Let’s Hear it for FAs

In this case, I am using FA as in fat-admirer; a term I really don’t like, but I don’t know if there is a better one out there – if you know one, please share. I’d love to have a different term – especially since, now that, more and more, FA is used for fat acceptance.

Anyhow. These are the people who have a preference for fat partners. YES! They may be fat themselves or not; and unfortunately, they get crap from the fat and non-fat community because of their preference.

First, I know we all want to just be loved for who we are (cue violins and birds chirping). Everybody, fat or not, wants that.

Second, everybody, fat or not, has preferences. Some people are all about the boobs, some prefer taller partners, some prefer shorter, some prefer body hair, some do not, some like blonds, some prefer brunettes, and on and on and on. And some people prefer fat partners.

Now, a person may or may not end up with someone who fits their physical attraction criteria. This is because once you get to know someone, you may find that there are other things about that person that are more important and more attractive to you than just how they look. Cool.

However, when you are out and about in the world; most often, we all start with the basic physical attraction. You see someone and they push all the right buttons. You want to know that person better (or maybe you just want to hop in the sack with them – and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they are willing and you all play safe).

So if you have an initial attraction, it is more likely you’ll be willing to take the time to get to know that person better (before or after you hop in the sack – hey, you have to talk sometime). You have that extra incentive. And the more people you get to know, the more information you will have as to what your own preferences are and what is and is not important to you in a relationship.

That having been said, many fat people hate their own bodies so much that the he or she believes there must be something wrong with any person who is physically attracted to their bodies. What they say is, “I just want to be loved for who I am”, but in this case, what they mean is, “You can love me, but not this body that I hate,” and if you do love this body, there is something wrong with you.” How sad is that? For everybody.

Quite a few FAs I have met, are not well socialized. I think this is because, often, they don’t go through the same dating and relationship learning experiences that average sized people tend to go through during their teens and college years (just like many fatties). I think this is because they are confused by their preference. Much like gays and lesbians, they have a preference that society tells them is not the “norm” (happily, I think teens and young adults are getting better at recognizing that society does not get to dictate what is “normal”, at least when it comes to sexual preference). Add the peer pressure all teens are under to conform (especially when it comes to appearance). It would take a very strong and confident teen to come out of the closet as an FA in high school. Also, I think we all go through some self-examination and experimentation during our youth (misspent or otherwise) to determine just what our personal sexual preferences and/or orientation are.

And let’s remember that when a person has a fat partner, they get judged by their families, co-workers, “friends” – they get to hear all the “caring” and “helpful” and/or nasty and snide comments and questions about why they want to be with a fat person. They get judged not on their own looks, but on how the person they care about looks. So they get the double whammy of having to defend their own choices, as well as the stand up for the person they love. How fun is that – especially if the person they love hates their own fat body.

I know it’s been said before, but it is really true. Until you learn to love yourself, you’re not really ready to be loved. That’s because if you don’t love yourself, how can you believe that you are truly loveable? And you are!

And loving someone else can be scary. Because you care about that person, and what happens to them. And while the other person is not responsible for your own happiness (you are the only one with that power), you trust that person and your life and feelings are intertwined with that person. So think how scary it is for you; and then realize, acknowledge and appreciate that your partner is going through the same thing.

And another thing, the FA who is in the closet, needs to come out. The person who doesn’t introduce you to his or her friends or family, who doesn’t take you out, who only wants to see you in private, and especially the FA who has an average sized spouse and has the fatty on the side, does not deserve you – in any way. I’m sorry. As I said above, I know that being an FA is not easy; but someone who is not proud to be seen with you, doesn’t love you enough. And by encouraging an FA to stay in the closet, I feel it only makes things harder for the open FAs and fat people in general. Tell me it doesn’t make you happy to see a fat/FA couple.

The more society sees that we are loved and lovable; the harder it becomes for society to say otherwise; and the easier it becomes for other fat/FA couples. So love yourself; appreciate those who love you; then go forth and spread joy!

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18 thoughts on “Let’s Hear it for FAs

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for saying this. I’m an FA and new to the Fat O’ Sphere (in the blogging sense) and after commenting on a few of the popular size acceptance blogs, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that FAs are not really all that welcome. Its really bizarre. Its almost as if they want to be accepted as being fat, but they shun people who are physically attracted to that fat because, as many have said, it “dehumanizes” them.

    Well damn, its not like I only asked my wife to marry because she’s got a big ass! Like you said, attraction is just what draws you to that person. Who she is keeps you there.

    I’ve always said that being an FA is like being gay in this society, for the same reasons you said. Admitting that you like what the rest of the world considers repulsive is difficult. It sets you apart. It makes you unique, and many believe its for the worse. And like being gay, its hard to hide your preference.

    And what you were saying about FAs being not well socialized: its true for me. I’m not sure if its true for all FAs, but I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted, and when I finally did all the pieces fell into place. That’s why I started enjoying dating and really found my “voice” so to speak. Oddly enough, I just wrote about this the other day: http://www.atchka.com/2009/09/preemptive-regret.html

    Anyway, thanks for the support. Its greatly appreciated!

    Peace,
    Shannon

  2. Uh huh, how exactly does one go about this loving oneself thing? Because if you’re going to forbid your readers getting into a relationship until they love themselves properly you should probably include some instructions.

    • You are right; but I think of loving yourself as a whole other subject – guess I’ll have to do more blogging.

      And I hope I didn’t come across as “forbidding” a relationship until you love yourself. Certainly the right relationship should help you learn to love yourself more. However, I worry about people who depend on the approval of others for their own self worth. Loving yourself first just makes relationships easier for both of you – and relationships are hard work even in the best of circumstances.

      Basically learning to love yourself is an ongoing process and one that no one can do for you.

  3. Thanks for this! I enjoy being with all kinds of guys, but I certainly am more attracted to some guys than others based on physical cues and I think it’s just as normal for some guys to check me out because they like a fat girl. I actually like Leslie at Fatshionista’s new Fat love gallery on this point. Some folks were attracted instantly, others got to know each other and fell in love.

  4. Beautifully said! Brava! As for alternatives to “fat admirer,” that’s a good question. “Fat fancier”? “Fat enthusiast”? “Fat fan”? “Fat suitor”? Hee hee!

  5. I can’t believe I stumbled across this brilliant essay just hours after it was published, and there is still time to comment!

    As an FA, and the first FA to have come out on coast-to-coast television (Hugh Downs, NBC, around 1970) I have been continually frustrated by many of my fellow FAs who are in the closet, and by BBWs who hate themselves, ever since. In 1970, there was no term for FA, other than the gay male’s “chubby chaser”. One way of disenfranchising a group of people is to have no descriptor in the language for them. In 1971 I and a BBW came up with Fat Admirer, or FA for short, “for lack of a better word”, we always said. 🙂

    So my feelings aren’t hurt when I hear people trying to come up with a new term. Whatever it is, it applies to me–sign me up! And I came out to my mother at age 13, and quickly learned how hard it would be to convince anyone of my right to have my own sexual preference. I didn’t get “in your face” about it until college. Thank goodness I have always been a rugged individualist–never ran with the pack, except maybe to play baseball.

    And since then, I have come to know lots and lots of great FAs including female FAs (FFAs). But it’s still tough to meet fat people who don’t think you’re weird for finding them attractive.

    Thanks for a great article and incisive writing!

    Bill Fabrey
    Woodstock, NY
    Founder, NAAFA (1969)

      • You’re very kind to say so. Well, there have been FAs centuries before I was born–how about the sculptor who did the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf? There have been smarter FAs–look at the whole Dimensions enterprise. There have been better looking FAs, FAs who were and are better than I am at finding BBWs who love and respect themselves, more eloquent FAs (I’ve heard or read several), and so forth. But I did go public before anyone else I have heard of in modern times, and despite putting most of my energy into the size acceptance and HAES (health at every size) movements, my preference for the larger figure remains unabated for 55 years, since I was 13, so I guess it was not a passing phase that my mom thought I would outgrow. 🙂

  6. When my partner and I first started dating (14 years ago now) I was an inbetween-y but still ‘fat’ and full of self loathing. He, on the other hand, had never considered himself a chubby chaser (his preferred term, used slightly tongue in cheek) until he saw me on the bus stop and was instantly attracted to me (true story!). Since then we’ve built a relationship, moved in together, and had kids – and I’ve become morbidly obese (I hate the term, btw) while he’s stayed average sized. And he still finds me incredibly sexy. As he says it’s not just about me; he finds *my* *body* sexy, and all that entails. I know this, and I know he loves me, but man, it blows my mind sometimes! If he’s ever gotten flack from friends or family I don’t know about it; he’s never said anything.

  7. I have seen people use the term “chubby chaser”, but it is generally used as an insult, as when that walking brainfart Richard Simmons used to warn the women to whom he was trying to sell his various ‘cures’ for fat NOT to let themselves be taken in by men who…oh, the horrors!…loved them as they were. He made it clear that he considered ‘chubby chasers’ to be sick & abnormal, or predatory, & that no one should ever listen to anyone who encouraged them to stay fat. Therefore, I wouldn’t use that term.

    It is aggravating to see how many fat women, though, will complain about how shallow a lot of men are & how they only want thin women, then turn around & act as if fat admirers ARE somehow “icky or abnormal” & not want to be involved with them. Of course, these are often women with low self-esteem who hate their fat & are suspicious of anyone who doesn’t hate fat…kind of like the old Groucho Marx quote…”I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.”

  8. How about Fluff Lover? Or Chub Lover? Or, um… Guy Who Digs Fat Chicks… or maybe Fat Apologist (not in the sense of apologizing).

    Shit, I thought of a good one last night, but I can’t remember it now.

    Oooh, how about IC — Into Curves.

    Peace,
    Shannon

  9. Can I reply again? Patsy Nevins relates Richard Simmons’ negative comments about “chubby chasers.’ I remember seeing him on TV saying that, and realizing that as a gay man, Simmons only knows the term “chubby chaser” (whom he has contempt for) and he knows nothing of the straight man who prefers fat women, or the descriptor “FA.”

    His mission in life is to help everyone, but mainly women, lose weight, and make a great living doing so. Anyone who has that as their mission tends not to understand or approve of the concept of being happy with your large size, or anyone’s being fat and having a partner who adores them. FAs and FFAs not only have to deal with their fat partner disliking their own body, but often with their partner’s friends and family as well, who feel that the FA or FFA is “enabling” their partner to be fat merely by accepting and loving them that way.

  10. I was one of the first very vocal Female FAs. I am attracted to both fat men and fat women. I came up with the term “Chubbysexual”. I was surprised to see it used here and there on different forums even recently. I guess a few people liked it.

    I based it on the idea that my being an FA was my sexual identity. So it made sense; “homosexual”, “bisexual”, “heterosexual”, “chubbysexual”. I don’t dislike the term “FA”, but I felt “chubbysexual” was more “me”.

    I’ve always been militant about this and have always been “out of the closet”. If anyone ever asks me what I am into, I proudly say, “I’m a chubbysexual” and go on to explain from there. It works for me and I think words are important. They have to work for you as an individual.

    Case in point: I loathe the term “blog”. It sounds like some festering disease or a disgusting hole under a porta-potty filled with excrement. So I don’t use the word EVER. I say “online journal”. If the term “FA” doesn’t work for somebody, they should come up with their own term that does. FPL is fine if it works for you, Avery.

  11. okay gotta comment here… i just came back from my first “bash” and i loved it. there were some icky male Fat Admirers and there were mostly nice fat admirers. overall a happy, fun loving crowd. As a fat man, I was happy to be in a purely social situation that was fat friendly.

    I am looking forward to the day where I meet my gal who can really be into all of me. I am on the brink of letting myself love all of me and I imagine having heard some of the success stories here, that it will happen for me too. this was a thought that I couldn’t imagine thinking before finding the fat acceptance movement.

    I think that a woman who can be out of the closet about her preference for fat men must also have some amazing qualities like courage, a take no shit attitude, a depth of character… and if she is into me, remarkable good taste.

    cheers

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