In a Facebook Fat Acceptance group yesterday and today, a discussion took place pertaining to the blog of a well known Fat Acceptance Activist, who wrote that fat women need not "settle" for someone to whom they are not attracted. She also wrote that fat women certainly could get together with "hot" men (she mentioned "tall men with tattoos").
The thing is that she did not mention the weight of the hot, tall men with tattoos, so theoretically they could be of any or many weights. (This is her preference, not mine.) But most of the men reading the blog took it to mean that she did not appreciate fat men, and/or that fat men were not "hot."
I read it a few times, just to see how I felt. At no time did I interpret her words to mean that fat men were not hot. And yet most of the men did. So I substituted "men" for "women" and "women" for "men" to produce a statement about hot women to see how I felt upon reading it. I must admit that I didn't feel offended at all. The reversal simply produced a statement about how fat men could get together with all sizes of women. I would certainly hope that this indeed would be the case.
I read the blog post again, wondering. Did the writer not cater to men's egos enough? Then again, was the "tall men with tattoos" a bit too narrow, so to speak? And was the idea of "hot" restricted a bit too much to a specific set of appearances? If she had considered "hot" to be witty, urbane and verbally adept (my preferences), would fat men -or at least the fat men reading the blog- felt less left out?
I bring this up because there was something that the FatLand Board and counselors knew they had to handle, and this became part of the agenda for FatLand education, as well. They had to make people coming into FatLand feel a) that they themselves were worthy and sexy b) that fat people in general were worthy and sexy. It is not easy to make an entire population feel worthy and sexy when they have been told from the beginnings of their lives, and constantly, that someone with their particular look/looks is ugly and unsexy. Interestingly enough, though, simply coming to a place in which no stigma or harassment attached to their appearances helped to begin with. The rest was a matter of posting enticing photos and pictures, publicly sharing people who were strong and confident in their fat sexiness online and in print media (Margaret Clancy's FatLand newspaper helped a lot in this) and creating the "Hotty of the Week" photo section for women and men.
I know that this is indeed what some Fat Acceptance Activists are trying to do in magazines and other media. I am starting to understand why mentioning "conventionally hot guys" might hurt egos, even if the intention of the blogger was not to do so.
However, I would ask the men who took offense at this: Have you never gathered with men you know and whistled at blonde, thin women and called them "hot"?
Yeah. I thought so..