Given the perfectly reasonable, rational, and non-hysterical-flailing response to yesterday's announcement, I'd like to add a few notes on the Outfit of the Day (OOTD) post guideline change. For those who missed it: the long-standing size-14-and-up-only OOTD post rule has been adjusted to US women's (i.e., not juniors) size 16 -- or the men's equivalent -- and up. This does not apply to any other participation in the community; as always, people of all sizes are welcome to post, comment, and contribute, as many of you of many different sizes have done for years. Nor does this change affect sales posts. It only affects OOTD photo posting.
I hope the following clarifies things.
1. This change is not intended to cut back or eliminate outfit posts; nor is it likely to function in that way at all. In truth, the overwhelming majority of the posts affected by this change were routinely being rejected from the queue even under the old size 14W rule.
Now the mods just have a stronger rule to cite when necessary.
2. In case folks weren't aware, we have always had a size cutoff for photo posts, this new adjustment has simply refined it.
And as before, it continues to operate not as a hard-and-fast rule but as a flexible guideline open to interpretation by the mods. It does not and has never meant that everything in your post has to be size 16 or larger -- most of us can wear a range of sizes, I'd wager -- but that you must acknowledge that you typically
fit a size 16 in order for your post to be accepted. Have you had an OOTD approved in the past? Odds are you'll continue to do so. Many of our smaller members have been asked to edit posts to include size information over the years, and it's extremely rare that anyone has a problem with it, and most just come to include that information automatically in future posts. Asking smaller posters to provide size information is a very common occurrence already, because we don't want to deny outfit posts that are community-appropriate, but rather want to make certain their appropriateness is clear to us and to the community.
The fact is, these guidelines don't exist simply because the mods enjoy making and enforcing rules (trust me, we don't) but to prevent smaller posters from being inundated with "you're not fat, why are you posting?" comments challenging their right to be here. These types of comments, I might add, are explicitly against community rules because
they have led to smaller posters feeling attacked in the past.
3. Fatshionista is not intended to serve all people everywhere equally. It is intended to be a community for politically-engaged people who identify as fat, specifically fat people who wear plus sizes. Are some people who DON'T wear US plus sizes still fat? Absolutely! And they'd probably still have OOTD posts approved without a problem. Which brings us to:
4. Outfit of the day posts serve a purpose beyond "do these jeans look okay on me?" or "does this top go with this skirt?" Their more important effect, I'd argue, is that they create a space in which fat people are encouraged to be visible
, because in so much of mainstream culture, we're not, or we have no control over our representation. Outfit of the day posts are supposed to showcase the style and confidence of fat people of all sizes, and are not meant to a refuge for anybody-of-any-size with some degree of body insecurity looking for a "safe" and supportive space to post pictures. (That would actually be a really cool community, frankly. Somebody should start it.) Seeing outfit of the day posts can also help other members to accept their own bodies.
Thus, for the purposes of assessing the posts submitted to the queue, the mods have agreed that applicable posts tend to start around a size 16. Is the number somewhat arbitrary? Sure. Even bodies that wear the same size all look different, and the vast majority of OOTD posts are approved or denied based on the poster's visible fatness, and not their clothing size.
But in the interest of efficiency and clarity in community administration, we need to acknowledge some
division between fat and not-fat, even though in real life that division is rarely so clear.
As an aside, over the course of the debate, some folks have cited their BMI as evidence of their fatness. This is an interesting point, except for the fact that the BMI is garbage, and certainly fails to reliably impart meaningful information about a person's body shape and size. To be precise, being "overweight" or "obese" according to the BMI says nothing about whether a person is visibly fat, or would read as fat to other people. If you want visual evidence of how useless the BMI is for describing fatness, check out The Illustrated BMI Project
, a collection of pictures of people and their often-shocking BMI categories originally put together by Kate Harding of Shapely Prose. To be clear, Outfit of the Day pictures in fatshionista
are meant to show people who are visibly fat, not people with a certain BMI.
If you feel persecuted by this, well, that sucks for you, and we're sorry to hear it. But I've learned that when you're administrating a community with several thousand members, it's inevitable some folks won't like the policies you set. C'est la vie.
My ability to respond to comments will be extremely limited today, though there are other mods at your disposal for questions and further clarifications. Thanks again for your general awesomeness, fats!