Over the 4th of July weekend, we attended another science fiction convention (Westercon – we don’t usually go, but it was in our neighborhood, so what the hey).
One panel was talking about the effect of technology on our lives, and the subject of non-geographical communities was brought up. I started thinking what a change non-geographical communities have made in my life and how important they are.
I wonder how different my life would have been if I had access to the fat acceptance community when I was a kid. And while I did not have a rotten childhood or adolescence, it was far from perfect (Thank you Mom for marrying the bat shit crazy step father, but such is life.)
The support and information offered by this community is so valuable to me now, but it would have made a huge difference for me when I was growing up. To know that there are fat and happy people in the world, that I’m not the only one, and that I’m not some sort of freak of nature because I am able and willing to live in my fat body. Yes I was constantly dieting and constantly judging my body harshly, but I also was out there living and doing what I wanted to do (or at least as much as I could get away with without my parents finding out).
To learn that diets don’t work, that it’s not my personal failure would have been amazing. Think of all the time, effort, and money I could have saved not trying to turn a fat person into a thin person.
Not everyone can afford to attend a NAAFA Convention. There are a lot more size-acceptance dances and other events, but they are not everywhere. Some people are tied to an area because of mobility issues, family responsibilities, etc. But with the internet, fat people no longer have to feel isolated. There is a big fat size-accepting community out there waiting to welcome you with a big warm cushy hug.
So remember, you now have choices when it comes to the community (or communities) you want to be a part of, you are no longer restricted by what is available in your geographic location. We are everywhere and yet we are a community.