Fat as Hell and Not Taking it Anymore

It's a thin chick's world, but on the Web, women are large and in charge

By Julene Snyder

Published October 31, 1996 1:45PM (EST)

In cyberspace no one can hear your scale scream. This can be liberating,
because fat chicks get no respect. In real life, complete strangers yell
things like, "Hey! Want some butter to go with those rolls?" Even worse are
the idjits who ask when the baby's due and try to slink away when you
snarl, "Not pregnant asshole, just fat." Everybody wants to tell you their
diet secret, as if you asked. Aerobicized babes slyly examine your grocery
cart in the supermarket and look smug if you dare to have anything not
labeled "Lean Cuisine." When a peal of laughter wafts through the gym, you
just know whose butt was the butt of that joke.

But just because everybody can be skinny (or young, or
blond, or a different sex) on the Web simply by making stuff up, doesn't
mean everybody wants to. Fat chicks are sick of feeling sick about their
bodies — and they're as plugged in as anybody. To prove it, I
conducted the following utterly unscientific quest for fat chicks online:

A search at HotBot (accompanied by the helpful message, "searching for fat
women in the Web") chugged along for a few seconds before coughing up
more than 60,000 matches, the top one being a "body fat calculator
for women." (No thanks!) But by the second group of 10 hits, you get to the
good stuff. "The Fat?So! Manifesto #11" calls on people to stop lying on
their drivers licenses since "people have been lying about their weight for
so long that we don't know a good looking, 250-pound person when we see

Fat?So! is marvelous for a good many
reasons, not least of which is the main index page. It's illustrated with
naked butts of many sizes, in keeping with the print zine's regular habit
of showing photos of actual body parts of people both fat and not fat. Big
butts! Little butts! Medium butts! Jiggling butts! On top of that, you
gotcher Mighty Morphin' Oprah, Aunt Agony's Advice Column, and a lively
gabfest area where fat folks can share tips for finding clothing that not
only fits, but looks nice. Just the spot for "people who don't apologize
for their size."

Over at Excite, the quest for fat women yields more than a million hits,
with an added bonus of a targeted ad featuring a model's skinny crotch and
the promise of "25 ways to lose 10 pounds without even trying." Sheesh.
Reload for the option of ordering the "Home Body Fat Monitor" (as if).
Excite also offers up links to Big Women newsgroup posts ranging from the
clueless ("I have two large lovers. I need more information of how to have
sex with a fat woman.") to the, shall we say, less-than-charming ("HOW DO

Thankfully, Excite redeems itself by spitting out a link to FaT GiRL, the "zine for fat
dykes and the women who want them" in their top 10 hits. Yay. These woman
are pissed off and funny as hell:
"Sick and tired of (having) your family and friends shove their skinny
values down your throat? Well, turn the fat tables on them! Send them a
letter saying how concerned you are about their health. Rant on about the
potentially fatal dangers of dieting ... And don't forget to tell them, I'm
doing this for your own good. But of course I love you just the way you


Less lovely are the Altavista search results, where we find a festival of
smut right up top, including "huge pictures of fat women with big butts"
and "Absolutely Disgusting Pictures," a sampling of which include fat
women, farm animals and women with dicks. Altavista also proffers a bevy of
liposuction sites and medical studies, just in case you were feeling good
about yourself for a minute.

At first glance, I thought that Yahoo! might actually have a fat-positive
spin, since the first time I searched for fat women, I was greeted with an
ad reading, "How do I get to the nearest Taco Bell?." But sadly, I was
never able to pull it up again, so that must have been sheer dumb luck. Too
bad. I love Taco Bell.

Jumping from link to link, I stumbled upon a truly affecting story
of one fat chick's journey to get a little respect. A self-described "bike
racer of no particular skill," came across a call for photos for an
upcoming issue of "Bicycling" magazine for "the worst body in Lycra." The
writer, 5'2" and 234 pounds, decided to take a 400-mile solo bike ride to
raise a little fat consciousness. It wasn't an easy trip, with people both
helpful and nasty along the way. When she would carbo-load at the end of a
long day's ride, "Everyone stared. I was a fat woman eating a lot of food
in public. I wasn't even trying to hide what I was doing. I was openly,
unashamedly, pigging out." In the end, Bicycling didn't run the
article, and the author put her full story online.

Curiously, none of these searches pulled up the National Association to Advance Fat
near the top of their lists, which is really too bad.
They're deadly serious about this stuff and more power to em: there's a lot
of pain and discrimination that goes beyond bad jokes, smut and Richard
Simmons, and NAAFA is out there swinging for every fatty fatty two-by-four
who ever got teased in school.

Instead of getting teased cause she can't get through the bathroom door,
these days, fatty-two-by-four has got places to go online, fat-friendly
sites that don't force-feed diets and sing the praises of liposuction and
tummy tucks. Just a couple thousand fat chicks, sitting around talking.

Julene Snyder

Julene Snyder is a writer living in San Diego.

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