I just had a very good weekend at the main science fiction convention in the Bay Area – BayCon. Whaliam and I go every year.
I used to staff a “fan” table for NAAFA at the Con, but stopped doing it when I had trouble getting handout pamphlets from NAAFA. I always enjoyed talking with the fat folk and the people who have fat people in their lives. So many average sized people would stop by to get information to give to fat friends and family because they wanted that fat person to be happy with themselves as they are – fat! (I am now toying with the idea of an FU/fattiesunited table – but we’ll see).
Cons are notoriously fat friendly. And the fat folks there are able to indulge in all manner of dress that might cause them trouble elsewhere – miniskirts with fishnets, sexy sexy high heels, and boobage galore. And lots of fat men in kilts! Yum. A feast for the eyes.
This year I did something I hadn’t done before – I actually showed more skin and rolls than I am usually comfortable with. I figured, if I’m going to try to be more comfortable with my fat body in public, this was a good (safe) place to start.
So I poured myself into sleeveless leotards (that I bought about 70 pounds ago) and wore denim leggings. I admit I used “cover-ups” but fairly sheer ones – burned-out velvet with fringe. I also put pink and purple highlights into my blonde hair. And people were totally cool with it. Fat women complimented me, and I am sure many of the men in attendance would not be able to tell you what color my eyes are (or whether I even I had eyes).
I also found that the other attendees were more open to talking with me because it was clear I was joining in on the fun of BayCon. That I was one of them, and that I was clearly not trying to judge anyone for being too flamboyant. And the staff of the hotel couldn’t have been nicer.
You might think you wouldn’t enjoy a science fiction con because you don’t watchBattlestarGalactica, but the cons are so much more. BayCon embraces science fiction literature, TV and movies, anime, fantasy, music, art, costuming and even hard science. Many people are cross-overs from theRennFaires. And then there are Cons that are more specific – like FurCon (for people who like to dress as anthropomorphic animals – they’re called furries), Filk Conventions (filk/folk music), Star Trek Conventions, or the hugest of them all ComiCon (comic books). I think a general Convention is a good starting place because then you can get a taste of everything and see what appeals to you most.
So if you really want to try moving outside your comfort zone a bit, I would encourage you to try it somewhere like a science fiction con (or one of the many derivatives) – you might want to just go for a day and get the flavor of how attendees dress, and then let your imagination go wild. (Although I will point out – naked is not a costume, ok?)