As I celebrate that there are more and more fat-acceptance events and dances, I wonder about the effects of this type of fat segregation.
Fat people spend so much of their lives being and/or feeling ostracized. Sometimes we are kept out because of physical barriers – we just won’t “fit”; other times it is because of psychological barriers – where we are made to feel we just don’t “fit”.
Finally, the fat community has said fuck that – if we don’t “fit” in your world, we’ll make a place for ourselves where diversity of size is not only accepted but celebrated.
I think fat-acceptance dances, groups, events etc. are a goodness. They give fat people a place where they can have a good time, build self-esteem, feel part of a community, and obtain some socialization lessons that a lot of fat people miss out on – especially when it comes to dealing with the opposite gender. (I can’t speak to the GLBT community’s experience, any input is appreciated).
If you don’t have a fat-acceptance group in your area, you might want to think about starting one. It doesn’t have to be a big dance or meeting. It can be a games night once a month, or a group that gets together to do fun things like picnics, going to the park, whatever. The important thing is for fat people to come together to share their stories and support each other.
A fat community event provides the fat person with a “safe place”. And in that safe place, the fat person can gather the information and build the skills he or she needs to battle fat phobia and discrimination.
They learn how to create a safe place within themselves.