Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Measure of a Man

I am between 5'7" and 5'8" depending on who is measuring. The last weigh in a few months ago was 380.

I am involved in the Fat Acceptance Community because I had lead a miserable, unhappy life which I believed stemmed from me being fat. In a pursuit of family, society and sadly my own approval I felt unworthy of romantic love because I bought into the norm that fat is bad and evil, hence by extension so was I.

My male privilege, which I didn't know about until pointed out for me at Shapely Prose made my fat life easier than my fat sisters. I allow that I may not fully understand the harder time that fat woman have in our culture. I can speak personally to the stigma I have felt primarily from the opposite sex. Maybe it was all just a confidence thing. But my lack of confidence and self esteem when it came to the opposite sex was all about my weight. I do now see that probably it was my lack of confidence, not my actual weight that was in my way with the ladies. That being said, there is a lot of anti fat bias out there in the dating world and women are not the only victims of it. check out the comments here

I was quite an unhappy puppy. When I came into the FA community the first thing that was apparent to me was that there are not a lot of fat guys around talking about the struggles of being a fat guy. In fact, I couldn't find any. I did get the message very early that fat women have it harder than men. Honestly, it seemed a little dismissive of my experience as a fat man. I respect women and I do not want to offend the feminist fat women, but I probably do and am grateful to those willing to point out when I trespass and perhaps offend. Honestly, am I allowed to plead ignorance? I always get a little nervous about being misunderstood when talking about this. But is seems that there are only women to talk to in FA (and males that admire fat women)

I think there are many fat guys around that have a lot in common and can add a lot to the community and I am not sure why they are so hard to find. I went to the Naffa convention and as far as I could tell I was one of three guys there that Identified as a fat man. Three ???? WTF?

Could it be that guys don't want to be vulnerable? Could it be that they have transcended the limiting beliefs that society has about fat and I am the only fat guy feeling the heat? Could I be one of the only guys that wonders about the stigma that fat boys face growing up? Having been the target of so much fat hate growing up (oh by the way, I wasn't that fat, not that the way I was treated by family and society would have me believe) But I was always "trying" to lose weight.

I am finally connecting with my own sense of worthiness. I am finally seeing that the only opinion that matters is mine.

This is the gift that the FA community has given me. I will always be grateful for that.

So any other FAT Guys out there that wanna stop lurking? Imagine what the combined voices of several Fat men speaking to fat acceptance and health at any size could do for each other and the new guys investigating what our community has to offer.

I am not looking to move any mountains. I would just like to have one or two guys that understand the nuances of reclaiming a sense of worthiness after leading a life apologetically for being what I am…. Fat.

No More Apologies!!!

Fat FAt fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat..

I am fat!!!!!!!!!!!! I am fat!!!!!!!

I am a man!!!

and I need to say to any and all who think there is something wrong with me..….


that felt good.


  1. Hehe! That's how you work it baby! Love yourself! It is so hard sometimes to love myself as a 5 foot 6 inch, 300 pound young woman (20), I'm expected to be at my peak of beauty... And I AM beautiful. YOU are handsome! I love fat men and there's NOT A DAMN THING WRONG WITH ME!

    I was talking with my boyfriend today. We're long distance... He's British, I'm Californian.

    He's slowly coming to terms with me being a Fat Acceptance Activist. He thinks I should just ignore people who hate on me for my weight and I told him that that's not possible because it hurts me in my daily life- I will be paid less, and have worse medical care than a thin person.

    He said there's a difference between being fat and obese and I said "No, I am cosidered obese. The war on obesity is a war on me." He asked if I was happy with my body and I assured him that I loved my body. I informed him that at 6 foot 2 inches, and 252 pounds, he is considered obese. He was flabbergasted. He had no idea.

    He said he'd never really experienced much fat hate except as a chubby child. I explained the male privilege when it comes to weight discrimination. Men do face horrid discrimination when it comes to weight but it's different than the burden females face.

    I think he understands better. I know it pains him when I talk about what I face as a fat girl. And it pains me to think of what you face as a fat man when I adore men just like you.

    I'm sorry for the long post, but I wanted to say that I, a fat woman, support you, a fat man. You're amazing!!!

    -Lexie Di

  2. Way to come on out with guns blazing! I love the fact that we're suddenly seeing more men de-lurking and POC coming out with their own voice to claim their stake in this issue. After all, this affects everyone, everywhere. Welcome to the show!

    By the way, one of the three guys at the Naafa conference was my uncle Bill :-)

  3. iishieboo - can't hear women say "I love fat men" enough... come on ladies, shower me with the adoration!!

    JoGeek- I like "uncle bill" instead of bill. It fits him. What a great guy he is. One of the male voices that was easy to find as I first entered the blog o sphere.

  4. Hi Lexie

    I loved you comment and I agree with you that we guys experence a different form/focus of Fat Bias. That difference does not make the experience less real or painful for us.


  5. William, EXACTLY... I have to say that there is an energy on the online FA community that we have it a lot easier than women. While I think that there is validity in that point, I also feel it is dismissive to your point that we have real painful stuff to deal with as Fat Men.

    Thanks for commenting!!!

  6. I have to say, I adore your blog.

    This is a really good essay about coming to terms with both the privilege you have and the discrimination you face. I hope you find your empowered fat dudes!

    I actually came to read the Fatosphere blogs through feminism. I'm on the heavier end of normal, but I can't honestly say that my weight has negatively affected my life. I recognize that privilege, and I consider myself part of the FA movement. I'm an ally, I guess! I don't think recognizing our privilege means we can't be a part of things. You're a man, I'm a straight size, it's all good.

    However, FA has changed my life in some very positive ways. I will never comment on someone's weight again (my own or other people's). If I ever call myself fat again it will be in solidarity with all the wonderful people who are part of FA. I now know that the number on my scale is not a measure of my character. I never thought other people's weight said anything about who they were--now I apply it evenly, to me as well as everyone. I am the weight I am, and it's just an attribute, not an indicator.

    I also am a very, very, meek person. Without these blogs I would never have had the courage to take my wedding dress back to the bridal shop when I saw that they had packed up not the dress I bought, but one in the same style two sizes smaller. Old me would have tried to fit myself to the dress, literally starving myself, instead of walking in with steam coming out my ears demanding the size listed on my receipt. I think I may have had to take out a rib to do that, but I digress. Guess what? They ordered a proper dress for me, no questions asked (but many groveling apologies made), even though by the time I made it back there they'd sold the larger one.

    In short, whether you find your community or not, you are learning and you are accepted. Your blog is one of my favorites. Would you have thought, on the surface, that your words would so profoundly affect readers very different from you? But I have to say, your experiences have helped me see how to make my own life better, particularly the stories about your sister. I am now much more respectful of people's boundaries, and that is a good thing.

  7. "I have to say that there is an energy on the online FA community that we have it a lot easier than women."

    The problem is that the "I have it worse than you do" could be taken all the way down the line until only a bare handful of people in the world have any right to speak out. If we forget about whether racism is worse than ableism is worse than sizism is worse than sexism and just worry about how to treat human beings as people instead of things, then we're all on the same goal.

  8. Sydera- Thanks for compliments about the blog. I think coming to terms with FA is tough enough, having family members that range from unsupportive to combative to just plan mean or rude has made it more challenging. I love the phrase "pressure makes diamonds" I love the internet and the blog-o-sphere to get the community I need as I walk through this stuff.

    I love that you adore my blog and my heart is smiling hearing some of the things that you have gotten from reading it.



  9. I agree that being inclusive needs to be central to an acceptance movement... duh? of course it does, and I like the way you comment around the blogs to that effect. I do, however, think that community with others like me ( hetero men) adds value to the FA community experience. I like all perspectives of the FA community, I'd, in addition, like to commune with other fat guys who can empathize with my experience on a deeper level that a fat woman can. I still want to connect with everyone, just also wanna hear from the fat guys.

  10. Fat woman speaking here (so not quite what you asked for, but...) I don't know that this will help any, but not long ago, I discovered "bear culture" as it exists online and I found that there's an entire world of men celebrating fatness in words and pictures and even videos. You haven't said if you're gay or straight or what, but I'd say it really shouldn't matter all that much, insofar as I, a bi woman, have found a lot of the gay bear and "chubby chaser" and "belly worship" photography online really empowering, in much the same way that I find Adipositivity and men_in_full empowering simply because the operating assumption that fat bodies are worth looking at with something other than disdain (or worry or anxiety or any of the other things we're used to attaching to fat bodies).

    We are socially conditioned to value certain bodies attractive, but we can condition ourselves--and change ourselves--to value and eroticize fat bodies, including our own. Some of that starts with desensitization--just getting used to looking without looking away.

    We spend too much time focused on changing the way our own bodies look and not nearly enough time on changing the way we look at our bodies--and I think that some of that ability to self-love can come about by looking at others and learning to see other bodies like ours as beautiful.

    And I should note that I've looked into the BBW/Fat Fetish type sites out there but find them much more problematic in terms of my own viewing of them in part because of male privilege. Unlike the bear culture sites (which emphasize the men as powerful and strong even as they're soft), the BBW sites tend to feel much more objectifying, reducing the women even as they supposedly glorify them.

  11. I agree that the fat-hate men go through is horrible and painful and wrong. I do think that women do experience different kind of discrimination. Men have the power of being men even if they are fat. Someone like me is a woman, therefore seen as weak, and also fat, therefore seen as (enter stereotype here). For women, it's almost double the discrimination.

    Please don't misunderstand, I would happily kick someone in the face for harassing anyone, male or female, fat, thin, black, white, Asian, et cetera. I can not, nor will I ever be able to say what you fat men face as fat men. I would not ever venture to say that what fat men face is equal to what fat women face as they can never be equal just because the variable of gender and society's connotations related to gender is too great.

    But having pain inflicted upon you for who you are is never good. It is always wrong. ALWAYS. Not matter what gender you subscribe or do not subscribe to.

    Anyhoo! Men! Love them. My friend Nana is really into muscular men and thinks I'm kind of odd for liking fat men. We talked about it recently and she understood more when I told her that as a fat girl, having a man that's bigger than me makes me feel protected and loved. I don't want to feel that as the physically larger one, I have to protect him. She asked me about muscular men and I told her that cuddling into muscle isn't like cuddling into a warm, soft tummy. Seeing a nude muscular body is nice, but, to me, it's nothing like seeing the fluid shape of a rounder body. A man who is muscular may be strong. But a man who is fat may also be strong. And there's nothing better than the best of both worlds. A fat man is like the ultimate security blanket: He can protect me from the scary things under the bed while still providing the warmth and comfort I adore. And to me, that's also very sexually attractive.

    -Lexie Di