That way, no matter where you are or how little you actually know me, you can see daily updates about how I am faring. No longer will you have to spend sleepless nights worrying about whether I’ve developed Type II diabetes or if I’ve suddenly died as the result of a massive heart attack.

You’re welcome, babies. I love you too.


63 Responses to “Is Frances OK?”

  1. 1 Gazel M. 15 February, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I love this post. Absolutely wonderful, haha!
    I roll my eyes at the haters.

  2. 3 Sonya 15 February, 2011 at 4:26 pm


  3. 4 AcceptanceWoman 15 February, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Frances is OK!

    I love the picture of you in the bikini flipping the bird.
    And you did a fantastic job on the radio interview. I think if we had some sort of fat acceptance competition, you would have a shot at winning the Q&A part — even though there are some other very good spokespeople out there. You were patient and clear and kind and smart and awesome.

  4. 8 Vanessa 15 February, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    It’s just I wasn’t sleeping at night, and now thanks to this twitter account, I know that you are OK right now.

    Thank you so much Frances.

  5. 10 SoyShake 15 February, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    You should spare a moment for a thought towards the health of these commenters. We all know the only thing worse than seeing a fat person obviously being fat is seeing said obvious fat and NOT SAYING ANYTHING. These people could have heart attacks you know.

  6. 13 montork 15 February, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    has anyone mentioned in comments that on average people have gained 7-10 pounds in the last 30 years? and that we are living longer and heather lives now then we did even 20 years ago? or is it all bullshit brainwash by “skinny=healthy” prejudiced assholes? i mean fuck nothing about us without us right? we count as humans to right? if you limit our choices by forcing us through stigmatization and shame to always put everyone “including those same assholes” first you limit our freedom. also i never heard such bull about the period/birth thing, i would have thought it would be a stronger period and easier birth because you have so much nutrients. i know that if you starve yourself you don’t get a period because theirs not enough nutrients to have a baby let alone waste the blood.

    • 14 Frances 15 February, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      It was mainly bullshit. There were far meaner comments than what I’ve included; this lot were at least a tiny bit civil.

    • 15 Heidi 16 February, 2011 at 10:12 am

      The period thing could be because many DEATHFAT! women have PCOS (which, incidentally, is causative of weight gain, not caused by it) and PCOS may (but also may not) result in irregular periods.

      Of course, I’m DEATHFAT! and since having my PCOS treated and my hypothyroidism medicated have had no weight loss, but do have regular periods (oh, and a four-year-old son).

  7. 16 Edie 15 February, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    OMG Frances!!! Srsly these people are SO INVESTED IN YOU that they have clearly forgotten about their own little lives. I am VERY CONCERNED that they will neglect their OWN WELL BEING in order to concentrate on being your own personal BODY POLICE.

    I’m worried that they have forgotten that if everyone was the exact same size and shape that the world might crumble to pieces, or else turn into one of those execrable animated Barbie doll movies.

    Keep being awesome.

  8. 17 montork 15 February, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    wait, im also now confused about the shattered pelvis comment… i thought most people who are overweight/obese were genetically predisposed to largeness and had a larger stronger bone structure to handle it. even if they didn’t the bones aren’t a finished product they change over time to suit the users needs. eg: the longbow, users of which would end up with permanent bone deformation. meaning a fat persons bones would (with proper nutrients and use” strengthen possibly getting thicker to handle the size. i could possibly see joint problems but i can’t imagine why your pelvis would shatter. anyone care to explain why someone would say that was caused by obesity? barring things like car accents of course. oh and i possibly see joint problems i mean they could wear out with age.

  9. 18 the fat nutritionist 15 February, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    WOW. Your response is awesome, and far, far calmer than mine would have been.

    Perfect response to perfect ridiculousness.

    • 19 Frances 17 February, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Thank you! Reading this crap does make me anxious (and these comments were far from the worst). But honestly, when someone is asking about my menstrual cycle or saying my bones will shatter, what can you do but laugh?

  10. 20 sweeny 15 February, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    “I have created a twitter: @IsFrancesOK. ”

    lolol! that is brilliant!

  11. 21 cutselvage 15 February, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Have I mentioned that you’re the best? BECAUSE YOU ARE THE BEST GODDAMN GIRL.

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  12. 23 NattieNell 15 February, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Pure awesome!

  13. 24 Veronica 15 February, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I went from exasparated chuckling to out loud laughter at you creating a twitter account – too funny!

  14. 26 James H 15 February, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    As your friend Frances, and having known you for over a decade, I believe I have utterly failed you for never showing this level of concern for your health. What was I thinking?

    I just assumed that if there was ever a problem with your health, you would… get sick or something… not continue to live your life without ailment. This was pretty deluded of me given the dizzying array of issues you (and I!) must be facing.


    • 27 Frances 15 February, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      You weren’t to know, Jimmy. According to facebook idiots, we’re both too fatty fat fat fat to know anything about anything.

      PS. It’s a bit weird that we’ve known each other for over a decade.

  15. 28 thepocketrocket 15 February, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    LOLing so hard right now, I can’t even

  16. 29 Eli 15 February, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Ha! Laughed so hard.

    I’m in love with your response to the fuckery.

  17. 30 k.sol 15 February, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    When I read the comments, I’m reminded of religious attitudes I was raised with along the lines of “Those sinners may look happy, but in reality they’re miserable because of their immorality,” or “Those sinners will pay for it (burn in hell) eventually.”

    And I wondered about the shattered bones comment, considering that underweight is a pretty big risk for osteoporosis.

    • 31 drst 16 February, 2011 at 1:54 am

      there’s definitely a sanctimonious strain in the fat hate crowd, although it doesn’t involve so many Jesus references. The irrational insistence that “it must be this way” should clue in some of these people what they’re doing, but evidently not.

  18. 33 wriggles 16 February, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I would be totally creeped out if a strange man living in another country was thinking about my untimely death, or if an unknown woman was speculating about the regularity of my menstrual cycle.

    Plus the air of desperation really makes the skin crawl, I’m sure they say it for themselves to either congratulate themselves on not being fat or to support their dieting behaviours.

    It must be sad to have to stoop so low.

  19. 34 Shieldmaiden1196 16 February, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Wow. I need to get in touch with the 5K commenter. One year I did 17 5ks and was guilty of RWF (running whilst fat) in every single one of them. Nothing shattered. Maybe I’m Wolverine.

  20. 36 Meems 16 February, 2011 at 3:53 am

    “Frances needs to wait until she’s a bit older and suffering from osteathritis, unable to move due to the risk of her excessive body weight shattering her bones”

    I think this is my favorite comment. Uh, does this person know that fatties are actually LESS likely to get a lot of those osteo- issues later in life? Carrying around more weight actually leads to stronger bones for many people.

  21. 37 Happy Fat Girl 16 February, 2011 at 4:02 am

    If I am not mistaken, I am heavier than you. Then it follows that if your bones are going to collapse to dust at any moment, I will likely spontaneously combust in holy hellfire of freckle sparks and breakfast taco grease. You have been warned.

    You are awesome, Miss Lady. Much love to you.

  22. 38 Tina 16 February, 2011 at 4:21 am

    When I was a child, people would talk in a similar way about a single lady in our (quite conservative) neighbourhood, who had a lover, but did not choose to marry him (even if he was single, too). I makes me think that being fat is regarded as a sin nowadays.

  23. 39 Melissa Anderson 16 February, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Pure awesome! Rock it out Frances!

  24. 40 sleepydumpling 16 February, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Frances, we fat people are the most cared for folk in the community right now. I mean, what other group of people have their health questioned on a daily basis by people that they don’t even know? What other group of people are expected to PROVE our health to complete strangers. And what other group of people have so much attention on their lives than fat people?

    We’re lucky I say. So very, very blessed.

  25. 41 sandrad 16 February, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Be careful, you could share the fate of wonderful character actor, and lovely fatty Peggy Rea, and only make it to 89. Clearly fat is deadly.

  26. 42 asubjectivity 17 February, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    *laughs till cries* Thank you this post has made my morning 😛

  27. 43 Jackie 17 February, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Bundles of Awesomeness!!!

  28. 45 heavyaura 17 February, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    it’s like no one actually knows fat people, and yet everyone is an expert on fat people? i see old fat people EVERYWHERE. ARE THEY GHOSTS?

    and by the way, for what it’s worth, when i was hundred pounds lighter than i am now, i skipped periods for MONTHS and was incredibly irregular. now that i’m fat again, i’m absolutely regular. hmmm.

    • 46 Frances 17 February, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      ARE THEY GHOSTS? – Hahaha!

    • 47 Mulberry 18 February, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      Don’t you know, heavyaura, that you’re not allowed to be an expert on fat people if you yourself are fat?
      Certainly, old fat people are ghosts. I’ve been to southern Florida and I’ve seen lots of them. If you’re in Ft. Lauderdale or thereabouts, check out the local Chinese restaurants and diners that serve early-bird specials. Elderly fat ghosts all over the place.
      Oh, I’m fat and over 50. You’ll have to excuse me; I promised someone I’d haunt them tonight and I have to get moving.

  29. 48 Julie 17 February, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Oh bless you Frances for this post. I have been soooo worried about you and your fat. I now feel reassured.

    Too funny.

  30. 49 Sapphy-San 18 February, 2011 at 5:06 am

    How did I come across this darling blog? Well, at first I was Google searching “Fat and strong” to see what kind of feed back I got.

    After some browsing and discovering so rather hate full yahoo! question, hating website, or just nasty comments period, I discovered this little piece of heaven amongst all the chaos.

    At first, I’ll be honest, I thought it was a joke. Seriously. However! I kept reading, and browsing the blog and its connective sites and I thought ‘Hey, this is serious…I think I like this.’ So I’ve browsed some more and I’m slowly falling in love with you, Miss Frances.

    I’m a curvy girl, extra curvy at that, with major self esteem issues, considering the teen generations are the hardest, I find, on us lovely “Corpulent” woman and girls. I’m only 18 and I’ve been ‘fat’ since I was in grade 5 and I’ve been teased about it since. I’m single and hating it, but I’m not the type to seek comfort from fakers who are only out of a piece of ass instead of a real relationship. So for now, I’m content to stay alone. But that’s beside the point.


    Facebook: World of haters. People stalk it and put people down just to make themselves feel better. And you know what? Half of those people commenting are probably curvy too and they just haven’t accepted the fact that THEY ARE CURVY and are brainwashed into believing what their prejudice families tell them. “Fats bad, lose it.”

    I say shove it. If you don’t like my ass, go stare at someone else’s.

    • 50 Mulberry 18 February, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I just say, “if you don’t like to see fat, stay indoors and watch television. ‘Cause there are more of us fat people than there are of you. (Besides, we need the exercise more than you do, don’t we?)”

  31. 51 Bilt4Cmfrt 19 February, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Well, it’s obvious; You have Stalkers. Your being stalked. All fat people are. It’s the Fat Stalker Consortium or The Obesity Death Watch League. They call each other & HQ on their dedicated cell phone network whenever they lay eyes on a, shamelessly public, fatty and report in with stats. Obvious low health level, enevitable low self-worth / happiness / food issues (even if we’re not eating but especially if we ARE), and the unavoidable mobility problems since those of us who don’t appear to have any are obviously faking it.
    But this is a GOOD thing! Because, yah know, they’re CONCERNED. Their just looking out for us since, Ford knows, we can’t look out for ourselves.
    Besides, who’s gonna clean up the mess when we all start collapsing under our own weight? Dealing with the masses of pulverized bone & Icky fat piling up on every street corner. Moving all the ones who succumb to spontaneous and instant Type XI diabeates death.nIt’s coming. Any time now. You’ve been warned. FATTIES!
    The Older Fatty Ghost Chasers are a different sect. Their looking for the impossible; Old fatties. The FSC and ODWL just see fat people.

  32. 52 Theresa 23 February, 2011 at 2:02 am

    AT first I thought it was reading now I know it’s shade. They tried to read, and you threw shade, excellent darling!

  33. 54 PlusSizedWomanist 24 February, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    “imagine how good she would feel if she was healthy and not obese then!”

    I have to LAUGH at this ridiculous statement. Because if one is obese, then (puts on Antoine Dobson voice) OBVIOUSLY, the fat girl don’t know she is unhealthy up in Australia…. So hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide your husband, (oh wait, if you’re fat, you can’t possibly have those) cuz the fat people are eating errthing in here. And you know that them health problems are gon FIIIINNNNNDDD YOUUUUUU…


  34. 55 Jen 5 March, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Hello! I think you’re beautiful. And please forgive me for saying this, but you don’t even look “fat” to me. You look curvy and luscious.

    • 56 Frances 6 March, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      I’ve been told that a few times since I started in fat acceptance, and I really think that’s due to the way fat is portrayed. I mean, I realise that I’m not that fat and I know that I benefit from thin privilege because of that. But I’m obese, I wear plus sizes, I’ve had people worry about my health, I’ve seen the frenzied whispers when I wear something ‘too tight’, I’ve had kids laugh at the size of my arse.

      The majority of people that make up the ‘obesity epidemic’ look like me – chubby, but not super fat. I’ve felt pressured by societal fat hatred; my experiences don’t match that of people much fatter than me, but they still matter. I think voices of all sizes are needed in fat acceptance.

      • 57 Jenny 15 April, 2011 at 10:16 am

        I hear what you are saying. And though I’m probably about your size, I can see I don’t have a firm grasp of all the issues at hand. I’ve been lucky never to have gone through any of the bad experiences you’ve had to face. In fact, I suppose the only negative comments I used to hear were years ago when I was “too thin!” Anyway, I admire what you’re doing and my previous comment was just basically to say I think you’re really pretty. 🙂

  35. 59 LoriA 9 April, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Oh God. The stupidity. It burns!
    I love love love your response though. This especially: “But it is clear to me that, without this reassurance, you are going to keep fussing over whether my femur has shattered into a million pieces due to the sheer bulk of my arse.” I legitimately loled.

  36. 60 SalenaLettera 29 February, 2012 at 4:59 am

    LOVE this post. I might have to print it out and have it handy to pass out to people who worry about my well-being also. I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. Wonderful. Can’t wait to make my way through more of the archives.

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