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fat-friendly cities and towns?
thirtiesgirl wrote in fatshionista
Hi fats. I come to you with a question. Based on your experiences, what places, cities, towns do you consider fat-friendly?
By "fat-friendly," I mean the town or city has a fat community with some knowledge of and experience with fat acceptance and health at every size; the dating scene is generally good for fats; and there's an overall friendliness and not much negativity towards fats from people of every size, gender and ethnicity. ...Or am I asking for a tall order, here?

I've lived all my life in Southern California, growing up in a touristy beach community, where beach bunny bodies were the norm. I've lived in Los Angeles for the past 12 years, where I moved to ostensibly start a new life that included a romantic partner, good friends, a job I loved and a neighborhood I was fond of. I've managed to find a few of those things in LA, but it's been a real struggle. For the past several years, I've been considering finding a new place to call home. I'm just not sure where that might be, so I'm asking for your knowledge and experiences to help develop my search.

I should mention a few things: I don't do well with cold winter weather when it drops below 40 degrees farenheit (meaning, very little to no snow). If I could handle snow and cold, windy temps, Chicago would be my go-to city. A fat friend of mine from LA moved to Chicago several years ago and couldn't say enough about the cute men who frequently hit on her and the general attitude difference she experienced, in comparison to LA. But sadly, I have circulation issues, so temps below 40 degrees in winter are not good for me.

I'm also not good with extreme heat or humidity; extreme to me meaning any temps over 105 degrees farenheit. I lived for several years in the San Fernando Valley where it can get as hot as 108 degrees in summer, which is a wee bit too hot for me, but just barely manageable. Thank goodness for A/C.

Places I've considered living include Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and Sacramento, CA. Portland is now off the list because it's apparently extremely difficult to find jobs in education there, especially if you're moving from out of state. I work in education, so that's not good for me. Sacramento's still on my list as a potential city for me to check out if I want to stay in California, but I know next to nothing about it. Same with Austin, aside from the great music scene there.

So now that I've given you my list of nearly impossible to meet standards (big surprise), what do you say? What cities and towns do you consider fat-friendly?

Thanks for reading.


I was going to say Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison, but you really have to be down with cold and snow to dwell here.

I was gonna say Minneapolis, but same deal!

i'm going to say all of so cal. i didn't realize it until i moved away!

and yes i realized you mentioned that in your post.. just my pov. i feel more beautiful than ever when i'm there, i find it easier to meet people in general in the LA area too.

This is only based on limited experience being there for work, but I've always felt particularly confident about myself in New Mexico - either Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

I may have to check that out. A guy friend of mine who lives in Canada has been long-distance dating a woman who lives in New Mex, near Albuquerque (I think) for the past several years and every time I hear from him, he tells me how much he likes New Mexico. It seems to have a similar climate to SoCal and, from what I've seen in pics, is very pretty.

I live in Austin, but I've found Houston to be a fat-friendly city.

Austin is an amazing city. How can you find bad in a city who's motto is "Keep Austin Weird"? The cost of living is high when compared to the rest of TX but tremendously lower than CA. Austin has pretty great weather and if you're into outdoors they have amazing parks and you're also close to lots of rivers with good floating (if you've never inner tubbed lazily down a river you haven't fully lived). The live music scene is unrivaled. I've found that the general population is very diverse. As with most places in Texas you have to drive cause the mass transit is not very reliable.

I'm planning a relocation to Austin in the next couple years as most of my friends have already migrated there.

I'm a native Houstonian and I've enjoyed living here. Though it gets oppressively hot from June-Sept so that take it off your list.


Austin gets pretty oppressively hot during that time, too. :)

Sacramento is a great city! When I was kid, I always wanted to live somewhere "cooler" (i.e. SF), but as an adult I've come to appreciate its laidback lifestyle and homey ways. I like to call it a big city that still thinks it's a small town. Folks are friendly and very laid back. I don't think the fat acceptance community is huge here, but it's a nice place to live - and be fat. :D

That said, if you're not good with extreme heat, Sac is not for you. 100+ temps are the norms during the summer. I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Sactown!

Thanks. I may take you up on that. I don't know anyone who lives in the area, so short of visiting Sac, I don't know anything about it.

I have honestly found that living in places that have a higher Hispanic or African American population tend to be more fat-friendly. Not to bring race into this, but typically, those two ethnicities in general tend to be more accepting, and even attracted to members of the opposite sex who are not the "societal norm".

I'd agree with you. There's a large Hispanic population in LA, and a smaller black population. I've often been approached by Hispanic and black men here who are interested in dating me, but I've yet to have a relationship work out. The main problem is that our surface cultural interests are usually very different, so I don't have a lot in common with most Hispanic or black men.

Atlanta's pretty down with the fats.

I love Atlanta, but it is hella sticky hot in the summer, though.

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By freezing do you mean below 40 degrees farenheit?

I've met a few people online who live in Virginia, via a music forum I used to be on. From some of the pics they posted, it looks like a very pretty place. Although, if memory serves, most of them lived in slightly more rural areas outside of Richmond. It might be worth it for me to check out, unless the cold winters are below 40 with snow.

When I lived in DC I thought it was pretty fat-friendly.

I went on a 10-day trip to Washington DC when I was in 8th grade. I remember absolutely falling in love with the big city when I was there. Coming from a small, laid-back touristy town, naturally I was going to romanticize a bigger, urban city, so I thought I wanted to live there for a few years. In my adult years, I matured a little and came to the conclusion that DC is a little too urban for me. Living in LA, I've experienced enough unattractive neighborhoods, police presence, paramedics racing down the street every 15 minutes, and bad traffic to last me a lifetime. Plus, doesn't DC get cold and snowy in winter? I don't think I could handle it.

i am going to echo another poster and say SoCal, frankly. i lived there the first 25 years of my life, and never had any issue dating, relating, whatever.

sigh.

i'll be glad to move back next year, that's certain.

Well I grew up in SoCal (Orange County, specifically) and I do not remember it being anything even close to fat-friendly. I was a chubby little 5th grader and I was tormented mercilessly by kids and parents alike. Absolutely not. No way. SoCal is disgusting.

Wow. Sorry to hear you had such bad experiences. I didn't really experience open fat hatred until I was older, most of it in LA. The stuff that I experienced in my hometown was a little more subtle, but there was definitely an undercurrent of intolerance for people with different body types, and moreso for people who don't have 'fun,' outgoing personalities. Being a beach community, most of the people in my hometown enjoy the beach, outdoors, hiking, surfing, etc. As a morose little kid with an interest in reading, film and 'weird' music, I had a hard time fitting in with the prevailing attitude of sunshine, fun and outgoing personalities.

I spent most of my life in Sacramento. I would say it's...fat neutral? I would definitely recommend living downtown/midtown, but that's just me. If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them! :)

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I've grown up in South Florida all my life and I can't even remember being so much as teased for being fat. I'm sure there's unfriendly people, but I've never really encountered one yet. I'm in Palm Beach County now, but I've also lived in Ft. Lauderdale and travel a lot to Miami.

Of course it's hot, and I can't really speak for the job situation because I haven't had to look for one.

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Well, Austin isn't actually vetoed for traffic. At the moment, it's on the top of my list of places to consider. After visiting Portland a few years ago with a friend, I fell in love with it and would love to be able to make a home there. I work in education and unfortunately, it's extremely hard to get a job working for the school districts in Portland, especially if you're coming from out of state. I've had several educator friends move up there and try to make a life for themselves, but couldn't find a teaching job there even after a year. So Portland is, sadly, off the list for me. Albuquerque is on my list of places to check out...but may soon fall off the list if I have to keep using the damn spell check every time I try to type the name.

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