What happened to the fatosphere?
August 11, 2017 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Back in the day, I used to read fat acceptance blogs. In particular, Shapely Prose and its big community of commenters was really important to me at a difficult time in my life (and that blog is just archives now). Where did these people go? Does anyone have any recommendations for where I could find a similar experience, for good writing and especially an online community?
posted by Bluebird Wine to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you use Instagram, there's a lot of great folks on there. Two who come to mind are shooglet and chairbreaker.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:19 PM on August 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I literally just read an article on this!! The site linked is also awesome in its own right :)
posted by ananci at 4:34 PM on August 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think a lot of FA community has migrated to Facebook - I'm in a handful of groups such as Fantastic Feminist Fatties and Fit Fatties, and I follow folks like Marilyn Wann and Ijeoma Oulo. (The link ananci posted is a great resource but also oh so white.) I also feel like there's probably a lot of stuff on Tumblr but I'm not on that platform myself.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 6:20 PM on August 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you use twitter? You could ask @yrfatfriend this question.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:41 PM on August 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm still sad about shapely prose shutting down. Dances with fat is still around.
posted by meijusa at 1:14 AM on August 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Google for the blogs/writings of Virgie Tovar and "The Militant Baker", both are also on Facebook. They'll lead you to the rest. Ooh, and Kai Hibbard, too.
posted by AliceBlue at 4:57 AM on August 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I can answer the question about where these people went. I was very involved in the early days fat activism, body positivity and fatshion. Lot's of these folks came out of Fatshionista on Livejournal, and a few I know personally. Lesley Kinzel, Marianne Kirby, Kate Harding, Natalie Perkins, Kath Read, Bevin Brandlandingham, Ragen Chastain and Substantia Jones were all part of that scene in the early-mid 2000's.

I think the answer is that life happened to folks. People who were writing some of the most interesting and thoughtful blogs in the early "fatosphere" were able to parlay that into other opportunities. Also, those early voices were subjected to intense amounts of hatred and online threats. That get really tiresome after a while.

Also, I think that as more and more people starting speaking on fat issues by the late 2000's, these first wave bloggers felt that they could either focus more narrowly on specific aspects around fat issues (fat & fit, fat & queer, fat fashion, photography) or more broadly (social justice, media). So they may still be writing about fat issues, but not in the same pointed way.

Here's what I know about those early fat bloggers (and I know I'm forgetting some):

Marianne Kirby and Kate Harding wrote the book Lessons from the Fatosphere in 2009.
Lesley Kinzel and Marianne did the Two Whole Cakes podcast from 2010-2011. Then Lesley wrote a book Two Whole Cakes. Kinzel joined xoJane as Deputy Editor in 2011, and Kirby was a frequent contributor.

In 2016, Lesley left xoJane as it began it's death throes. She also wrote about why she had stopped writing about Fat Politics. But also... this amazing thing happened to her. Lesley had written a love letter of sorts about the impact of MST3K on her life and her excitement about meeting Joel Hodgson. A year later he reached out to her about helping him run a Kickstarter to reboot the series. Lesley is now writer and associate producer on the new run of MST3K.

Marianne Kirby released the first in a series of zombie books called Dust Bath Revival in 2016. These books may not address "fat" directly... but hunger, appetite and stigma are prominent themes.

Kate Harding has been writing a lot about rape culture, women in the era of Trump, and is the editor of a book of collected essays coming out in October called Nasty Women.

Natalie Perkins makes amazing art and jewelry with fat themes at Fancy Lady Industries.

Substantia Jones is still rolling along with the Adipositity Project.

Kath Read is still blogging at Fat Heffalump.

Affinity Mingle blogs at Affatshionista.

Fatshionista regular Butterup blogs about fashion and fat from an over 50 perspective at Buttercup's Frocks

Bevin Brandlandingham blogs at QueerFatFemme. Her Fat Kid Dance Party class just went viral.

Ragen Chastain is at Dances with Fat
posted by kimdog at 7:54 AM on August 12, 2017 [10 favorites]

You might enjoy The Curvy Sewing Collective, even if you're not into sewing, because it's all about ladies of various sizes and shapes sewing clothing that makes them feel good.
posted by foxfirefey at 9:26 AM on August 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

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