Moms in Babeland

Fat Panic!

I recently spent the weekend at NOLOSE, a conference of fat queer women and their allies, and as expected, it was mind altering. The constant anti-fat bombardment from every angle so dominates our cultural discourse that just to be in a room full of fat people who are accepting of their size, claiming their sexiness and their right to love and respect, and questioning the tenets of the obesity epidemic was a revelation.

Even among feminist sex educators there is a lot of desire to lose weight. A friend from the sex-ed world who is fat recently told me she wants to lose 30 pounds to see if sex gets better due to increased libido, because a recent Brown study shows that women who lose weight have more sex. I don’t buy it. My thought is that it’s because they feel less shame around their bodies, not because of the fat itself. The shame is the problem, not the bodies.

My experience is that fatness is linked to saying yes to pleasure. And many of us are fat, or at least chubby, and that’s ok. It’s more than ok, it’s a sign of zest for life. We say yes to the pleasures of eating, let’s say yes to the pleasures of sex too. As parents, saying yes to our own pleasure is usually at the bottom of a long list that prioritizes saying yes to diaper changes, and yes to arranging daycare, etc. So when we do get to sex, what a loss for us if we are held back by shame about a little squish and jiggle! Diversity of body size is natural, conforming to a uniformly thin beauty standard is not. Love your curves. And don’t believe everything you hear: these days fat is looked at as everything from a reason to censor lingerie ads to  to a guaranteed death sentence.

The reality is that fat is just fat and you can be healthy fat, or unhealthy fat, just like thin. And you can feel sexy fat or unsexy fat, just like thin. It takes some superhero self talk to drown out the relentless drone of weight loss promotion. But it’s worth it to build up that inner voice.

To inspire that voice I’m looking for blogs to link to that champion body positivity and sexiness and include parenting as an issue (or should I say lifestyle reality?). I’ve been coming up empty with the fat/sex/parenting trifecta. No blogs or bloggers to be found. Any of the dyads: fat & parenting, sex & fat, or sex & parenting are controversial. The three together must be radioactive. The word needs someone to grab a soapbox in this space!

Meanwhile, here are a few links to some contrarian voices on the subject of weight and health, and if you feel inspired to blog or comment on your chunky, parenting, sexy life, the world needs your voice!

health at any size

Interview with Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth

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3 Responses to “Fat Panic!”

  1. matie says:

    This is wonderful. Thanks for posting and reminding us to love our bodies.

    Check out Heidi Anderson’s blog. She is self described as a foxy feminist atheist skeptic fat chick, wife, and mom with a hard-core science fetish!

  2. Marie Fricker of self serve toys told me about this column, and I less than humbly offer my blog as THE solution to all your needs!

    Or at least the request for a fat/sex/parenting blog.

    Heidi Anderson

  3. kimpunkrock says:

    I agree it is more about shame and the FACT that we are taught that people dont want fat people and only other fat people want to be with fact people. I was with the HOTTEST sailor boy I have ever seen and the reason he was into me was because I wasnt exactly skinny skin. I wasnt even as big as he really liked! Unfortunately he was engaged at the time and didnt tell me so, or he would of been a keeper. There are plenty of people out there into BBW, you just have to look!

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