Saturday, August 31, 2013

FatLand and Fatropolis

FatLand and Fatropolis

When an idea is in the air, authors who seemingly don't know each other or have not contacted each other in any way will often come up with ideas that seem similar.

Fatropolis, by Tracey L. Thompson, and FatLand, by yours truly, have this in common:  they both put forth the existence (fantasy) of a land in which fat people are able to live their lives in peace and harmony in a welcoming environment in which the words "diet" and "scale" are either not mentioned or forbidden.

Beyond that, they are rather different. Thompson's Fatropolis is in a dimension which can be reached from several portals in Manhattan, NY. My FatLand is an islet of people surrounded by Colorado, reachable by ground transport and air.

The origins of Fatropolis itself are not specifically noted (although they very well might be in Thompson's next Fatropolis book), but Fatropolis has been around for many many years. FatLand is a recent creation, founded officially as a territory in 2014 as a result of a reality TV show which aired in 2010, and aided materially by the anti-fat Pro-Health and Diet Laws which were passed in 2012 and 2014.  Fatropolis maintains no official relations with any other nation because it is, after all, in a different dimension. FatLand has relations with many nations which recognized it officially as a territory during and after 2014.

Both Fatropolis and FatLand boast flourishing night lives and superb restaurants.

One clear difference is that in FatLand, the curve seems to be spread very thoroughly among people with different shapes and degrees of fat,with little discussion among FatLanders about being fat,  whereas in Fatropolis, a lot of discussion seems to go on about how desirable being fat is. FatLanders may be a bit more hypocritical on the subject; one of the daughters of a Board Member defects to The Other Side/USA. However, she subsequently regrets it. Coming and going between the worlds of Fatropolis and New York is fairly common. I was amused to see that in both books, rebellious teenagers often cross between the countries and worlds. Teenagers will be teenagers, I guess.

In FatLand (the book), the emphasis is on decisions derived by Board Members about  financial and political issues. In Fatropolis, discussion treats mostly food, weddings, festivals and self-discovery. (Weddings in FatLand, up to now, have been mostly arranged in homes or at City Hall.)

This may change in FatLand III.  And yes, as Thompson reminded me, there are gay characters in both FatLand and FatLand: The Early Days.  There are a few marriages/partnerships in FatLand; there are lavish discussions of weddings and weddings themselves in Fatropolis. I admit it: I have a penchant for alternate lifetstyles, and toward the end of FatLand: The Early Days, there is a scene in which one man and two women go into a hot tub, with the implication that they will frolic in bed after.

Much more detailed discussion goes on in Fatropolis about how seating in doctor's offices, seating in theaters, bathtubs and bathrooms are made comfortable for fat people. Much more detailed discussion goes on in FatLand about its infrastructure.

Tracey and I are so very different, as are our books. But make no mistake: the Fat Acceptance Community needs both of our approaches,  and so very many more.

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