NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

How to Approach Other Fats

June24

I have talked to other fats about fat acceptance when I have encountered friendly souls. I have, more often than not, held myself back from doing it though. Why is that? I know how positive and fabulous FA is and has been for me, why not share this wealth of knowledge and resources? How would you like to be approached by a fellow fatty about Fat Acceptance?

I have once or twice just given them my blog-business card (I fucking love vistaprint.com, so cheap!):

and invited them to contact me…so far none have. And I encounter fats all of the time. I always smile, because, well, it’s just polite and I like to see other people smile back. Would it be crossing some sort of line to walk up and say something? How would I ease into it? I feel that the business card helps, at least it’s not like I’m selling them something. But I am curious. I am not sure how someone would have introduced FA to me had I not discovered it on my own (through BUST magazine).

The truth is, there are simply far too many self-hating fatties and I want to reach out to them, to hug them and hold them to my loving bosom and let them know that it’s okay, they are worth everything in the world. They aren’t worthless or disgusting. But I can’t just go around forcing hugs on people (funny story, that).

Right now I’m thinking about a young gal that serves me at a local drive-thru. She’s adorable! I always want to say something, but I never know what (and it’s always before I have coffee so I’m not all there if you know what I mean). Can I just hand her my card and say, “Hey, I think you’re rad, check out my blog!”?

What have you done to introduce someone to FA? How would you have liked to be introduced to it? Have you approached a stranger about FA? I’m dying to hear your stories and advice. Thanks! And happy Friday!<3

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17 Comments to

“How to Approach Other Fats”

  1. On June 24th, 2011 at 8:34 am erylin Says:

    i would treat it the way i would rat street teaming for a band. who would be receptive. Stuff like women’s book stores? rad cafes? churches? think outside the box a bit, and who would benefit. Make a HAES flyer and put it up at libraries with links to fabulous HAES and fat friendly nutritionists (http://www.fatnutritionist.com/) and athletes, and all things linda bacon. i have little flyers i give people who want to comment.

  2. On June 24th, 2011 at 8:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh yes! I would love something like that. Can you email me what you have? I know that Love Your Body Detroit had one recently. Thank you so much!

  3. On June 24th, 2011 at 9:40 am Twistie Says:

    If someone seems like they might be receptive and there’s a reasonably natural opening in the conversation (and explaining that part of my job is writing for a blog about issues of being a plus-sized [fat] woman has been known more than once to do the trick!), then I mention HAES and FA using a lot of ‘I’ statements. Things like: “one thing that really works for me is…” or “I find I feel my best when….”

    The reaction is often that first step people seem to half-take on the journey to self-acceptance of ‘that’s great for you, but it would never work for me.’ Funnily enough, just accepting that this approach might work for someone else is frequently the first inkling that maybe it could work for them, too. It just tends to take a while for that second step to happen.

    But if I can get them to ‘well that works for you, not me,’ then I feel like there’s hope they’ll one day be open to trying it for themselves.

  4. On June 24th, 2011 at 9:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    So you would never just bring it up to someone you weren’t already having a conversation with? I don’t want to jar anyone with a notion of them thinking I think they are OMZTEHFATZ!!! But I would like to approach some gals in my neighborhood with more than just a smile and nod, ya know?

  5. On June 24th, 2011 at 10:41 am Twistie Says:

    I think erylin’s idea for flyers and meetings is a great one. Then you can get like-minded folk together.

    No, I don’t usually just bring it up to someone I’m randomly passing in the streets… but I do leave openings for people to approach me, like wearing my scarlet fat nearly every day. In fact, I’ll be wearing that (as well as my It’s Okay to be Takei button in honor of Pride Weekend) to the Cancer Society Relay for Life all weekend.

    If people ask me about either one, I’ll be delighted to explain all about them. And if people try to offer me diet sodas, I’ll turn them down politely. And if they start talking body hate, I will shut them down in a New York minute.

    I’m just the sort of person who prefers to let others come to me, in a way. But that’s me. We need those who go fiercely out into the world brandishing the message of FA, and we need those who quietly allow others to make the first move. We all have our ways of being activists. Frankly, I adore your cards. They say it all quite nicely.

    I bet that even a lot of the people who never contacted you again are lurking in the shadows of FA discovering whether they too can love their bodies simply because you offered them another way of looking at the world.

  6. On June 24th, 2011 at 11:10 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I like that notion, that I’ve created some lurkers. That makes me quite pleased, actually. Thank you for that! <3

  7. On June 24th, 2011 at 10:54 am Shieldmaiden1196 Says:

    I prefer the direct approach: sunglasses, black leather jacket, an extended hand, and

    “COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE.”

    Har!
    Seriously though.

    I find that the best thing to do is speak the truth about my own experiences and the connections happen. When I think about how I came to fat acceptance, I realize that I was drawn to the attitudes. The very idea that I didn’t have to apologize for my size was cool water on parched earth for me. (Thank you, Marilyn Wann. You have no idea what kind of gift you’ve given me.)

    But this is weird…..
    I was at a play my dad was in and afterward at the reception I saw a woman who was roughly the same size as me, only instead of wearing slouchy jeans and a hoodie (to be fair I drove 300 miles straight to the event) she had on this colorful fun short skirt and blouse and stiletto heels and blazing red hair and I SO WANTED to go up to her and tell her how fucking fiercely gorgeous she was but you know what? I was completely intimidated. I had this irrational fear that she’d be mean to me. You think at 41 I’d be over worrying about that sort of thing.

  8. On June 24th, 2011 at 11:12 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I get that way sometimes, too. But I figure a compliment coming from almost anyone will be welcome if not instant-friend-making! Ha-ha! In fact that is usually how I strike up convos with fats. I like their top or whatever and then talk about other fat things. FUN!!!

  9. On June 24th, 2011 at 11:38 am Sarah Says:

    My problem with this concept is that its wrong if you reverse it. What i mean is if someone approaches me on the street, and says “you should really try this diet (lifestyle change)” it would make me angry that they were sticking their noses in my business (body). So it should be the same with FA or HAES or anything else.

    Unless the topic comes up in conversation – they bring up their diet, or body, then I have no more right to direct them toward FA than I have to suggest they should go on a diet.

    That said, putting up flyers and/or leaving brochures lying around would be great. That way its up to them to notice, pick up and read the stuff.

    Finally, you can’t make people like themselves. Its something that must come from within. Sure you can encourage those first tentative steps into the FA world, but they have to start it.

  10. On June 24th, 2011 at 11:40 am Not Blue at All Says:

    YES!!! Oh man, I hadn’t considered this. Thank you! Flyers/brochures it is! <3

  11. On June 24th, 2011 at 11:51 am Ashley Says:

    My point was almost the same as Sarah’s. That my litmus test for approaching a stranger about any philosophical-type issue I believed in would be to imagine the reverse situation and think about if I would be offended. Last weekend I was out walking my dogs and some peppy evangelical Christian types were out in our neighborhood stopping all the dog owners and giving them bags of dog treats with cards for their church in it. (Sidenote: I was puzzled by this as an evangelical strategy. What about the people without dogs? Did they not care about them? How did they decide that dog owners specifically were who they were going to target and why? Is it just that our neighborhood is where the dog park is so they figured everyone would have a dog? Who knows.) But anyway, I wasn’t rude to them or anything but I wasn’t interested in what they had to say and had no desire to hear about their beliefs. To say I was offended is probably too strong, but I would have preferred that they not talk to me. Thus, I would never approach a stranger on the street or my barista at Starbucks or anyone else I was mildly acquainted with and try to share my beliefs (about anything really) with them. I wish most people would just try to mind their own business, so I should do the same.

  12. On June 24th, 2011 at 12:01 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes. Too true!

  13. On June 24th, 2011 at 8:28 pm Angela Says:

    I’m not a fan of approaching people because like some other folks have mentioned unless you’d want others to do it to you then you probably shouldn’t do it. I hate random strangers approaching me and trying to proselytize their religion, diet or anything else. Even the really well intentioned ones can still make people feel uncomfortable. One lady that came up to me recently, put her hands on my shoulders and told me I had such a beautiful radiant energy and how she felt compelled to tell me. Very flattering I suppose but also creepy and she’s not the first one that’s felt compelled to share. While I’m sure people like this don’t mean to make people feel weird they leave me with the feeling of “why do I attract all the kooks” .
    The flyer’s sound like a really good idea, for more folks to know that fat acceptance exists and have some basic info and websites, books, resources that could be a starting point for them if it resonated with them and they wanted to learn more.
    I also like things like buttons or jewelry that can be used as conversation starters if someone else wants to ask about them. Unfortunately there’s no universal fat pride symbol yet at least not that I know of.

  14. On June 25th, 2011 at 9:01 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Whoa! Yeah it’s one thing to talk to people another to touch them. Yikes! She’s lucky it didn’t trigger a self-defense response from ya!
    So it sounds like the brochure idea is best and now I gotta find a universal fat pride symbol…homework! Ha-ha! Thanks!

  15. On June 27th, 2011 at 8:50 am Emily Says:

    Fat pride symbol would be awesome. And I think flyers and buttons are a great idea. I would not approach people randomly because they are fat. I get this a lot, as a fat woman, especially when I lived in West LA, people coming up to me and saying..”You should try taking CLA…” or “My friend lost a lot of weight by spinning…” or whatever. It was totally offensive and sometimes threatening (although I think most of them “meant well”). I think a lot of fat people may share my experience and approaching them because of their particular bodies may trigger them.

  16. On June 29th, 2011 at 6:31 am Piper Says:

    There is nothing wrong with religion! Don’t you realize that you could go to Hell for not having a relationship with God? Why is that so many people in the fat acceptance community anti-religion? I understand that discrimination against fat people is wrong but what I don’t understand is why is Crystal Renn praised for being a plus-size model, while losing weight and Carnie Wilson is villified for having WLS? Sweetie, you are never going to get people to understand your viewpoint with your hypocrisy. Putting up flyers is never going to get people’s attention because most people don’t look at flyers! But prayer works. It’s worked in my life and maybe if you had a relationship with God, you wouldn’t feel the need to “recruit” people. Ugh!

  17. On June 29th, 2011 at 8:24 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Piper, darling, you’re making a lot of assumptions about me. You don’t know me, my relationship with anything or my background/beliefs/etc. Why condemn me to hell without knowing anything about me at all? (Gee, isn’t that what the Catholic church did to me at age 5? and again at age 7? And then turned their backs on my family when my mom left us?) I have no problem with religion itself. I respect each individual’s choices and beliefs, so long as violence is not inflicted on anyone. That’s my main caveat, you see. I don’t know where all of this is coming from, honestly. I have never mentioned either of those celebrities on this blog and find it strange that you chose my blog for your rant about it. I am not trying to “recruit” people as you say, but simply hoping to offer a better way of life for those who are open to it. I wrote this post as a big question to my readers. Since you’re fond of assumptions, I’ll assume you don’t normally read this blog. Too bad because I usually only write about gratitude, honesty, love, compassion and how that fits in my life and my fat body. Take a look through some old posts and feel free to drop me a line, but please make no further assumptions about me and I will do the same. Thanks for stopping by.

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