Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Can we talk about the inbetweenie privilege issue?
pink and phones and fat
implicate wrote in fatshionista
First & foremost, if I say something that makes you uncomfortable or is fucked up, please let me know if you feel up to it. I've been thinking about all of this for awhile but it's still not fully fleshed out and I'm totally open & encouraging dialogue.

I used to post OOTDs on fatshionista. I stopped because I noticed a lot of things happening that made me uncomfortable - specifically an imbalanced ratio of comments on posts by smaller fats vs. bigger fats, comments that focused on body parts in an objectifying way, and an onslaught of "straight-sized" clothing that would not fit a fattie outside of the inbetweenie range. And I understand and get that everyone is in different stages with different goals and definitions of what fat/fat positivity/fat activism mean, but I want us inbetweenies to think about the latter and how it fits into a fat-specific fashion community.

I still sometimes post outfits in various groups on Flickr, including the Fatshionista group. I fully acknowledge that in a lot of my outfit photos, I appear smaller than I am/feel and that this could be the case for other people too. But does that matter? If the outfits are showcasing plus size clothing, then I guess it doesn't so much. But when the outfits are all comprised of straight sizes, from companies that most fat persons cannot fit into, why bother posting them in a fat fashion group/community?

I know, I personally question what I am actually contributing in terms of resources and availability for fat sizes by posting primarily straight sizes on a fat community. I justify it sometimes by making sure that I am posting an outfit that either contains a vintage article of clothing or a plus sized article of clothing. But if I am not wearing either of those, I will often choose to not post in the fat-specific groups/communities and instead focus on non-size specific communities, because even though I may not be wearing something plus-sized, I am still not skinny, I am still fat, and that still counts for a lot when I post in communities that feature primarily skinny/smaller people.

And let's face it - plus sized vintage is tough to find but it's still relatively easy for me to find vintage clothing that I know is going to fit me. I am nearly positive that bigger fats (even a size or two bigger than I am at a 12/14) can not make such claims. And that goes for straight sizes too - it's been years since I've gone into a store and not been able to find something that fit me. Yeah, sometimes it's hard for me to find button-up blouses that don't gap at the chest because of my wide ribcage and shoulders. Problems like this though seem to be more of a universal than fat-specific thing.

Additionally, while the fashion/beauty industry doesn't show me women/people/bodies that look like me, real life often does. In terms of clothing sizes, I wear the size of the average woman. I hold a lot of privilege with that fact. And I'm not trying to minimize my fat experience or anyone else's, especially given the fucked up societal beauty ideals & the pressure behind them because they are very real and being a woman, regardless of size, is hard but I think it's counterproductive to lump my privileged experience in with bigger less-privileged people in the community.

I fully acknowledge and respect how unproductive & fucked up it is to tell someone that he/she/ze is not fat enough to claim "fat." But on the other hand, Inbetweenies, where does our accountability come into play? How do we actively participate in fat fashion communities while still respectfully acknowledging our privilege as smaller fats? Is it fair to talk about & post photos of clothes that are typically unavailable to bigger members of the community?

I also try to check my privilege by commenting on outfit posts where the clothing worn/showcased is plus sized, especially if it's sizes 20/22 & up. Granted, I won't comment if I don't like the outfit but I am also much more likely to comment on those posts than say, if a smaller fat posts something from Anthro or Forever 21 (although I guess the latter will soon be sort of changing but not by much).

What I'm long-windedly trying to get at is how, as a community, do we open the dialogue to inbetweenies/smaller fats about self-accountability of privilege without policing or dismissing their experiences as fat people? And why aren't we having this dialogue more often and more openly? I'm seeing a lot of smaller fats practically running with their privilege or if you're like me, just kind of stunted and don't know what the fuck to do. On the other end, I'm seeing closeted bitter remarks & comments from bigger fats about that sometimes comes off as jealousy but I think is more about resentment maybe and mostly the lack of acknowledgment on behalf of smaller fats. None of those scenarios are productive and yet we're still afraid of stepping on each others' fat toes.

So to my fellow smaller fats/inbetweenies, please step up and self-examine your role in the fat community and what you are contributing to it! The importance of supporting and appreciating bigger fats & their experiences is immeasurable but don't dismiss and forget about the privilege some of us has have from being smaller. Also, if our outfit posts/discussions don't necessarily "fit" (excuse the pun) into the fatosphere, there is still political implications to posting them into "straight sized" & generally small/skinny fashion communities. The more different/bigger sized fashionable bodies we/people in general are exposed to, the more normalized they (rightly) become.

Briefly ETA: I originally posted a rough draft of this on my own journal in fat filter under the impression that my original audience was aware of what I meant by "privilege." I neglected to acknowledge that might not be the case here and the awesome sparkymonster helped point that out in this thread and then provided a very succinct and valuable definition/discussion on privilege in this thread.

I have no idea, but thanks for posting this. I'm under a size 20, and I try to check my privilege by understanding that larger fats have a different fat experience than me. That I have privilege over my ability to shop in straight-size stores and they don't, so their access to fashion is much more limited than mine. I can't even shop in plus size stores so I can't relate to their experience, but that doesn't give me the right to invalidate it.

I don't feel comfortable dictating appropriate behavior for a larger fat person, and I understand the resentment they might be feeling. First and foremost I think it's important to be supportive of another's experience and try to see the fatosphere through the lens of all fat persons, and not just the "average" sizes we may see in Fats. I think telling larger fats that they need to get over their own feelings about smaller fats isn't particularly helpful - as you said, everyone is in different stages with fat acceptance/activism and the like.

In conclusion, I don't really have an answer other than inbetweenies need to wise up and be conscious and supportive of other fats.

I don't get though why there's an assumption that inbetweenies aren't being conscious and supportive of other fats. Just being able to acquire an item of clothing isn't necessarily indicitive of being callous to those who cannot shop at those stores. I find inspiration in people's outfits and go out of my way to recreate outfits I like with pieces I find or create -- regardless of the size of the original outift posted (hence why i still read fashion magazines and get cataloges for stores that don't actually carry my size)

Fashion choices are limited if you don't fit the "norm" -- if you're tall or your feet are wide or your tits are large or small. This isn't limited to fatness. A person might have to get a little more creative to recreate a look that's based on clothing that isn't readily available in their size, but it's not impossible.

It does seem sometimes that the subtext in here reads, "Hey, nice dress, but you sure aren't fat!" Acceptance should be acceptance, straight up. Maybe one sub-focus can be that this is a place where people FEEL fat, yet are accepted for the person they are. Fatshionista definitely shouldn't be about one-up-(wo)manship, i.e. "You think you're fat? Look at ME, I'm fucking FAT, 450+, hell yeah!" etc.

Acceptance is acceptance BUT there are differences between different fat experiences.

For instance, lets say (as did happen to me recently) I'm at work, there is a toner explosion and I need a new shirt pronto. What size fat I am affects my ability to clothe myself from the available stores near me, which affects how I react to the toner cartridge getting all over me (my example also assumes I have the $$ to afford an impulse buy shirt).

Another issue is what is meant by "X store has plus sizes! Fat people can shop there!!" If the store only carries through a size 18, or a junior size 3x yes those are plus sizes, but only smaller fats and inbetweenies can wear them.

I think it's important to not replicate size-ism within fat acceptance, where only smaller fat or hourglass shaped fat gets praised. I want to see *all* fat bodies treated positively, which includes the full range of fat (to death fat AND BEYOND!). And I do see smaller fat getting more positive comments than bigger fat. Part of that is probably due to there being more clothing available to smaller fats. But still, it's not a great situation.

As someone who admittedly lacks side fat, and is sometimes plausibly deniable fat ("Oh you're not fat you're just busty/curvy/plus/etc."), I think it's important for inbetweenies and smaller fat to think about these issues. I want to see more bigger fat people feeling comfortable posting, and I want them to get similar levels of feedback as do smaller fats.

(Deleted comment)
Hmm, methinks you will get about a billion comments here, so I will be brief.
I think it would be useful to define your terms a little better. What exactly constitutes a smaller fat to you? I suspect I am in the "inbetweenie" definition, but as a 16/18/sometimes a 14 at Old Navy, I definitely don't think I have the same privilege status as someone who can buy Marc Jacobs (well, that might have something to do with $$$, too!) but of course I also see that I can buy some stuff at straight size stores(although I have yet to meet a non-jersey shirt at H&M that I could fit over my boobs). But for the most part, I have been sized out of the options available in-store for the retailers that do go up to size 20 (ATL, Gap, even most Old Navys at this point). I have to order online and pay for shipping. Of course, I at least sometimes have an option to get stuff from those places on occasion, whereas if I were one or two sizes bigger, I wouldn't be able to. And then there is the issue of how even plus stores often cap their sizes at 24 or 26. IT gets exponentially harder to find good stuff as the number on the tag goes up.
Having said all that, I think there are shared experiences that we should keep in mind. When the medical establishment puts an obese BMI at 30, and as a 5'5" woman who weighs 200lbs I fall within that range ( and I still would if I lost 20 lbs, btw!), I share the societal stigma that a woman who weighs 300 lbs encounters. We have been reading here numerous reports of states in the US that are discriminating against fatties in health care laws; those laws are detrimental to anyone who falls into their definition of fat.
I guess what I am trying to get at is this: I totally agree that people should be mindful of where we fall in a spectrum of privilege, but I also think we should be willing to acknowledge our similarities. I refuse to limit my comments to people who are size 22 or higher. If anything, I feel like there is something condescending in that, like you feel more sorry for them or something. My personal m.o. with comments is not to comment if I really don't like the person's outfit, unless I can see a constructive way to improve it. I love being able to comment on beautiful ensembles throughout the size spectrum! It's so much more celebratory than limiting myself to the ones who are truly suffering under the weight of oppression (which, I must add, I hardly think you can determine by a photo and h/w info).
So much for being brief!

Oh, uh, "weight of oppression" was not pun intended. ;p

I always felt this community was about being or just feeling fat and dealing with that. I resent when it comes down to sizes and people start breaking off into groups per say. I fit in the middle of your mainstream plus size store, but when I was "inbetweenie" I still felt the same. I think it's wrong to assume inbetweenies are privileged or to suggest they should feel priviledged, they're just as likely to be judged and mistreated as anyone else.

I think it's wrong to assume inbetweenies are privileged or to suggest they should feel priviledged, they're just as likely to be judged and mistreated as anyone else.

I'm asking to clarify, here, because I'm unclear on your intention in this sentence, and if I come across as being snarky or rude I apologize in advance.

When you classify the statement of privilege as an assumption, and reduce the judgement/mistreatment based on size to an equal likelihood, are you actively disagreeing with the examples the OP gave to demonstrate a disparity in treatment, or were you merely not acknowledging them?

(Deleted comment)
I don't know if it's helpful/relevant for me to chip in as a total newbie to the community. I haven't posted yet - I've been reading for a few weeks and commenting a tiny bit, finding my feet, and checking out how things work here. I'm a UK size 16-18, which is the low end of plus ranges here (Evans, the main large-size store, goes from a 16 up), and I have been feeling that maybe posting here with outfits for advice or whatever wouldn't be something it would be appropriate for me to do. I guess I'm just saying yes, I get this feeling too. I don't feel like I should take attention away from those who have it harder than me in terms of finding decent clothes and being recognised as well-dressed because they are further from what the public in general sees as an 'acceptable' size - but at the same time, I do want to participate in a community like this and also get some advice and criticism myself! I don't know if there's anywhere else it would be more appropriate for me to post.

I'll follow the discussion with interest. You all rock, by the way, fatshionistas :)

And, er, I hope I made it clear in this comment that it's clear to me I have it easy compared to some, I am indeed privileged to an extent as a smallish fat person, and I'm interested in working out how to address that without actually excluding myself from the group called 'fat people' as it were.

Oof, since I have to run to the doctor, a brief comment. This sounds and feels a lot like the conversations about bisexuals not being gay enough and femme lesbians being able to "pass" as straight, so they shouldn't be included in a dialogue about discrimination. The term used is heteroprivilege. There's, of course, the continual tensions in many minority communities about being able to "pass" as white due to fairer skin or different facial characteristics.

So I suppose I need to ask: what is the metric by which you will measure and accept or discard the experience of a woman who considers herself fat?

Ooh, the mention of bisexuality is interesting; one of the particularly awkward things bisexuals can face is prejudice from both sides. Not gay enough for the homosexuals, not straight enough for the heteros. Are smaller fat people 'too fat' for thin people/society in general, but 'not fat enough' for a community like this? I phrase it as a question as it's something to think about, not a statement I'm making :)

(Deleted comment)
I've been 210 lbs and I've been 160 lbs, and fat is fat at either weight. I'll concede that I can fit into straight size clothes, but I still have the experience of not being able to stuff myself into the largest pair of pants a straight-size store has. I've still been called "fat". I still have a group of girlfriends that weigh 20-40 lbs less than me. I still do not see my body represented on the television and in magazines and movies.

If anything, I feel that people are less accepting because I am on the cusp of straight size and plus size clothing. Because I'm an inbetweenie, I can't fit into the "thin" category", but I'm also denied the privilege of being included in the "fat" category. I've tried to post OOTDs, but they have been rejected because I am a size 13, not 14. A size difference of a few pounds seems rather arbitrary when you consider that my fat "experience" is similar to many people who are two sizes or four sizes or six sizes more than me.

I am a size 13. My BMI is 27.8, which puts me in the higher range of "overweight". I'm too fat by societal standards, but not fat enough by this group's standards. Should I consider it a privilege that I'm not THAT fat?

I feel like a big part of this community for me is coming to accept and love my body, including my fat. One of the ways this community has helped me realize that is by showing the diversity of sizes and shapes peoples bodies come in. Some people are fatter than me, some people are skinnier than me. Some people are taller or shorter or more apple-shaped or pear-shaped. And it also helps put a face to the "fat". One of the most-common anti-fat tactic is dehumanizing fat people by reducing them to just "fat". Not "fashionable and fat" or "kind and fat" or "intelligent and fat", but FAT.

And where's my face in all this? Where's my representation? If anything, being told things like "you're not fat" enough denies me the right to lay claim to my own experience as a fat person.

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Pretty much everything you say here is what made me decide to start the inbetweenies community a few years ago.

I wish we could make it more active again. It's turned into salespost central.

(Deleted comment)
That all sounds really great, but it suggests that this site be edited, which it's not really. If I write about a store on my blog, I always try to say what size they go to, but I think it's unreasonable to expect everyone to adhere to the same standards. That said, I would love a website or blog that systematically reviewed all online plus retailers! (There is some of that on

(Deleted comment)
Inbetweenie checking in here (size 16). I think fat perception is not something that can be pigeonholed into any distinct proportions/dress size/scale weight. Whats 'fat' to some people is just 'thick' to others. Whats 'healthy' to me might be 'grotesquely obese' to someone else. Culturally there are a lot of things that factor into the whole fat debate. One thing in particular that sticks out in my mind is how a size 12 in east asia could be considered 'fat' and that size 12 east asian girl might have a hard time finding clothes than a size 12 here in the states. By east asian cultural standards that size 12 girl would be considered fat but in this community she wouldnt even be considered an inbetweenie. As someone whos been wearing a size 14 and up since I've been 14 I think fat perception is just that. someones perception. I'm 230 pounds and I'll have people argue me down that I 'cant possibly weigh that much' and I just shrug it off. I've been 20 pounds heavier and lighter than this weight yet I always feel the same size. I post in this comm because I enjoy seeing fuller figured women in cute clothes and I feel comfortable posting my pics here because this is one of the few comms on LJ where I know I'll get positive feedback on my figure and not just out of flattery but because we have similar views on body types.

And I have never really been one of those people who can buy straight sizes. I dont really have much luck in plus size stores because those damn size 14's and 16's go so fast. Then I had that whole thing where I was getting bummed out about what size was on the label. The same problem I was having with the numbers on the scale. I just started sewing my own ish sans labels and I feel better about myself already. LOL. Okay I'm being facetious but you know what I mean. Its all about perception.

I like our lil chub/fat friendly bubble and I dont wanna be excluded because I'm not 'fat enuf' :(

Something to consider. Why do you think you will be excluded? Why is that a reaction to a call for more inclusiveness of bigger fat?

(Deleted comment)
I'm usually a lurker, but had to comment. I'm currently an "in-betweenie" [appx size 14/L] but I've been everything from a 5 to a 24. I'm almost 57, so I carry all the baggage of growing up "battling" my weight in the pre-FA era.

I admire the bigger fats and their confidence and self-love, something that I've never had. This community is inspiring and illuminating.

I think it's important to remember international context as well - for example, I may be an inbetweenie in both the UK and the US, but a bigger inbetweenie in the UK than in the US - often plus ranges here start at 14/16UK (10/12US) so I'm by no means the smallest in the shop even though I can fit into straight size stuff providing their range goes north of 16UK (which a lot of the shops aimed at people my age don't). And pretty much every place I've ever visited in Europe, I've never found a single item of clothing to fit in regular shops. Of course, all of that would be even more difficult if I was bigger, so it's certainly fair to compare like with like - a UK20 has inbetweenie privilege compared to a UK28, but I'd say a US16 has far more privilege than the equivalent UK20, if that makes any sense.

Basically, I agree with you and try to avoid posting outfits with anything nonstandard (ie not just jeans/tshirts) that doesn't go up to a UK22 or so at least. I just also think what counts as an inbetweenie varies wildly from country to country, and this community usually focusses on the more North American based definition.

That's basically what I replied to someone earlier. :)

I'm a death fattie....size 30/32. And I have been very, very guilty of looking at inbetweenie OOTDs and thinking "They're not fat." But it has been enlightening to me to learn about what obstacles my smaller sisters face. Yes, it's very frustrating to have someone recommend a great fashion site only to discover it only goes up to a size 24. And I know a lot of you inbetweenies don't have the experience of not being able to fit into a restaurant booth or a chair with arms, or having to pay exorbitant prices for tights or stockings. Among other things. But if we can all be respectful of each other's differences, we can band together to make a change for all of us. If *I* was a size 14, I'd feel skinny. But your mileage may vary.

I like this comment. I feel similarly -- I'm going to take every ally I can get.

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
i feel as though this conversation is taking a weird tack here. I feel as though the OP was really clear that s/he was talking about recognizing and talking about privilege WITHOUT policing or dismissing the experiences of inbetweenies. Given that, I'm a little disappointed to see so many responses seeking to emphasize that inbetweenies experience fat-ness and discrimination too and should be welcome in Fatshionista -- of *course* they are. And I haven't heard anyone suggest that they aren't or shouldn't be.

But taking as the starting point the idea that we all share experiences of having bodies that are not "the norm" and thus experience Otherness and discrimination, I think the recognition that there is a continuum of size and fatshion/fashion access available is a legitimate one.

Nor is it just a matter of size -- it is also, as sparkymonster pointed out, a question of shape. What i (as a larger fat, at 5'6" and 320-ish) find really exciting about this community is seeing how we dress larger bodies to emphasize their shape(s)....i agree that it can be difficult for that to have the same resonance when the clothing shown is not available to me (as someone in Canada I also have that issue about a lot of manufacturers who just won't ship here), but it is also sometimes difficult when particular shapes are privileged...where the non-hourglass-y is not as enthusiastically received, or when tips on creating the illusion of hourglassy shape is considered an "improvement" on the outfit (cause surely the point is to dress *my* body, not to make my body appear to conform as far as possible to societal expectations about the desired body).

I'm babbling i think, and I apologize -- really, all I wanted to say was that I think a conversation about recognizing privilege is a positive thing...expanded dialogue is a positive thing...but the call for those expansions should not be conflated with a call to silence or exclude "smaller fats", nor as a patronizing/matronizing call to make "larger fats" feel better....rather, i saw it as a call for all of us to journey together a little further down the path of interrogating the relationship(s) between our bodies, fashion, fatshion etc. And I'm all for it!

I don't think you are babbling - this is SO right on.

I haven't read the comments yet, but I have several thoughts.

I'm an inbetweenie, and accordingly don't post OOTDs. Also, I'm 8 months pregnant and my clothing sucks right now, so it's not like i have anything cute to show off anyways.

That said, I'm here because I love the discussion of clothing choices that flatter a variety of body types, not just the skinny/not particularly curvy body that is usually designed for. Moreover, I love that the discussion is usually not about trying to look smaller or hiding "figure flaws." I think people of all sizes should learn how to dress in a way that flatters them, and that certainly doesn't mean "smaller and more hour-glassy."

Also, medically, I am considered fat. Our society has defined fat as anyone over a size 6 (on my frame, I officially hit "overweight" when I was wearing a size 8) and it's utterly ridiculous. I love the positivity of this community, even if I'm on the smaller end of it.

I absolutely love what you have said here and how you have said it. Very eloquent.

I think larger women should start posting more, period. It would kind of negate this problem & some of the feelings people are having against inbetweenies.

As an inbetweenie myself (18/20, generally) I'm a little disappointed to see this topic brought up again. I recognize that I have privilege when compared to larger women, but I'm still fat. My body frame is defined by the fat on it. I identify with the causes of fat activism and I would love to see larger women who are comfortable with posting outfits. I'm disappointed that there are members here who dismiss inbetweenies all together, for having privilege or for being "not fat enough".

You are totally still fat. No one is trying to take that definition away from you.

As for larger members posting more - it is easy to say that larger fats should just post more. But there more to it than that - I'm certainly not going to post to a community that does not feel welcoming of such posts, particularly if I'm having body image issues, you know? (Hypothetically!)

So there is actually some responsibility placed on community members to maintain an atmosphere that is receptive to the kinds of posts we want to see.

Thank you for this post.

I've been a size 12 and I've been a size 24. And I think it's totally fair to say that the two extremes face different challenges and have different experiences, and that we should stop trying to erase those differences. Acknowledging that the differences exist, as people have said already, is not the same as creating a hierarchy of fat.

I know trying to ignore/downplay the difference is something that I have been guilty of, in part because I used to be larger than I am and I still carry that experience around inside of me. But it's true: as a "small fat" I do experience privilege that I didn't have when I was larger. It's not my fault, and I don't think anyone is expecting me to take the blame--just to be aware of it and to try not to buy into it or enact it on others.

I want to suggest you may want to add something clarifying what you mean by privilege and by checking one's privilege. They are concept that I think trips people up.

One of my absolute favorite discussions about this is here:

"Check my what? On privilege and what we can do about it"

It talks about what privilege is (and what it isn't), what checking your privilege means and what privileged people can do about it.

I think some people think saying "X group experiences Y form of privilege" means "X group is BAD/wrong/naughty and should feel ashamed of themselves." Which is NOT what is being said at all.

I think it's great to discuss this privilege and bring it up, particularly for those who haven't considered it. I think one issue is that many inbetweenies ARE aware of their privilege, but don't know how to navigate it here, or want a way to navigate here that recognizes that privilege yet doesn't leave us feeling less valuable in this community, even if we don't always experience the full onslaught of fat difficulties....does that make any sense? I think that's where the sensitivity lies - I don't gather that people are calling me "bad/naughty/wrong"... but I guess I wonder what lines need be drawn - does an OOTD post that contains inbetweenie privilege (say, all the clothes are from Anthropologie) need to not be shared? How can an inbetweenie who shops there acknowledge they're aware of the privilege, and what obligation do they have to the rest of the community?

I've kind of yet to see many people offer up constructive ways to deal with that...

I have no answers, but I will take time to explain why I participate here, and how I try to manuever around in here (carefully!) with my privilege. When I started reading fats, I was a size 20 or so. At that point I didn't consider myself "inbetweenie", and I felt somewhat resentful towards the inbetweenies who were posting. That said, I'm now a size 14. I can fit clothing on either side of that number, given the manufacturer, and have little trouble finding things. I'm incredibly small-busted, which means that I can easily fit straight sizes on the top, but not so much on my waist/bottom. I'm 5'4" with a small frame, and when I was "skinny" I wore petite sizing. Of course, I'm also an apple-tweenie, so photos of me facing the camera head on don't really show my true body shape.

I'm actually reluctant to post OOTD's here, and in fact a few weeks ago I got an anonymous comment from someone basically questioning me on my reasons for such. I had a hard time not taking that as a "you're not welcome". I like to post OOTDs here because I like to get feedback, both positive and negative, as a way to help me determine what fashion choices look good on me. I am NOT looking for "UR LEGS ARE HOT" or compliments on my body shape or size - I'm looking for constructive feedback on what I'm wearing. I tried this in non-fat communities, but the atmosphere there is completely different, and the body shaming/focus on dieting that comes with those communities is not something I need, as I still fight an eating disorder. So I would like to post here as long as I continue to meet the posting standards.

When I post, I try to share only items that can be bought in plus sizes, or that can be custom-sized, or those vintage items you discussed above. I'm very keenly aware of what is and isn't available to larger sizes, things I might have been upset over 3 years ago. There's a tricky point, though, too.... because I pick up basics from ON and Target, and I might pick up a straight size shirt that goes up to a XXL - do I decide to post an OOTD with that, knowing that it's limited to XXL? What if the fabric of the item is "surprisingly stretchy", and a XXL could fit a larger size? Sometimes I just have to call it, and I post the straight-sized/other crap to my personal blogs, and the "available in larger sizes" here.

As for how I interact with larger fats - I go out of my way to provide comments and feedback on the "larger fats" posts, as a way of encouragement. I actually prefer the larger fat posts to the inbetweenie posts, because it seems like the fashion gets more creative in those posts. I attempt to be respectful to larger fats when discussing "common fat issues", because I realize that I don't experience the same issues at my current size as I did when I was a size 20, and when I was a size 20, I STILL didn't experience the same issues as someone who might be a size 30. Of course, I've also experienced fat hatred and had trash thrown at me and been told to go on a diet and called names and even had something said to me by an employer. But I know full well that I don't experience the same hatred that larger fats see, from my own experience, those comments have lessened towards me as I've lost weight.

The other thing I decided to do recently was to label my posts "inbetweenie post" behind a cut - I figured that would help Mr./Ms. Anonymous skim by my post and never have to click on it, nor will they ever have to worry about seeing me. On the flip side, I'm kind of afraid that people might see that as "bragging".

It's hard, we all have to manage our internet experiences and examine our feelings to what we see, and I have to wonder what my obligation is to keep from offending larger fats, while maintaining awareness of my privilege in this space. I don't want to offend people with my OOTD posts, but I love what this community has given me - it's helped me to appreciate my body, boost my self-esteem, and have fun with fashion. It would be helpful for me to hear what larger fats are/aren't offended by, and what they don't mind seeing. I am willing to be respectful of that.

so well stated.

i dont understand how someone a size 20 is considered an inbetweenie?

i post things from straight sized stores to show other women that the size on the tag doesnt matter (for example, one of the last dresses i posted was marked a size SIX. i am a size 18/20. i make shit work. i dont expect someone a size 26 to necessarily fit that same dress, but maybe if they see how i try on all sizes, they will be more willing to try on a size they never thought they could fit). i understand that this can feel exclusive, but on the other hand, i dont know what else i can do. should i stop posting outfits unless im wearing items that all are available up to size 30 (which basically means never)? would that then exclude fats over size 30? what then? i would like some concrete suggestions, because otherwise, this conversation always leaves me feeling like i shouldn't be posting OOTDs.

sorry, this comment came off more whiney than i intended. i am not saying ~woe is me! i can fit smaller sizes! i truly am wondering what i can do differently, or whether people would rather not see posts that include items from straight sized stores.

Can I just say that I fucking hate the word inbetweenie? I'm a size 16, and I'm fat. I am inbetween nothing, thank you.

(Deleted comment)
It's awesome that you wrote your thesis on Shapely Prose, but that probably means you remember this post. As wholeheartedly welcome as thin and thinnish allies are in the movement, the urge to protect certain rarefied spaces is still reasonable and valid. Fatshionista simply can't serve the same purpose if it's Everyoneshionista. That's one big difference between a political space like SP and a political/fashion space like Fats -- size does matter here, because we've got the whole rest of the internet to look at pictures of clothes we can't fit into.

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
I look to the community for inspiration and thought-provoking posts about fatshion and related issues. I'm not judging anyone based on size- identifying oneself as a fat is really up to each person and their own perceptions. I've self-identified as a fat, and as such, joined this community. I don't understand the term in-betweenie, I don't think that we should refer to each other by the degree of fatness or the like. We seem to be so quick to pass judgment on each other, it's a bit disheartening.

I comment on OOTDs that appeal to me for whatever the reason- color of the clothing item, fabric, the overall outfit, etc. I'm not thinking about the size of the person in the OOTD, or the fact that I can or can't get the item of clothing. In fact, living in Canada, MOST of the clothing items listed in the OOTDs are out of reach as retailers don't ship to Canada, with a very few rare exceptions.

I love ALL of the OOTDs, they're inspirational and remind me of our diversity. I love seeing people of all different shapes and sizes illustrating that fashion isn't just for people of a certain size. We're all deserving of beautiful, well-fitting, fashionable clothing.

I don't have a lot to add to this post, but I think a lot of valuable and valid points have been said here.

I have a confession. I'm an inbetweenie. At just about 200 pounds and a size somewhere between a 16 and a 20, I can often fit into a larger-cut L, XL, or XXL.

I wasn't always this way, and it's through no fault of my own that I'm an inbetweenie now. I'm this size due to the stress diet. My husband is terminally ill aand I am his sole caretaker. I have a tendency to forget to eat, and high stress historically has made me shed sizes. I literally cringe every time someone tells me "You look great, you've lost weight!".

Most of my adult life I've averaged out at about a 22/24, so I couldn't shop at the non-fat stores. I spent my fat childhood shopping with my fat mom (who had no other options besides double-knit polyester pants!), in the "Pretty Plus" section at Sears in the 70's, because nobody else carried my size. I've had doctors who insisted all my ills were weight-related, though I've always had low blood pressure, low cholesterol, and normal blood sugars.

I guess my point is, there are those of us who are current inbetweenies who *do* get the bigger fat experience. And everyone's experience of their fat is different, and that is okay.

I have always felt accepted here, and I appreciate the pictures of both larger and smaller fats. This community gave me the power to accept and expose my flabby upper arms to the world, and say "fuck em'!".

I guess the point of this rant was that everyone's experience is their own. I see Fatshionista as a place to be my fat self, and for you (the collective and individual you's) to be yours.

I literally cringe every time someone tells me "You look great, you've lost weight!".

Oh, man, that has got to be a total slap in the face. Also, I feel like there is no adequate way to acknowledge your situation, especially in text, but I did want to say that I wish both you and your husband as much good as is possible.


Log in