Friday fluff: Where in the world are Shapelings?

Kate and I were discussing yesterday how we don’t even know where most of our readers live. Every so often a comments thread will explode with “you live in Atlanta? I live in Atlanta! We should meet up!” but there’s no centralized location for seeing what Shapelings are near your home base. So I’ve created a Frappr map, and I hope to hell it works. Go add yourself, and then tell us in comments where you live! And while you’re at it, let us know how fat-friendly it is, and whether there are particular stores, restaurants, or attractions that visiting Shapelings should be sure not to miss.

348 thoughts on “Friday fluff: Where in the world are Shapelings?

  1. OK, I’m on there.

    I live in a Maryland suburb and I really haven’t been harassed about my weight for many years. I don’t have a very hard time finding clothes. There’s a Lane Bryant 20 minutes away. I’m 30 miles north of Baltimore, and The Inner Harbor is a great place to visit. We’ve got the MD Science Center, National Aquarium, Port Discovery, The Gallery Mall, Harborplace, and many great places to eat, ’cause you know us fat folk can’t put the fork down ;-)

  2. Cool! Bit worried, though, about having to enter my email address. I like staying somewhat anonymous, and my email has my real name on it. Will everyone now have access to that? I don’t mind the blog moderators having it, but I’m still a little possessive altogether. There are some people in the world (um, students) I don’t want to be able to stumble across some of what I’ve written here and there. ;)

  3. I knew I’d be the only one for Kamloops. There is not much space allowed for comments on fat-friendliness, though….I only got in the name of the clothing store where I work.

  4. I’m in Oklahoma, and while I wouldn’t describe it as fat-friendly, I don’t think it’s quite as overly concerned with appearance as some locales.

    As for sights worth seeing, the Art Deco of downtown Tulsa is gorgeous and Cain’s Ballroom (home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) is a genuine piece of music history.

    Oh, and Hanson is here. Mmm-Bop!

  5. car, does it require you to put your email? That does suck a bit, though it’s worth having a decoy gmail account anyway, so now might be the time to get one.

  6. The Big Apple! Some convenient shopping to be had up on 125th street (Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, and Avenue all within blocks of each other), but otherwise the plus departments at Macy’s and Lord & Taylor’s are your best bets … even though their stock can be a little frumpy.

  7. It’s not really working for me. I can see the pins but the map background says: “Image not found” so it doesn’t help much! I did add myself though. Who’s the other person in Calgary??

  8. Becky, I think it’s Flash-driven so you may have to install Flash. The other Calgary person is anonymous, though. :(

  9. Oh yeah, and DC = pretty fat-friendly, UTTERLY fatshion-bereft. I don’t think there’s even a Lane Bryant within city limits. There are lots of fat folks here so I have no idea how most of them dress themselves. (Me, I live just outside the city in PG County, which has a smattering of Ashley Stewarts and the like.)

    Tourists to my city, I recommend that you walk on the left and stand on the right on Metro escalators. Other than that… zoo, sculpture gardens, Ethiopian food, free museums. Wonderland in Columbia Heights is a good bar, and so is Palace of Wonders on H Street NE.

  10. I’m just outside Washington, DC. We’ve got a Lane Bryant and a Catherine’s about ten minutes away, and we’ve got our usual wonderful food haunts, so while there’s often an uncomfortable look on the metro, it’s not a terrible place to be.

  11. Fillyjonk, we’re just south of PG Plaza, and it’s got the aforementioned LB and C’s. I think there’s an Ashley Stewarts there as well.

  12. Sometimes you can get a seat to yourself on the Metro by being fat, though. The seats are actually quite wide and comfy, so my size-18 ass fits in them just fine, but if I’m wearing a coat I can kind of cant my ass outwards and look as though I’m taking up more room and sometimes people will decline to sit by me. It’s awesome. (Even more awesome is that when somebody does sit down, even a reasonably large person, I can usually keep from touching them once I stop deliberately projecting my butt into the other seat. The seat width almost makes up for Metro’s inability to be useful or functional.)

  13. Just outside Chicago in the delightful suburb of…Des Plaines. Really, our biggest draw is the McDonald’s Museum. Poor, poor sad Des Plaines. I thought I’d left you forever and then I had to go and get really broke.

  14. Pronoia, and the Rainbow has a plus-size section for young’uns looking for trashy crap that will fall apart in three washings (and hey, sometimes you are). There is indeed an Ashley Stewart there and that mall is where I do most of my shopping on the increasingly rare occasions when I feel like shopping.

  15. Well I’m on there…..Des Plaines, which is farting distance from Chicago, so basically…what’s there is here! Although I do have the advantage of being only about 15 minutes from Woodfield Mall. Plus I’ve got an amazingly good Fashion Bug and a Kmart with decent plus selections (although they need bigger shirts) just up the road a bit.

    Visiting? The only way you want to be where I am is if you’re on an O’hare bound plane, or want to make faces at the people on said planes (seriously, one landing pattern goes right over my backyard).

  16. OMG Hi Jane! I take too long to type apparently :P We’re down in the little corner by Rosemont (obviously)….there’s a Mcdonald’s museum?!?!?!? Where? My kids would get a laugh out of that!

  17. I’m from Vancouver, Canada. I’m a tweenie so while I haven’t noticed any overt fat discrimination in my city, it may be that I am not fat enough to have it happen to me.

  18. I am in the Netherlands – in the beautiful and exciting city of Amsterdam to be precise (I am originally from Germany, though). While there are an awful lot of weight loss adds in the Dutch media, Dutch society in general tends to be very open towards all kinds of people, including fat people. I have not yet had any negative experiences while being out in public.
    As for shopping: While Amsterdam has all kinds of interesting shops I honestly don’t know about stores that carry plus-sized clothing – I buy most things online.
    (About other things worth to see here – the whole inner city is incredibly beautiful. Also, there are a lot of great and in some cases quite famous museums and other interesting places, and there is usually also a lot of free stuff one can go to, such as concerts, etc. On April 30th is Koniginnedag, the birthday of the Dutch queen. Basically, it’s a giant party, and the night before there are all kinds of concerts.)

  19. Hey everybody! I’m about 20 minutes north of Boston. Not very fat friendly here. I was out of work for a year owing to the perception that because I’m fat, I’d be a bad worker.

    I wish I had something more interesting to tell… we have… ok, there’s nothing where I live!

  20. Tada! I’m on the map. Antigonish, NS. I’m not actually from this town, and I’m moving in two weeks, but I’ve been here the better part of 7 years. I wouldn’t say it is terribly fat friendly, and good luck finding clothes (Walmart, plus sizes at Reitmans.. that’s it), I wish I could have put Halifax on the map though, I’m from near there and miss the place.

  21. I hail from the Tri-Cities in WA and added myself to the map! And I second Erin on being not that fat and so not really capable of judging how fat friendly the area is.

  22. Ladykuri, it’s on River Road just a smidge before the intersection of Rand and River if you’re traveling…I *think* it would be north…? Or maybe it’s west…? I SUCK at directions. :(

  23. I live in London, Ontario, Canada. (It’s about 2 hours from Toronto and Detroit.) There are a fair number of fat-friendly stores here (much better than where I used to live-Thunder Bay, Ontario-5 hours north of Minneapolis). I’ve never noticed anything particularly fat-friendly or unfriendly here to be honest.

    If you ever find yourself in London, there are lots of great restaurants and parks. (It’s known as the Forest City). We also have a Thames River (like the “real” London) and its nice to walk on the riverside trails. We also have excellent hospitals, so you’re in the right place if you’re sick on vacation ;)

  24. Birmingham, AL here. :::waves from far away:::

    Not very fat-friendly, but I’m insulating myself from a lot of the mainstream fat-hate by hanging out with pagans as much as possible. Not everyone is over their body-hate yet, but most are actually thinking it through.

    We do have a Lane Bryant or two at the malls and some of the little shops like Cato. I think a Rainbow just opened near me — I should go check it out.

  25. Whattyaknow, I’m first person from Austin on the map. Ausitn is surprisingly not very fat-phobic considering the months-long summers wearing as little clothing as possible so as not to pass out from the heat and humidity. It’s not like there are parades or anything, but I’ve thankfully never been harrassed on the street.

    As far as fashion, or fatshion, it’s really changed in the past few years. There are several LB’s, Avenue’s, Catherine’s, ect, located near me, and some of the malls stores have started to carry larger sizes(some of it’s crap, so you have to check for quality, but still nice to have the option). I have been buying more clothes lately and realized how much easier is was to find stuff I like (and thereby spend A LOT more money).

  26. Near Ithaca, NY. Not a high-pressure, high-fashion city. People wear what they want, look how they want.

  27. Denver metro area here….we haven’t lived here that long so I’m still getting a handle on everything. We have most of the usual suspects for shopping, a bunch of good restaurants, museums, the 16th St. mall downtown (great for people watching), and scenery I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. The people here seem to be more of the practical type than high fashion (jeans go pretty much everywhere), so it seems reasonably friendly to me.

    The one thing we don’t have is a lot of oxygen in the air since the city is a mile above sea level, so if you do visit, take it easy the first couple of days while your body adjusts.

  28. Hey y’all – Greensboro, NC here. We’ve got a fair amount of plus-size shops – LB, Torrid, Catherines, Fashion Bug, CJ Banks, Ashley Stewart. Just not my own personal favorite – Avenue (I have to drive to Chapel Hill for the closest.) We also have a really cool (and pricey) plus-size boutique, Linnea’s, and an upscale plus-size consignment shop, Rubenesque for Less, owned by the same lady. For food, you can’t beat NC pit-cooked BBQ.

  29. I live in a suburb north of Chicago, I’d perfer not to be much more specific then that.

    It’s very much like preppy culture here. We don’t have one plus size store in the mall here. In fact when Torrid tried opening, they were actually protested.

    There are other plus size stores near us though, just not in the particular suburb I’m in. However, the mall does have a Stir Crazy Asian food resturant, which is awesome.

    I also was posting, to tell you that when I opened my Snapple White Tea Nectarine, the real facts cap said:

    About half of all Americans are on a diet on any given day.

  30. Gingembre, you’re not that far from me! Last time I was in Hampshire, I went on a lovely nature walk on Old Winchester Hill and then stuffed my face at the Thomas Lord pub in West Meon.

  31. I’m right in the middle of Washington, DC.
    The “touristy” areas of DC are pretty fat friendly, as are the monuments and shops, but I would avoid Georgetown if you are larger than a size 8.

  32. First time commenter, long time reader. I live in the greater southern Dutchess County area of New York. I’ve only been here for a few months (I was in Westchester County….SO not fat-friendly!) so I’m still trying to asses if it’s fat-friendly. I can tell you that we have a Torrid, a Lane Bryant and other stores as such very close by on the main route and that? Makes me happy!!

  33. I’m in Houston, which, though a good city on the whole, probably isn’t any more or less fat-friendly than anywhere else. We used to have a really cool Lane Bryant that sold test merchandise, but it closed. At least we do have some big LBs really near where I live, and all over town. And I think that if you have bucks to spend there are some expensive large-sized clothes to be had in the Galleria.

    The climate is fat-friendly because it’s never cold enough to need to bundle up in thick sweaters and coats. And the population is diverse enough, in every possible way, that no matter how you look you will find others who look like you do too.

    I also like how, because the climate is so warm, people don’t go all crazy about exercising, and therefore weight loss. When I lived in Austin it was much worse: Everyone was always out running or biking, but not because they enjoyed it, it was all about weight loss! This environment feels much more comfortable to me.

    Not to mention that Houston’s diversity makes it a GREAT restaurant town. Every international cuisine you could think of, plus great international groceries and gourmet groceries.

  34. I’m near Boston, but am graduating this year and moving to Phoenix next year (to do a year long job – after that, who knows. :-))

  35. Like Erin above, I’m an inbetweenie in Vancouver, BC. I’ve not experienced much outright discrimination, but the shopping sucks.

  36. I’m in Evanston, which is like, the most impossible suburb of Chicago to get to, and also the one closest to Chicago to the north. I have not found any plus size Fatshion within the Evanston city limits. Also, there is no bowling allowed here because it “attracts the wrong kind of crowd”

    I HAVE however, found an amazing haircut. Which, IMHO is just as good.

    Seriously guys, AMAZING, I have model hair today! Plus, the stylist laughed at my jokes! Art & Science Salon is da bomb!

  37. Also, there is no bowling allowed here because it “attracts the wrong kind of crowd”

    At least there are bars now!

  38. goodwithcheese, you’re in Oklahoma?! I was born and raised there — moved away after college but my family is still there. It’s pretty much one of the most close-minded states I’ve ever experienced. Also, a few days before I moved away from there, my roommate and I went to Tulsa to hang out and she drove me by Hanson’s old house :D

    I’m in North Carolina. It’s…different.

  39. So many people in/around Chicago! Yeeeps. I grew up there, in the Lakeview area (LSD/Addison) and went to school in Evanston. Trippy to think that like, people still live there and stuff. lol

  40. New York! Decent resources. A very serious thinness culture but you can kind of work around it a lot of the time if you’re not in a directly related industry. I’m only a size 14 ‘tweenie, but I do feel insufficiently streamlined to fit into the “powerful businesswoman” template, not to mention locked out of 95% of mainstream and upscale fashion which is a practically universal hobby here. All of that gets to me occasionally so I definitely have fantasies about moving somewhere that I could describe as “not a high-pressure, high-fashion city — people wear what they want, look how they want.” But overall it’s really OK. Maybe it’d that I’m kind of on the line and it gets worse a couple of sizes up.

  41. I think the fat friendliness of the DC area all depends on where you go. Or perhaps I’m just neurotic. I live just off of 395 in Fairfax County, and once you step outside the beltway, particularly into McLean/Great Falls/Vienna the fat-stare-rate goes up. I hate to shop at Tyson’s. Pentagon City is much better/friendlier.

    I like Adams Morgan for Ethiopian… Marakesh (sp?), especially. Though there are a couple of little Ethiopian places in Bailey’s Crossroads that are good. Raaga on Leesburg Pike (Rte 7) for Indian, though, is by far the best. And I love the prevalence of Trader Joe’s for grocery shopping.

    I just this morning sent out a list of my favorite thrift stores to a friend of mine, so it’s on my mind. If you’re into that kind of thing, “Unique” in Falls Church on Gallows Road between 50 and 29 is gigantic and fantastic. Some might even call it overwhelming. It’s great!

  42. I’m an inbetweenie in Portland however I still have an AWFUL time finding clothes at all the hip cute stores with local designers and interesting things, I can shop at all the regular department stores and stuff, but Seaplane and Dragonfly and Michelle DeCourcey are all off limits to me :(

    I will defer to any other PDXers who are fatter than me (size 14) about whether we’re fat friendly. I would say that we are not fat *un*friendly but the ridiculous hipster scene is pretty exclusively thin and funky/beautiful, and the “creative class” that everyone in Portland pees themselves over are also pretty traditionally good looking and (mostly) thin.

    What say you Meowser?

  43. Portland, Oregon here. If you get tired of icky humidity in the summer, come out here, it’s usually quite lovely in July, August, and September, and even our hottest days are dry as a bone (in fact, the hotter it gets here, the drier it gets, one of those weird Pac-Northwest climatic quirks).

    I’ve never been hassled about my weight here and I take mass transit, walk, etc. And we have a terrific plus-sized consignment boutique called Savvy Plus. (We’ve got most of the plus-sized chains too, although no Ashley Stewart, waah.) Voodoo Doughnut, now open 24/7 with the most creative, quirky doughnuts on earth, and performs both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages (one of the owners has a license to perform the ceremonies).

    FJ, can’t people take the Metro from DC to the suburban malls? I’ll bet that’s where they get their clothes.
    Plus we have something called food carts, which offer everything from great Indian food to great pizza during daytime hours, CHEAP. And way too many great restaurants to name. And who could forget Powell’s Books, an absolute must if you are a book nerd, a shop so huge they literally hand out maps on the ground floor!

  44. On the other end (because there’s so little cross-pollination between MD and VA), Value Village in… College Park? Langley Park? Anyway, on Rte 193 is also overwhelmingly huge. I’ve generally had pretty good success there, too. And there’s another one up near Hillandale that actually has changing rooms.

    I like Meskerem and Dukem for Ethiopian.

  45. I have not found any plus size Fatshion within the Evanston city limits.

    The Target on Howard. :) Other than that, yep. And I also go to that Art & Science!

  46. Portland is supposed to be one of the most fat-friendly cities in the country, Lexy! The Pacific Northwest in general is meant to be very fat-pos… I know what you mean about the hipster/DIY scene though.

    Meowser, honestly most of the people that I see in the city on a daily basis probably live in the suburbs. And they probably own cars, which is good because you can Metro to a couple of malls but not the one with the Torrid.

  47. Lexy, I’d agree with you there. But since I’m an old fart, nobody cares if I’m fat. :-P

    BTW, Savvy Plus starts at around a size 12, so you might be able to find some stuff there. It does suck shopping for clothes as an in-betweenie (bigger than 8, smaller than 16), I’ve been there.

  48. Denton, Texas.

    Fairly fat friendly.

    Retail stores: Lane Bryant; Avenue; Dress Barn; Fashion Bug and some vintage shops with plus sizes.

    Food here is crazy good!

  49. Right now I’m in Dayton, OH. I don’t know if the area is really fat friendly, I do know that there are a lot of retailers going up to a size 24 now in clothing, which is fairly cool. There’s a Lane Bryant and a Torrid at one of the malls, I think it’s the one in Miamisburg, just outside that is a Catherine’s. It’s a bit of a drive for us, we’re actually in Kettering, and there’s nothing good for “extended plus” clothing. Nobody has really hassled me about my body, but I also don’t get out as much as I used to. I will say that it’s a great city for walking in, lots of well maintained sidewalks and crosswalks.

    Oh, all of the larger men’s clothes are also in Beavercreak or Miamisburg, which is a pain in the neck when we have to shop for men’s pants. And there’s no Ross Dress for Less anywhere in the area, I miss those terribly.

  50. Meskerem! Yes. That’s the one I was trying to think of. I don’t know the name. I just eat there. :-) That’s the one with the upstairs loft area… right?

    ‘Tis very strange, the lack of mingling between the MD and VA folks. My SO lives in Montgomery County, and we’re not sure what we’ll do if we ever decide to move in together… He’s anti-VA, I’m anti-MD. I guess we’ll just have to move to DC… man, how I want to live in a row house on Cap Hill… right down by Eastern Market… I love that neighborhood! Sooo neat. Soooo expensive…

    Eastern Market’s definitely worth the visit if you’re around here. I used to tell everyone not to miss “The Awakening” scupture down at Hains Point, but now that they’ve moved it to the National Harbor… I dunno…

    Another fave of mine is the annual Crafty Bastards craft fair in the district. And as a music fan, I love The Birchmere and Wolftrap (especially the Barns of Wolftrap). Jammin Java in Vienna is pretty good for music, too (though a little crowded most of the time). We used to go up to Glen Echo and go contra dancing all the time… so “dorky”… so much fun… I oughtta get back into that.

  51. Grew up within a mile of Midway airport. When I moved out of the house at the age of 25, I went just a little south and am now 15 minutes away from Midway.

    I often feel like all of the cool places are on the north/northwest side of the city. Southside feels rather ho-hum in comparison. But we do have plenty fat-friendly stores, such as Lane Bryant and Torrid and Ashley Stewart. And my area’s becoming more and more mixed demographically, which I LOVE.

  52. sparklepants: What part of OK were you raised in? I’m Tulsa-area (and have been, like, my entire life). You’re right that it’s not really an open-minded place, but I like the pace of life here. And I dig the twangs.

  53. FJ: Well I’ve never lived anywhere else so I don’t really have much perspective :) I don’t think anyone REALLY cares that I’m fat and I’ve never had a single comment directed at me because of my size, which judging by some of the stories out there is kind of unusual :(

    But I have gotten the Stares of Judgement if I do something really out there – like by ice cream or cheetos. Some PDXers will give you the SoJ if you’re not buying 100% organic-vegan-free trade what have you.

    Meowser, I’ll have to check out Savvy Plus! I used to shop at Buffalo Exchange all the time back when I was in high school (and a size 8) but I can hardly ever find things in my size there any more, I love consignment shops!

  54. Portland OR. That’s odd I just emailed Meowser yesterday when I realized that’s where she lived. The plus size consignment store is rad, I haven’t found the world’s cutest things there but I’ve only been a few times and the women who work there are soooo nice. I don’t know if Portland is the most fat friendly city I’ve been in. I lived in Oakland CA for a while and that seemed much more open minded, I think because there are just so many different types of peope there. But I also work in a hospital and am not surrounded with the most progressive people.
    But we do have Beth Ditto here. I have actually run into her at the Torrid in Lloyd Center. It ruled

  55. Lexy – you should try the Buffalo Exchange on hawthorne, I know a bunch of the folks working there and they were working really hard on getting more plus sized merch. I found some cute dresses there last week! (size 20)

  56. Lexy, thankyouthankyou, because you have inadvertently reminded me that there is a tub of Haagen-Dazs raspberry meringue ice-cream in my freezer.

  57. Raspberry meringue!

    They’re also making a sea salt caramel flavor now that is just as amazing as it sounds.

  58. I hail from Alameda, California. For shopping options, we have one small Avenue, a rather nice consignment store called All the More to Love, and the Women’s department at Mervyn’s which isn’t at all inspiring. I’m hoping that with the new facelift and agressive storefront-filling campaign at the local mall this situation will improve at least a little bit.

    Fat hate isn’t open here, but stranger fear is in a big way. Luckily, we’re less than a sneeze away from Berkeley and San Francisco, both of which have plenty of fine dining, decent museums, and fun, funky shopping…not to mention hot and cold running political demonstrations.

    The best resources we have here in town are a year-round farmer’s market where you can get great veggies at a good deal and a new arts center where you can go see a great band one night and take a class in papermaking the next. Mr. Twistie is going to be performing there this summer with two bands.

    Mostly this town is quiet and leaves people alone.

  59. I live in Montreal, Canada, the queen of bagels and smoked meat – you can’t miss St. Viateur Bagels and either Dunn’s or Schwartz smoked meat. We also have many great cafés (we do have Starbucks but they’re far from being the only player on the market here). Santropol is the coffee shop I’d recommend: it’s local, it’s kinda hip in a hippie way, been around since the 1970s, and has amazing coffee (bio/equitable) that you can drink on-site or buy in grains to take home. And the sandwiches there are just amazing.

    We also have great Greek, Italian, Vietnamese and Thai communities, with great restaurants, as you could imagine. Souvlaki George, Pho Tay Ho and Souvenirs de Bangkok are respectively my favorite Greek, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.

    Clothes-wise, for women, we have the Reitman’s clothing empire to thank for Addition-Elle, Pennington’s, Cassis, and MXM (available at Addition-Elle and Pennington’s). There’s also Claire France for a more classic or professional style, and also Laura Plus. You’ll find those stores mostly in shopping malls, although there’s a 2-story Addition-Elle right downtown on Ste-Catherine Street (across from the Eaton Centre).

  60. fillyjonk, I’m starting to wonder: are you getting kickbacks from sales of Haagen Daz sea-salt caramel ice cream? Or is it just that good?

    If it’s just that good, it might be worth a trip to the store on a Friday night.

  61. I live in Portales, NM, and it’s pretty fat-friendly except for stores — and that’s more about being a small town than it is about prejudice. The only person I’ve ever had trouble with over my weight is my mother-in-law; my doctors have never once raised the issue of my weight. They do exams and whatnot fully and completely, and only raise issues like arthritis and blood pressure, and it’s never in a weight context — it’s more in a context of “try to eat more fiber, switch to red wine, and keep up with your exercise,” or, “here’s some Indocin for arthritis pain, and here are exercises you should avoid and exercises you should try to do.” I feel extremely blessed by this, especially since it’s not like our doctors are on the cutting edge of weight-related health issues.

    I did raise the concern myself, as I’ve gained so much weight over the past two years, and they did thyroid tests, etc. When those came back fine, I was told that my diet, activity level, and general habits are great and that my weight at this point shouldn’t be a major concern. Awesome.

    Other than doctors… nobody seems to care either way, honestly. Socially it seems to be like, “If you’re skinny, fine; if you’re fat, fine; if you’re average, fine; now let’s go see that movie, okay?” I am lucky.

  62. fillyjonk, I use that email address as my spamcatcher anyway, so I just went into its preferences and removed my for real name. Probably should have done that once I switched from using it as a “real” address to primary spamcatching in the first place, so this is a good reason to.

    I’m near Syracuse, NY, although I grew up in southern Illinois and spent time all around Missouri and Kansas. I’m really a midwesterner apart from my address. :)

  63. fillyjonk, I’m starting to wonder: are you getting kickbacks from sales of Haagen Daz sea-salt caramel ice cream?

    Have I mentioned it here before, or are you referring to the tiny stampede I set off on another site?

    The answer, of course, is just that I am madly in love with sea salt caramel, and ice cream is an excellent delivery system, especially since I have a wicked sore throat right now.

  64. For car and others:

    1) The frappr map does not seem to show your email to others.
    2) If you use a primarily spam-trap email to comment here, and you are a regular, frequent commenter, it might be worth shooting us an email to let us know your real address. There have been several occasions on which it’s been useful for us to be able to get in touch with Shapelings.

  65. fillyjonk, I think you mentioned it a couple of times on Open Thread on Tuesday. I missed the tiny stampede (though I’m now awfully keen on the idea of a ‘tiny stampede’).

    I think I’m going to have to try this flavor.

  66. Oh, I probably did, because I think I bought it on Sunday or Monday. Then I ate way too much of it, and now I’ve been nursing the rest. (By “way too much” I mean that it is best for the first few bites, before the cold takes over… after that it’s kind of a waste of ice cream.)

  67. Oh yeah, I forgot to add that, IMO, Montreal isn’t any worse or better than average when it comes to fat-friendliness, unless you insist on going to the land of the beautiful people (aka St-Laurent Street in the Mile End and Crescent Street downtown) on a Saturday night. But that’s alright with me – I usually prefer the casual bar with pool tables and karaoke to trendy nightclubs…

  68. I’m in Parkville, Maryland–just north of Baltimore City. There are plenty of stores that cater to our body types in the area, but I’m pretty-much sized out of most of them although I can occasionally find things at The Avenue or Catherine’s.

    I work in the arts in Baltimore so I put together a list of performance venues and rated the comfort of their seats for my size 32 ass. So if you ever want to visit this cool and quirky city and see a show…you might want to check the list out on my blog before making your reservation.

    Shout out to Bree who is not that far north of me!

  69. Long Beach, CA. Southern CA is the opposite of fat friendly, which is why I live under a rock and just don’t give a fuck no more. The standard is so far from what and who I am that it would be a soul-sucking and hopeless endeavor to try to attain it, so that kind of makes it easier to just say to hell with it.

    LB does, however, have an excellent yarn store for the knitterly types (Alamitos Bay Yarn Company). It also has the second-largest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia (largest is in Paris). What else … there’s an aquarium that is pretty awesome, and a huge-normous used bookstore called Acres of Books, which should be on any book nerd’s list of places to visit in the area.

  70. A 3rd UK er!

    I think im also meeting buffpuff in the coming month, just out of coincidence.

    I’d say falmouth is pretty neutral fat-wise, for a small dock town in the back end of cornwall out of the way of everything. I havent really scoped it out in that sense…

  71. I’m added — another Chicagoan. I’ve always found Chicago to be fat-friendly as far as my (almost exclusively) downtown life has gone.

  72. chillyrodent, I’m in Ithaca, too. I actually grew up in Cortland, then moved away for college, and am now back in this area for law school.

    My experiences have not been universally good, but the people at law school =/= the people of Ithaca in general, so I have a feeling that’s why.

  73. Yeah, I live in Westchester County NY but I’m from Fairfield County CT. You know the Stepford wives? Yeah, that based on the women of the town of New Caanan, CT, the town next to the one I grew up in. That aesthetic is still rather popular and it’s not friendly to anyone who isn’t white, thin and rich. That said, the town I’m from, Norwalk, is actually quite diverse, both ethnically and economically. Not surprisingly, that correlates directly to fat friendliness. When everyone looks different form one another, it doesn’t matter exactly what that difference is. At least, not as much. Plus, our proximity to NYC tends to make any kind of shopping easier. Everything is close by.

  74. Hello from NJ, land of shopping malls.

    Well, OK, there’s more than shopping malls, but the upside is that there are several LBs and Avenues, as well as a Catherines within easy driving distance of me to outfit my size 28 self.

    FJ, thanks for setting this up. it’s really cool to see how diverse we are!

  75. I FEEL SO LONELY *weeps*

    Will you UKers meet up with me for some fat shopping in London some time? PLEASE

  76. Hi, I’m in Denver! (*waves at TropicalChrome*) I am, as VanCouver Erin puts it, a “tweenie” as well, so I haven’t noticed any fat-discrimination here. People here are very outdoors-obsessed, and as TropicalChrome observed, they tend to dress for practicality and comfort (Crocs originated here, you know) — although, there are plenty of areas where you see hipster-types, as well. While I don’t shop in plus-sized stores, I hear-tell that the metro area is home to both a Lane Bryant and a Torrid, as well as a decent Fashion Bug. I would encourage any visitors to the mile-high city to eat at Watercourse, which is the most delicious vegetarian restaurant in the history of the universe (you would not even believe that their desserts are vegan, they are just that good).
    Also, I just discovered this blog very recently,and I love love love it. I am still deprogramming from the cult of WW, and I love the concept of HAES. All you Shapelings are awesome and inspirational!

  77. Lawrence is so-so fat friendly. If you go to the public pool in the summer, you’ll see that folks come in all shapes and sizes here and don’t seem to be ashamed of it. Live and let live. That’ s the old hippie soul of our town. :-)

    But we are also a college town, which means scores of barely clad 18-22 year olds who feel pretty strongly about staying thin and flaunting it.

    We have mixed feelings on this.

  78. Em, count me in for the post-clothes shopping coffee/drink. Or food.
    I’ve learnt not to clothes shop with other people as I get very irritable and unpleasant.

  79. Like Erin and Marianne, I am also a tweenie from Vancouver, Canada. And I agree. The shopping sucks. Although, if you guys have excess income and feel like buying a cute… but really expensive piece of clothing, there’s always Bodacious on Main and 28th. Other than that…

    I used to shop at Additionelle, but the “younger” clothing store in Metrotown got closed down in order to expand Aldo. Because their shoes needed breathing room, obviously. Every single article of clothing I own is from The Gap, Old Navy, or Liz Claiborne and ONE dress from Bodacious, because my cousin was getting married.

  80. Orlando, FL, checking in. Florida is not a great state in which to be fat. Occassionally a glimmer of hope will open up only to close in 6 months. We do chain stores here and beach/tourist culture.
    If you visit Orlando in the middle of summer, please, for the love of being comfortable on the rest of your trip, wear lots of sunscreen, frequently reapply it, and try not to go outside between 1 and 3 – and remember that your bald head needs sunscreen, too. This goes especially for the people who think the sun isn’t that bad and their meager base tan will protect them.

    Also, Orlando is not a pedestrian-friendly city. You will need to rent a car if you plan to leave the parks.

  81. Looks like currently I’m the Northernmost Shapeling. :)

    Edmonton Alberta is a heck of a lot more fat-friendly than my last residence, which was Los Angeles/Orange County California, where beautiful people reign.

    We don’t have a whole lot of attractions, outside the biggest mall in North America (and yet still no Lane Bryant!) and an awesome year-long farmers’ market. During the warm months, though, we have amazing festivals, including the Heritage Festival, which showcases food from around the globe. Last year, I think there were 160 booths with 90 different cuisines. For a snowbound city, I’m impressed with how many different types of people there are up here.

  82. javamama, is that Lawrence Kansas? I was living there when we had the big protest breastfeed at the public pool after a breastfeeding mom who had the babe under a towel got kicked out while all manner of barely clad college students lolled about. Ah, good times.

  83. penguinlady, I ADORE Edmonton. I spent two months there in college. The botanical gardens were great, too.

  84. I’m the first Montanan! I’m in Livingston, a small mountain town about 30 minutes outside of Bozeman, home of Montana State University.

  85. I’m added, representing the deep deep South. I think I’m the first one in Mississippi. Hattiesburg, specifically.

    You know, it’s actually really fat friendly come to think of it. We have a pretty high per capita number of fatties, so you can even get good plus sized stuff in thrift stores.

    And although many of you will not believe me, since this is in fact MS, we have some of the best restaurants I’ve ever tried. I went to this newer local place downtown last weekend, and the Downtown Ken Brown burger at Brownstone’s is not to be missed. It has bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, sauteed onions and ranch dressing. Artery clogging on a plate is what it is, but OMG. Add a side of sweet potato fries and a Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan beer, and you are in heaven, I tell you.

    I’m a total foodie, and you can eat like a queen in this town.

  86. San Francisco here. We’ve got Lane Bryant for work, and Torrid for play. I feel a little old for Torrid, but their t-shirts are really great. As for fat-acceptance/friendly, this place is pretty everything-friendly. The gym is still a little scary though.

  87. Hey erin, I’m from Vancouver, (Canada) as well.

    I was mainly an in-betweenie, and then I had kids. *g*. I haven’t found it to be bad to be bigger, although I have had a few medical experiences of the “oh, you have strep throat? You should lose weight” variety. But I’ve had size friendly docs, too.

    A great shout out to Bodacious, of course, for great plus size cuts and locally made clothes, and also to Change, the best extra-size for reasonable-price local bra shop.

  88. Another UK shapeling here…Norfolk, England, to be precise. We have some cool places to visit up here – Cambridge and Norwich are the main towns near me.

    (Although to be honest, the grass is greener for me elsewhere…this Brit is aiming to be able to stick her pin in the PNW and specifically, Seattle, sometime in the next few years, if we can find a way of getting into the US legally. Portland peeps, I have to come visit you sometime though – that bookstore’s calling my name.)

    Our big chain of ‘outsize’ (Goddess, I hate that word) stores over here is Evans. They’re in most major towns. I’m probably not a good guide to clothing stores, though, as I a) hate clothes shopping with a passion, and b) am an 18, which here is a tweenie size stocked in lots of ‘normal’ stores. Still means there’s a lot in the ‘normal’ ranges (especially bras – it sucks that so many ranges stop at a 38 back) I can’t fit into. which may be why I hate the whole thing so much.

  89. Ooops! I missed Marianne and Carmenconcarne there. Hello Vancouverites!

    (And I do buy most of my plus size cool clothes online. With occasional trips to Cotton Ginny plus and Additionelle/ AE Sport.)

  90. Kirsten, I’m in West London. Where are you?

    And, Em, it’d be my pleasure! I love fatgirl shopping and rarely get the chance to do it on account of not having any London-based fat friends.

    Alas Miss Prism, I’m busy on the 3rd May in the day time but I could do something late afternoon/evening.

  91. FJ – they’re opening a Lane Bryant within DC city limits, and closing the Tyson’s Corner one, from what I understand. *continues reading* There’s a mall with a Torrid here?! Which mall? Dude, I’ll pick you up at the nearest metro and we could go shopping. I need pants.

    I agree with libbyloo that some of the outer suburbs can be more homogenous (and fatphobic), but the only overt fatphobia I’ve gotten was on 18th street in Adams Morgan (street harassment sucks). Granted, it a Saturday night in AM, so it’s a lot of drunken post-college boys, depending on where you are.

    Also, libbyloo — one of these days, I swear I’m getting up to glen echo for contradancing.

    I live in Alexandria, VA, which is just south of DC, and I think DC is a much fat-friendlier city than some other major cities I could name.

  92. Count me in as one who also lives near Vancouver, BC (about 30km away). Other posters have said the same and they’re right, the shopping for fatties sucks here. We have Addition Elle, Penningtons (hello old ladies!), Reitmans (one corner of the store anyways)….aaaaaand that’s it. I travel south of the border a couple of times a year to Washington State and buy a lot of my wardrobe there (also to quell my severe Sephora addiction…why oh why have they put two in Calgary and none here in trendy Vancouver?).

    I’d say this area of the country is pretty fat-friendly, although I did work downtown for a number of years and noticed there aren’t very many fat people walking around down there, which leads me to ask, “obesity crisis, wah?”

  93. Karen, it’d be a schlep for you — it’s at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. I think there is also one at Potomac Mills.

  94. I’m originally from New Jersey, but I’m currenly living in Springfield, MO where I’m living the fabulous adventure of being a broke seminary student. :)

  95. I live in Somerville, just outside Boston, MA. I think Boston is known for being less of a fat-friendly place, though I’ve never had anyone treat me overtly badly because of it (we also like to think of ourselves as progressives). Every so often some dickwad posts on Craigslist about how all the women he sees are too fat to date, but I think on the whole women are less fat here than they are in small-town New Hampshire where I’m from. I’m often the fattest woman in the room, and I wear a size 20. When I visit home, I feel like I stand out less.

  96. Oh, wow, I’m the first Pittsburgher so far! That’s kinda weird. There seem to be far more people claiming to be from there stalking the internets than there really can be. Pittsburgh’s fairly fat-friendly. I can shop, especially nowadays, when Macy’s decided that I’m worth making clothes for. I’ve had comments, and every other woman I know there is on a diet, but that seems, sadly, par for the course anywhere. At least no one’s protested our Lane Bryants (they _really_ did that??).

    I move around for work a lot, so I’m really in Ohio, a bit southeast of Columbus now, and I’ll be heading off to California in a couple of months. Denver people, what do you suggest for someone who plans on using your fair town as a touristy/I’m sick of driving cross-country stop?

  97. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. Three years now.

    And Kiwis are a polite, friendly bunch so if there was ill will towards me or any of my kind, I wouldn’t have eve known.

    And as for shopping…..the pickins are slim. But seeing as we’re a small country, the pickins on everything are slim. I just order online and have my family in the States send it over along with my beloved Jolly Ranchers that I miss so much.

  98. Scoring another goal for the team: Hello from Aarhus, Denmark, Europe!

    The city itself, much like the rest of Denmark, is pretty uniform fashion-and-appearance-wise, especially when it comes to the youth. On the other hand, people generally tend to keep to themselves and live extremely private lives so it’s highly unlikely that someone will get harassed on the street…

  99. I just moved to Philadelphia from Atlanta about a week ago. No idea how fat friendly this city is. No idea where to shop. Any other Shapelings in Philly able to give me some advice?? :)

    Great idea to do the map!

  100. Dang, I’m not the northernmost Shapeling! Curse you, Edmonton! ;-) (No, I kid – I grew up there and only moved to Calgary last May.)

    I’m not sure about fatshion in Calgary but I can tell you that Alberta in general is pretty fat-friendly – I have some sizeable friends that would be absolutely shocked to have friends, family, or strangers comment on their size because it’s literally never happened. In discussions of dating/looks/etc, weight doesn’t come up – and there isn’t really a dieting culture (or maybe I’m just not exposed to it?) so much as an ‘outdoors’ culture, because we’re so close to the mountains and rivers and etc etc that we’re expected to be running around outside all day. :-D

  101. I’m another one in the northern Chicago burbs. Born and raised within spitting distance of the WI border and the Lake, left for college in Minnesota, and somehow have now landed back in the burbs. sigh.
    Working in Chicago (though only in name it’s really more like Rosemont).

    I’m about 2 miles from a mall with both a LB and a Torrid and a JC Penney with a good Plus size area.

  102. I’m in Chicago, and I’d love to hear from other Chicago Shapelings! I find Chicago to be decently fat-friendly, although quite a few mainstream stores (as in not dedicated plus-size stores) have been phasing out their plus-size departments, which is very disappointing. But there are some good stores not far from me- Lincolnwood Mall is pretty close, and sometimes a friend and I will make the trek to Woodfield to shop at Torrid. I grew up in the West suburbs, though, and they are most definitely NOT fat-friendly- I got made fun of a lot in middle/high school for being fat, and I was a size 8/10 till college. Messed up, man, messed up.

  103. Whoops – I missed your post, apricotmuffins. You are indeed seeing me soon. I shall be in Cornwall the week after next. If you fancy a jar/cake/bumperfundinner out of college hours I should be delighted!

  104. Amy, if I had to go back to the States to live again, Chicago would be my city of choice. I love that place. I went to Uni there and had the best time living in the city. Hands down, one of the best cities in the US.

  105. I’m in MN, in a small town known as the birthplace of Sinclair Lewis. We have a parade and flea/craft market on Sinclair Lewis Days (and fireworks). I noticed at the parade last year that a couple of the SC royalty were not thin young ladies (one of them was probably a size 16/18 and cute as all get-out). We were watching last year’s pageant on the local access channel and several of the contestants were big girls. Was really nice to see that. Not much else here, other than the band shell across from our house at the lake where they have concerts every Wednesday night in the summer. Nothing for plus sizes, unless you count WallyWorld, have to go to St Cloud for LB or Catherine’s (45 miles away). But it’s nice here and not fat-phobic at all from everything I’ve seen so far (been here almost 2 years, moved here when I got married).

  106. 32-P, yay, another Calgarian! I’ve had totally different experiences than you though. I’ve never had a stranger comment on my weight, but family and friends, oh yeah. And I hear tons of diet talk all around me. I wonder if that’s a Calgary/Edmonton thing or if we just run in different kinds of social circles. I do think in general though, there’s less obesity hysteria in Alberta and Canada in general than there is in some parts of the US.

    There’s nothing special here for fatshion, as other Canadian’s have mentioned pretty much just Addition-elle and Pennington’s. I do most of my shopping online. But any inbetweenie with a rack of doom should check out the Cat’s Pyjamas, they are so, so amazing for bra fittings.

  107. I think there’s also a Lane Bryant in Columbia Heights, down the street from the new Target.

  108. JP, JP, woot!

    Calling in from Jamaica Plain, which is actually a neighborhood in Boston, but Boston and I have a distant relationship, so I like to just mention it up front and get it out of the way.

    JP is one gloriously queer village, I think it may come very close to Northampton in that regard. Very progressive, in lots of different ways. But with progressive community, you run the risk of orthorexia, and I have certainly detected more than a hint of that at gatherings.

    On the other hand, we have JP Licks, which is the best non-snooty ice cream parlor in the greater Boston area. There are a few others that apparently are better, but they have flavors like wasabi-red wine and I don’t approve of that sort of new-fangled, half-cocked, art-for-the-sake-of-artness. Okay, not wasabi-red wine, but you get the picture. Bostonians do like their ice cream.

    Not much in the way of fatty goodness out here, though. The last place I went clothes shopping was at the Fat Girl Flea in NYC. Otherwise you’re just looking at a few Lane Bryants and Avenues, and cheap trendy teen clothes at Tello’s (JP and Cambridge).

    I don’t like how culturally conservative Boston is. When I came out here with Big Moves, I was leaving San Francisco, where everything is cool and nobody bats an eye at whatever freaky shit. Big Moves was fuckin’ establishment out there. But here, just doing our stuff, we are so far beyond the radical horizon that we might as well be on the other side of the planet. Weird.

    If you’re within driving distance of Boston or Philadelphia, the thing to see in the next two weeks is… well, Big Moves! Our size-diverse circus-themed dance and performance revue, Big Top, is opening in Cambridge April 17-19, and then we go to Philadelphia for two shows on one day on April 26. All the details–and advance tickets!–are on our web site (http://www.bigmoves.org).

    If you’re near Montreal, as I see a few of you are, you can check us out there June 12-22, when we perform our smash hit Lard (“like grease, but thicker”) at the Montreal Fringe Festival.

    Big Moves: We’re everywhere you want to be!

    (/plug)

  109. ah “yay” from Hamburg, Germany, from me. I wish all you guys were closer to me.
    Apart from the social factor, I’d love to do a fat-friendly photo series, and I need models!
    Great idea, thanks, Shapely Prose.

  110. 32-P, we got pwnd by Denmark! :)

    And, I do hear diet talk up here, but not that much. It might just be the circles that I run in.

    Car – I forgot about the Botanic Garden! It’s been under 3 feet of snow for the last 6 months!

  111. I’m Jen and I’m in Northern Ontario. I’m that yellow dot at the meeting place of 3 of the great lakes. <3 I love it here. We only have a Pennington’s superstore for clothes but some of our other locations like Sears and Zellars and Reitmans and um…Ricki’s all carry plus sizes. Up to 18! I know there are bigger sizes than that but that’s what they’ve got. I don’t know what Pennington’s carries.
    As far as I can figure the Soo is pretty fat friendly, but then again, I’m sortof an ‘undercover’ fat person. I’m average, but I’ve always thought I was ‘fat’ until I discovered FA. I’ve never personally experienced fat hatred or discrimination but I know a handful of people who have.

  112. Noe

    I am very interested to hear of the fat friendliness in NZ, I have recently acquired family over there and would love to go to school there, or just move there for a bit but ever since I heard the story about the fat couple being forced to lose weight before they could gain citizenship, I’ve been a bit wary.

  113. I’m out in the wilderness of central Virginia, but I moved here last year from Chicago. About the only thing I really miss is Art + Science. I have to drive 35 miles for a decent haircut now.

    We have no stores at all, fat-friendly or not, but some excellent barbecue.

  114. Well, I’m a student at RIT. I live on-campus, so I can’t say much about Rochester–I never leave school! During summer I live in Bellevue, NE, which isn’t too bad for fat-friendliness, except for my mother. xP

  115. Another UK shapeling here. I live in south west london. I think people in my part of London. Buffpuff, Miss Prism, I’d quite like to jump on the meet up bandwagon (if it’s not too presumptuous).

  116. Sorry that made little grammatical sense, my mind took a break in the middle and didn’t return to the original thought train; being social makes me extremely nervous/stupid

  117. I live in South Bend, IN. I can’t wait to leave. It took three years even to find anyone ranking above friendly acquaintance.

  118. Skreee, OMG, I know one amazing fat lady in Hamburg who’d be a perfect model! She’s beautiful, sassy and confident, but I’m not sure where she stands on fat acceptance matters. I don’t think it would be ok for her to be called “fat”. How could we tactfully contact her?
    Is there a description of your project in German that I could point her to?

  119. Reporting in from central Maine, which gets extremely hgh marks for fat tolerance. There’s definitely a higher percentage of the population here that’s fat than any other state I’ve lived in. I do have to dock some points due to extremely limited plus-size shopping (thank GOD for the internet). Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Target, & a teeny-tiny Penney’s are within a half hour’s drive. However, bonus points are awarded for kick-ass homemade ice-cream stands practically on every corner and , ahhhhh, the fried clams and lobster rolls.

  120. I’m in Buffalo– I’ve commented before as B-17.
    I’m kind of a tweenie– size 16ish, with emphasis on the ish because nothing ever fits. I cannot find *anything* in Buffalo NY. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything, it just means I hate shopping, and always have, and probably always will, because it has always been so unrewarding, because nothing fits, because I don’t look all that hard, because nothing fits, because… never-ending cycle.
    Thank God for the Internet.
    Toronto’s nearbyish, so I’d go up there to shop except I … well, hate shopping. ;)

    Anyhow. Any city with a decent roller derby team can’t be all bad. :)

  121. Santa Fe, NM, by way of Manhattan and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Santa Fe is a beautiful place. Fat friendly? Not overtly in any way I can think of. Spicy? You bet!

  122. Hellllo from Kalamazoo, MI! Yes, Kalamazoo is a real place…

    I’m on one of the college campuses in the general area and let me tell you, it’s not very fat friendly. There’s a few of us who get together to celebrate our body image, but few people outside the group are fat-friendly. Lane Bryant and Target are nearby, which is good. That’s nice, at least. But…yeah.

  123. Hey, car. Yup, Lawrence KS. I *think* I remember that nurse-in Or else I’m getting it mixed up with another nurse-in that happened about the health club here in town. Or was it Wal-mart? Larrytown loves a protest!

    Hey, Leafuille! Maybe we see each other lurking about town and don’t even know it! We’ll have to develop a baby-flavored donut gang sign to flash to find other Shapelings.

  124. I’m a lonely New Mexican, wishing to share some enchiladas.

    Albuquerque is just friendly. Sadly, there aren’t enough plus-sized shopping options, but there are plenty of activities to do here that are great for everyone. (Try the Tram, if you dare.)

  125. Checking in from foggy Daly City, CA, right next to San Francisco. I have lived in the Bay Area for 8+ years and have found it to be a pretty fat friendly place overall. Yes, CA is the land of the “beautiful people”, but we also have plenty of plus size folks as well. We have a ton of organzations active in the fat acceptance movement: Big Moves Dance Company, Women of Substance Health Spa, the Padded Lilies synchronized swim club. With the Bay Area’s history of activism, we are also a hotbed of fat activism – like Marilyn Wann of Fat!So? fame. I even found a great plus size fitness trainer in SF. So, the resources are definitely here – you just need to know where to look.

  126. Long time reader, first time commenter, but…

    Hello from Los Angeles!

    Yeah. *waves at Brooke* Fat-friendly? Eh. No.

    But to hell with it. It’s L.A. Even if you hate Hollywood and despise all things celebrity, you can find something here to do that you’ll love. Promise.

  127. I’m complicated– Originally from NYC which is one of the fat-friendliest places I’ve ever been. I get good looks from people on the subway and compliments, things can get really tight for people above a 24-6 or so because space is at a premium but most hatred is directed at stupid people and the MTA. Sites worth seeing: Union Square Farmers Market and their Winter Gift Fair for unusual things. The Strand is a bookstore famous its “eight miles of books”. For the best and cheapest Falafel in Manhattan head to St Marks and Third where there are three-four Middle Eastern restaurants that have driven down price to $4.

    I go to school in DC, which isn’t as fat friendly as NYC. I get a lot of nasty looks from other women, especially when I’m with my boyfriend. But then at other times all is good. Check out the Smithsonians which are always free and the best gelato in town can be found in the basement of the National Gallery next to the gift shop. Eastern Market is open most days with local produce and a Flea Market with art on weekends

  128. Sunnyvale, CA! It’s about a town nirth of San Jose and less than an hour away from S.F. It’s a great city without feeling like one. Been here 12 years, love it! I have the best esthetician (sp). She’s fat and fabulous! Her place is called, “Amazing Face” and offers full spa services. She’s rad! I almost feel that everywhere I go is fat friendly if I’m friendly to everyone…ya know?

  129. I noticed others from Vancouver, BC! *waves*

    I agree with them that the shopping totally sucks here for fatties. At my largest it was nearly impossible to find clothes that fit me *well* instead of mother-to-be or older-lady. I wanted sexy and fun and clothes like that were HARD to come by! The attitude in Vancouver towards fat people is hard to pin down. There are a LOT of outdoor sports/activities to do but finding workout clothes to do them in is nearly impossible. Being fat and active is difficult in this city and easy at the same time – hence, the hard to pin down part.

    Downtown is the worst place to work if you are fat imho – I know because I used to work there! Downtown is filled with wealthy (or wanting to look wealthy) starving-to-be-thin fake blondes. They are everywhere! I used to work with many of them and most of them lived downtown as well as worked there.

    I will say though that the kink and alt communities are very fat-positive although I think that has more to do with the activities and less to do with the city they’re in.

  130. Twistie! I’m in Alameda too! I find your assessment to be pretty much what I would say. Have you been to Harper Greer in Berkeley or SF? They are my current favorite boutique. A lot of the clothes are too Chicos-ish or old for me, but they have some great basic blouses and skirts.

  131. I’m currently in the capital of NL, Canada – St. John’s. I don’t know if you would call this place “fat friendly” or not, because really, I’ve never really noticed anyone who cared either way what weight you are, it’s very odd.

    In any case, there are a few plus-sized shops here – all of them have been mentioned by other Canadians: Addition-Elle, Pennington’s, and there’s that part of Reitman’s. But other than that? If you are going to go to Newfoundland, go during the summer. Sure, there’s tons of touristy things going on, but the province really comes alive. We have theatre festivals, historical re-enactments (Colony of Avalon and L’Anse-aux-Meadows come to mind), and folk festivals (big day-long music shows that have all the local bands playing. A lot of different towns have their own), off the top of my head. Year-round, there’s some great restaurants, and if you’re in St. John’s, try to get downtown. It’s full of different shops and restaurants, and again, there’s that historical link (it was Old St. John’s – the city expanded from there) so there’s a pile of old buildings all over the place. (However, if you are going downtown, don’t bother with a car. There’s not many places to park, and the streets can be very narrow and weirdly uphill. Best to walk if you can.)

  132. woot! first Detroit area Shapeling!
    (unless you count Ann Arbor)

    It’s fat-friendly in the sense that there are plenty of people who are not skinny, but I still got moo-ed at at the pool at my old apartment complex. grrr.

    Lots of shopping options, especially if you like that “fancy” dresses in bright colors with sequins variety :)

  133. Dang! Now I’m all jealous of all of you who live near each other, especially in all the cities where I used to live!

  134. YOU ALL! Earlier this evening, upthread, I wrote:

    I live in South Bend, IN. I can’t wait to leave. It took three years even to find anyone ranking above friendly acquaintance.

    Then, tonight I was on Craig’s List and saw THIS:

    “I am looking for women who like themselves. Not plastic surgery barbies. If you are already nodding, you know you belong in this group! I want women friends to have coffee/dinner with. Playdates would be nice. I am an about-to-be step mom of twin pre-schoolers. I want women to reply who don’t diet until they die, strong women, outspoken women. I am not skinny, have a wonderful fiance and he loves me the way I am, and am in school for a great job in teaching. Life does not go down the drain because of your size, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. Please, email me if you agree! Let’s get together and be happy!”

    YAY YAY YAY!!! I emailed her already. (We have a preschooler!)

  135. This map thingy made my day.

    I live in small-ish town New Hampshire, just over the Mass border. Haven’t been here long, but so far so good.

  136. Holy crap! Another Alamedan!!!!

    (waves to Sony)

    No, I haven’t been to Harper Greer, but maybe I’ll check them out next time I need something really basic. Thanks for the tip.

  137. CJ here! I live in Spotsylvania, Virginia. (Right outside of historic Fredericksburg, Virginia!)

    Spotsy is very rural but is not a bad place to live. I love my neighborhood and the school my daughter goes to is first rate. I don’t have trouble finding clothes here – we’ve got Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Avenue, Catherine’s and Dress Barn Woman all nearby.

    If you are in this area, I strongly recommend American Family Fitness as a gym. People there are all shapes and sizes – even the employees – and I have never felt out of place as a large person there. I highly recommend the water aerobics classes – the instructors are the best!

  138. Hi, first time posting here but a loyal reader! I live in Los Angeles which can be pretty harrowing. I am currently lower weight due to trying to fit into the 0 size rule for all women here in L.A. You feel unseen if you don’t look a certain way.

    The constant bombardment of ads for plastic surgery and ‘self improvement’ is absolutely mind boggling.

    People stare at you if your are just a little plump and many people here are aspiring actors, models, whatever!!! That means they are paid not to eat! The culture here is very toxic and I think that if you are not naturally thin, it’s very very tough.

  139. TropicalChrome, on April 11th, 2008 at 6:54 pm Said:
    Denver metro area here….we haven’t lived here that long so I’m still getting a handle on everything.

    Hey, Littleton here. For stores… meh, but for parks, it’s great.

  140. it is very sad that my fellow New Mexicans are in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Nobody in the far eastern, dead middle (N/S) area? Boo!

  141. I’m in Adelaide, South Australia and it looks like I am the only one on the map so far.

    Of course, I missed this whole thread because I’ve been nigh-nighs for the past 12 hours!!

  142. I’m in Milwaukee. No one’s ever given me attitude for ordering beer or steak or dessert (except my mother that time she visited…), and I’ve met more more tall, fat women than small women since I’ve moved here. I pretty much moved here for Kopp’s frozen custard and Spotted Cow beer…

    I think all the women in Milwaukee wear size 20-24, tall pants; there is never anything stocked in that size at LB or Torrid (conveniently at separate malls…) so I assume other women must be shopping on the day the truck arrives. 14-18, or 26-28, plenty of those on the racks.

    And the Boston Store at Mayfair has a large women’s department that refuses to stock tall pants. I’ve asked every clerk working there and even called their management, who claims there’s no demand. Most of their large-size clothing is suitable for only senior citizens, but I’ve found decent tops and dresses for work and formal occasions there, and I would like to buy dress pants but they’re all too !*$!*&# short.

  143. Fillyjonk, there’s a new Lane Bryant in Columbia Heights (it opened about a month ago). It’s in the same new gentrification strip as the new Target. But it’s right at the Metro stop, which is awesome.

  144. Chicagoland — Round Lake, to be uberspecific. While shopping is not a problem (Lane Bryant and Torrid at the local outlet mall), I find many individual people to be weight and dieting obsessed. Sometimes that really sucks.

  145. @Oh Snap

    I just got residency last July and although it was a process and a pain in the arse, it wasn’t any worse for me than it has been for mates of mine who aren’t perceived as overweight. Due to the the health check I had to have, I was hassled a bit more due to my weight with having to have extra blood tests and such. But seeing as I’m a healthy girl with perfect cholesterol levels, blood sugar and all the rest, they accepted me fine. The real hassle has been for mates of mine from countries such as South Africa and Argentina as well as developing countries. The people you heard who were told to lose weight probably were sick and this is how they chose to tackle whatever problem they had.

    I recommend coming to live here under the Holiday Working Scheme NZ immigration has set up for various countries. For a year you can basically work anywhere whilst travelling under this particular visa. Its easy to get and requires no medical examination. One you decide this is where you want to call home for a bit longer than a year, then its easy enough to get a job that will sign a couple papers allowing you a 2 or 3 year year work permit. Then its residency. So you see there’s no real need to have residency until you absolutely know you want to stay here.

    As for me. I’ve made a good lil life for myself here in the city but am planning on going sustainable and rural in the near future. I grew up in the middle of Los Angeles so this is as far from that lifestyle one can get.

    A book I contributed to for the NZ section is called Getting Out: Your Guide to leaving America. Lots of good information for making your home outside the USA.

    Good luck!

  146. Saerah: “woot! first Detroit area Shapeling!”

    Hey, I thought I was the first one on the map! I put my pin up this afternoon. I don’t see yours up, though. But cool, I’m not the only one here!

    I’m thin, so I can’t vouch first-hand for fat friendliness or unfriendliness. There are a lot of plus-size clothing stores here (LB, Catherine’s, Torrid, Avenue) with a lot of cute clothing on display. I also see a good variety of shapes and sizes on the people around me, which is cool. Where I live (suburb near Detroit) seems to be a lot more accepting of body shape diversity than where I work (Ann Arbor).

  147. Sydney, Australia – fairly fat-friendly, even on public transport. I would say to visitors that they should see everything they’ve ever heard about – harbour, bridge, opera house, Bondi, as well as the amazing national parks and art galleries. Avoid Cupcakes on Pitt, though, the current hot bakery. You can get better cupcakes from a supermarket, and that’s really saying something.

    Fatshion shopping options suck – like NZ, small population means limited options, though in-betweenies fair a little better. As far as I know there are two dedicated chains of plus-size clothing, one’s even for your fat younger woman, though both are hideously overpriced. I don’t shop in either because of that and because they seem to specialise in ‘let’s just hide your shape along with your rolls of fat’-type clothing. Which means I’ve taken up sewing, with hilarious results.

  148. Goodwithcheese — Around Stillwater! I went to school at OSU. I’m biased toward Stillwater since I spent most of my formative years there but Tulsa is definitely the place to be if you live in OK! :)

  149. I pretty much moved here for Kopp’s frozen custard and Spotted Cow beer…
    Drools… oh, how I miss Kopp’s.

    I currently live in Hong Kong, but I am previously from Jackson, WI, St. Paul, MN, and Lexington, SC.

    I’ve only once encounted hostility because of my weight in HK, from a doctor (whom I met while hiking, let me point out) and even that was couched in terms of concern. And the one time I went to a doctor here, he made absolutely no mention of my weight or even tried to weigh me.

    As for fat friendliness – well, the ‘before’ pictures in the weight loss ads are smaller than the ‘after’ pictures in the states, but they also don’t promise that people will lose a lot of weight – usually only 10-20 pounds. There’s also not a whole lot of places to shop. Most stores stop at size 8 or 10. I’m an in-betweenie. I wear somewhere between a 16 and a 20 in British sizes, which is somewhere between a 12 and a 16 US, I think. I can find clothes at a few departments stores, and at quite a few of the market stalls at some of the big markets. Shoes pretty much stop at a size 39. But if you have smaller feet than that, it’s a great place to shop for shoes.

    And the food, my goodness, the food, it’s fantastic. People here know how to eat. And they’re always trying to get me to eat more. And you can get pretty much any kind of cuisine here, from McDonald’s to fancy French five-star restaurants and everything in between. The night life is pretty good, too.

    It can be hard to determine, though, if someone is staring at me because I’m fat or because I’m a tall blonde foreigner.

  150. Well, darnit! My computer won’t pull up the map, so I can’t add myself! And I would love to know where other shapelings hang out in my area. Because I am a one-woman show. Well, not really. But, all of my friends are constantly on diets, or talking about diets. And women in my area are either dieting or they have just sort of given up. I’m in southwest Virginia, which is a gorgeous area. And I love it here, but I’d love to find a group to be a part of. Trying to learn to support and love myself is hard on your own. I am doing pretty well at it, thanks to all the website reading that I have found here and other places. But, it would be nice to find folks who are in the same frame of mind that I am trying to move towards. Thanks for doing this…even though I can’t seem to be able to access the cool map. @#$%!!!! :)

  151. Oh, and for attractions, drinking outside of the 7-Eleven is an interesting experience.

    Seriously, though, the Peak, a harbour cruise, there are some fantastic museums, the hiking is amazing, and there are great buildings if you’re an architecture buff. Macau is a really cool place, unique, and that’s right next door (and they have good food, too, and they take in more gambling business than Vegas or Monte Carlo, plus, they have the highest bungee jump in the world). Also, a lot of the outlying islands are just gorgeous, there are some beautiful beaches. And it’s a super-easy city to get around in – the public transportation is the best I’ve seen anywhere, and so many people speak English.

  152. Detroit, Michigan. I don’t know how fat-friendly we are, but I do see a lot of people my size or close to it.

  153. @ Oh snap:

    I spent 6 months in Wellington NZ and didn’t notice any problems. Found the people there were even more outdoors-philic than in CO and thought nothing of spending an entire day tramping up the side of a dang mountain. That might have had something to do w/ the Masters program I was in. tho ;) For me, Wellington was a lot more comfortable than Sydney was.

  154. Oh, yeah, Nebraska here. Kinda hesitate to post anything more specific b/c I use the same nic for most of my web stuff.

  155. Isn’t it interesting that we all are saying our cities are fat-neutral? ( Except for when we open a newspaper…. or turn on a TV…. or look at the magazines at the checkout. )

    I find this very interesting, because I can say for sure we wouldn’t all be here if it didn’t hurt us, and yet it’s not that we’re regularly being pelted with garbage by people. Is it the weather system we’re under rather than daily specific targeted events? The TV rather than the guy-on-the-street?

    I imagine most large folks have a story or three about that ass who said that thing (whatever it was), but what really hurts is the daily non-us-specific grind.

    I wonder if that’s why many of us also have experiences of being told we’re “not fat”.

    I am having a neat reaction seeing people on the map or in the comment threads who are in places I have other connections to: my original hometown in ontario, for example, or my grandfather’s town near South Bend. Or psychsarah in London ON, which is where my other grandpa lived and we used to go to the Thames…..

    For some reason, this is really connecting me to the idea of how far-flung and many we are: that the map itself is more of an abstraction, but that we live in all these far-away places I can remember is more concrete.

    COOL Friday fluff.

  156. Rebecca M — I’m in Seattle! I’m not sure the map showing everyone, since I think I signed in after you but didn’t see you.

    Emerald — You should definitely find your way out here. It’s clearly meant to be, since one of Seattle’s nicknames is “The Emerald City!”

    Seattle is in some ways very mellow and friendly, but I think a lot of folks here buy into the misinformation about health and weight. Doing almost anything in the name of “health” is a minor religion here.

    Shopping is slowly getting better, especially finding cute stuff. Seattle can often be a little slow to adopt the trendy (unless your a college student on the campus where I work!). Add that to having to wait for a trend to be adapting to plus size and the overall wiat can seem looong.

  157. Anyone in Los Angeles? There is a Lane Bryant in Culver City but I don’t know of any other plus size store near westside, west hollywood, beverly hills area.

    There are great food in L.A. if you know where to go. Most expensive places are not very good. You basically pay to people watch.

    There are great Korean food in Koreatown and other Korean heavy areas. Great Chinese in Monterey Park. I’ve had so so experience with Mexican food in L.A.
    But you can get great Oaxacan food near Korea town.

    L.A. is fun and beautiful in certain areas and a nice place to live but you are ignored by ‘L.A’ people if you are more than size 9 and don’t look like you are trying to follow the latest L.A. fashion.

    Almost everyone I know is obsessed with their looks, designer duds, and being on diets. Ah well, every place has its good and bad. However, there are areas like Silverlake with more artistic hipsters and a little more relaxed atmosphere. Reminds me more of San Francisco there.

  158. Oh! My original comment disappeared!

    Anyway, Sydney, Australia. Great for all the advertised reasons – harbour, bridge, opera house – as well as art galleries, live music scene, restaurants. Though don’t believe the hype about the hottest cupcake bakery in town, I’ve had better cupcakes from the supermarket!

    Like NZ, there’s not much choice in plus-sized fashion, the two stores I know of are over-priced and seem to specialise in ‘let’s hide your shape as well as any rolls of fat’-type clothing. Maybe matronly’s the word?

  159. I’m from Hobart, Australia. I don’t think it’s too fatphobic here, (I’m a thin shapeling so I have to guess) people from the mainland say that Tassie’s a friendly place. There are some pretty amazing restaurants here, I had the best hangover smoothie this morning from Liveat. Except I couldn’t have much of it because the ice reminded me too much of a margarita and that made my head hurt more :( There are some good art galleries too, and the waterfront’s quite pretty.

  160. Austin, Texas. Wahoo. Lane Bryant…. Highland mall has a very trendy plus size store that seems to be locally owned. I forget the name though.

  161. I’m in the far NW Chicago suburbs — nice to see a lot of others nearby. We should have a fat girl clothing swap or something.

    Grew up in SE New Mexico — sarawr, I’ve been to Portales a few times. I haven’t been back out that way in several years. My dream — you know, the winning the lottery one? — is to have a house up north in near Taos or something; a lot of land all to myself, with those beautiful skies. It’s hard to be homesick for a place that’s not home anymore, you know?

  162. Cool, I’m not the only German on the map! :D Since I only know of one single German website with an understanding of fat acceptance and that one was already quite hard to find, I’d been wondering whether I was the only one. I’m currently in the process of starting a fat-related German blog.

  163. Lane – I noticed that too. Someone mentioned they signed in from the Tri-Cities area and I didn’t see them either.

    Are you on the UW campus? The university district is one of my favorite places ever.

  164. (De-lurking for the first time just to add to this…)

    Lindsay and evilsciencechick, I’m also around Atlanta! I live in the Alpharetta/John’s Creek area, but I’m in school somewhere else….close to Covington. Ick.

    I’m not in Decatur right now, but in another year I’ll be spending a lot more time there! *wink…if you know anything about Emory*

    I honestly have no idea how the fat environment is around where I’m living. I live in a college bubble. They had a “True Beauty” campaign here, but it didn’t really fly, and some idiots wrote crap like “Fat is Hot” (but you can tell it was in the sarcastic way, not nice) on the fliers and stuff. So my college is probably not as fat-friendly as it could be.

  165. Heeey, there’s another Kris! In San Francisco! Who used to work at Cafe Gratitude, which is like three blocks from where I live.

    Also, a big hi to all the other yay area folks.

  166. *waves at GodlessHeathan, the only other Ohioan*

    Greetings from Parma! We have….um…..pierogies. And…ah…. a weird liking for plastic flamingoes (yeah, I don’t get it either). Oh, and we’re a Eastern-European demographic with an Italian town name (yes, really) But! We’re just south of Cleveland which has the Rock Hall of Fame! And a big lake! And…er….the Browns. Oh and a…um…river that was so polluted at one time that it actually caught on fire (seriously).

    I’ve actually only just moved back, after living in Texas for six years. A lot has changed- the mall down the street lost it’s LaneBryant, the bus system’s been streamlined some, and they put a shopping center in where the steel mills used to be (which I so totally need to go check out). I did find a shop in the arty town of Lakewood (also close by) that deals in reselling plus clothes. It’s called Ample Duds, and the storefront is kind of “blink and you’ll miss it”. The space is small and a little hard to manuever in (especially if you’re wearing a backpack like I was). The selection is very varied, from cute to “what were they thinking?” The lady behind the counter was very nice, and did her darndest to help me find some jeans- no luck, but she did take my name and number and what I was looking for. I did manage to score a sexy top and a very cute purse.

    Other than that, we have pretty much the standard fare of retailers. I haven’t been out and about too much since we moved back, so I don’t know if the attitude of the denizens have changed. But when I was living here before it was fairly neutral.

  167. Hail from Sacramento, California! I seem to be the only Sacramentan on the map.

    Fat-friendly? Meh. There is one local place I can go try clothes on: Irene’s Fashions at Large. They used to have mostly clothes for retired women on cruises, but have been improving lately. (Or maybe it just seems that way to me because I’m getting so close to “retirement” age myself!)

    And there is a Catherine’s. I don’t fit in the sizes at Lane Bryant or Torrid any more.

    I just found out about a new place to get bras in town that I need to check out: At Last Bras & Lingerie.

    However, I am not so much about the clothes. If anyone enjoys bike riding, Sacramento has a gorgeous, world-class bike trail along the American River that I’m just beginning to sample. Right through the middle of the city.

  168. Whee, Seattle area here, too! Would love to get together with folks. I’ve been hermiting far too much these days! (same SN)@hotmail.com

  169. I’m in San Francisco. I don’t see our city as being particularly fat positive or fat friendly, the one Torrid we have is all the way out in Stonestown, which is practically in the suburbs and the Lane Bryant is in not in the best part of town, in kind of a weird strip mall. Major shopping area is Union Square, where chubs have to go to Nordstrom plus size section or Old Navy to find some love. Soo, like most places, you have to make do or make tracks.

    We do have access to some of the best food & produce in the world; I gorge on organic baby donuts here. Most people are faux open minded, very open to lots of things but love to be make derisive coments about “fat tourists” at any opportunity and there is a LOT of judgment about food choices, especially if they are not “healthy”, ie, if you are not vegetarian, or if you eat meat and dare eat fast food or at chain restaurants and if you aren’t completely obsessed with things like trans fats or high fructose corn syrups(oh no! you ate high fructose corn syrup! you’re going to DIE!) .

    Despite all of that, I still love this wacked out place.

  170. I’m new here, and haven’t finished going through the archives, but I’m in Eugene, Oregon, about 100 miles south of the Portland shapelings.

    I hesitate to comment on how fat friendly the city is, as I am a size 8 (though I have very strong personal reasons to want to be involved in the FA movement); while this may not be particularly small, I can’t comment on what it’s like to be a person of size on a daily basis. It seems like there’s generally a culture of acceptance, though I’ve certainly had (unfortunate) discussions with those who were extremely judgmental of fatness. The culture here is more focused on healthy living than on dieting (in my experience, at least).

  171. Emerald — You should definitely find your way out here. It’s clearly meant to be, since one of Seattle’s nicknames is “The Emerald City!”

    That’s exactly how I picked my username. ;) We’ve been over twice, both in spring, but we wanted to check out the Solstice Parade, so will be up your way in June this year…

  172. Another German Shapeling here! I live in Frankfurt, Germany, I feel that Germany has a looooooong way to go regarding fat acceptance. The German media and ads constantly report about TEH OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGABOOGABOOGA and being fat here sometimes seems like a radical act. *shrugs*

    Zilly, what is the address of the German fat-related blog?

  173. *Waves at fellow Shapelings especially in England*
    I live in Surrey, a few miles south of London.

  174. the only headshot photo i could find was a wedding photo, how naff!

    fourth UK person checking in!!!

  175. Curvygirl, Kirsten, Ms Ruth and anyone else who’s interested in a London evening meet-up on Saturday the 3rd May, please email me at buffpuff at btinternet dot com. I’m thinking a massed assault on Patisserie Valerie?

  176. Woohoo!! I bags Melbourne, Australia! Cafe culture capital of the Southern Hemisphere, not to mention home of more fabulous ethnic restaurants than you could even generally wave a stick at (let alone any poking). You wanna cuisine, we goddit! Thai yesterday, Nepalese today … ummm, tomorrow could be Moroccan. Or Hungarian. Indonesian? Or mebbe Greek? Afghan? (Mmmmm). Come and visit, Foreign Shapelings!

  177. Molly, you’re in White River Junction? I went to school pretty much right there! And my bf lived in WRJ for two years!

    That’s exciting.

    I have a funny story for you, actually. My sister did a pre-med program in South African last fall, and part of what she was working on was this soccer-related HIV testing program (kids come for a day of soccer, get free tests). Some of the South African coaches got an award for their work, and two of them were getting flown to America to be part of a conference. It was their first time ever leaving South Africa.

    They were getting sent to WRJ. In FEBRUARY.

  178. I seem to be the only shapeling in Iowa. Just me and the mooing piggies and (presumably) the oinking cows. And the corn, can’t forget the corn. Can never forget the corn.

  179. *Waves to SilverSeraphim and Godless Heathen*

    More Ohioans, oh yeah! I, too, am a Kettering resident (too poor to live in downtown Dayton). I haven’t had any problems, as well; it’s really nice to have this many sidewalks. Suburbia occasionally has its benefits.

    My main shopping passion comes from the variety of thrift stores in this area which turn up a surprisingly decent amount of current plus-sized clothes (RIP, Salvation Army on Burkhardt, sob sob!)

  180. For some reason the image of fillyjonk deliberately projecting her butt onto other seats is the funniest thing I’ve read today. It sounds like ventriloquism — I’m currently having images of her butt popping up on other random seats all over Metro for a few seconds, then disappearing, like some kind of bad acid trip.

    Moving swiftly on…I’m in Glasgow in term time and Belfast in the holidays. I’m a UK 12/14 so I don’t know much about fat fashion here, but since I hate buying clothes I don’t know much about fashion here full stop. I’ve never seen anyone get harrassed about their weight in Belfast or Glasgow, though that obviously doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    We’d never harrass tourists, though. Belfast in particular is all about hating your neighbours enough to kill them but welcoming outsiders as if they’re long-lost families members. Oh, Northern Ireland.

    If any Shapelings are in Glasgow and feeling sporty, I go to an adult ballet class that’s weight-neutral. It’s for beginners so no one’s trying to be a professional; we’re all just there because we love it, which makes height/weight irrevelant. It’s a drop-in class, so some weeks I’m the biggest person in the room, sometimes there’ll be someone much bigger; it just depends. But the instructors have NEVER made an issue out of anyone’s weight that I’ve seen — it’s all about strength and flexibility and owning your body, not what your adipose tissue’s up to. I also go to fat-friendly trampolining class, but it’s through my uni so it’s not much use here.

  181. Hey Shinobi, I’m in Evanston, too! I also go to Art + Science. If I weren’t pseudonymous, y’all would see that I have fabulous hair!

  182. Dialling in from Japan! I hail from Brisbane, Australia, and I now live in Hyogo prefecture, near Kobe (mmmm beef – although to be honest, I don’t really dig wagyu beef).

    We all know how fat-phobic Japan is, given how men are supposed to have 33.5inch waistlines, max, so there’s really no comment. However, clothing is surprisingly less difficult to find than I though. Pants are still a nightmare, and a lot of stuff is cut for less busty girls, but I’ve found some good stuff. Shoes are a nightmare. Silver lining: fabulous accessories. For reference, I’m around a size 16-18 Australian. I’ve never really been hassled much, although my Japanese is basic, and people might be insulting me, I just don’t know it! Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.:D

    Also, I can see a Shapeling in Osaka on the map. We should totes meet up!

  183. himawari, I went to grad school (round 1) in Eugene! I didn’t like living there at first, but then I became rather fond of it. I miss the PNW a lot!

  184. Lawrence, KS here. Hi Car! Hi Javamama! (?) I think we’re pretty fat-friendly, though I haven’t lived here long. I’m an “in-betweenie” (10-14) so I can’t comment very knowledgeably on our plus-size selections. I will say that one of the things I love about Lawrence is our multitude of clothing thrift stores, but sometimes it’s tough to find something in my size, let alone something bigger.

  185. Another UK person saying hello. I’m in Cumbria in the north-west of England.

    Not particularly fat-friendly/positive here as there is definitely a whiff of outdoor fanaticism being a mountainous area which attracts lithe climber/mountain-biker types. However, I feel that there is quite a lot of “fat-blindness” if I can use that term as in general people seem to be relatively accepting of different body types.

  186. I live in Manhattan, where a number of worlds coexist. In my world, individuality is desirable, and I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced fat hatred. But over the past year or so, I’ve witnessed an increase in disdain for fat folks on mass transit, including one heartbreaking episode in which I had to intervene.

    When visitors ask for recommendations I stick to visual arts, live music, and food. Mostly the food. Otafuku on E. 9th for amazing Osaka style okonomiyaki (try the squid). The Tuck Shop on E. 1st for Australian meat pies (go on a Friday for the tiger prawn pie). Jeollado on E. 4th for good, cheap sushi and the best red bean ice cream on two continents. The pignoli cookies at Rocco’s on Bleecker. The white truffle goat cheese torta at Murray’s down the block from there. The bahn mi sandwich at Nicky’s Vietnamese off of Avenue A. Pam Real Thai in Hell’s Kitchen. Italian pastries at Veniero in the East Village. The hot pastrami at Katz’s. Mario Batali’s corn and olive oil gelatos at Babbo. Actually, everything at Babbo. Gotta have a Papaya dog while you’re here (burned with onion). Don’t get me started on the Indian food.

    And don’t skip the touristy stuff. The view from atop of the Empire State Building is all you’ve heard it is, a nighttime boat ride around the Statue of Liberty will take your breath away, and if you can come when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, it’ll make you wanna slap Japan for thinking they got it goin’ on.

  187. Goodyear, AZ, which is on the west side of Metro Phoenix.

    We are excellent fashion-wise, not so friendly anywhere else. There are lots of hiking, bike-riding and various exercise venues and opportunities, but who wants to when it is 110 out? Healthcare is interesting- I have had good and bad experiences. Phoenix has CRAPPY public transportation. They have been improving it, but it is a typical Western city in that there is no defined middle or hubs, and a lot of sprawl.
    But, on the other hand, I have Torrid, Lane Bryant, the Avenue, Catherines, Dress Barn, J.Jill and many, many more clothing places.

  188. OH- and the do not miss places? Durant’s Steakhouse in downtown PHX, as well as the Willow house (a funky coffeeshop). Papago Park, with the Zoo and the Botanical Center. Hiking up South Mountain. The Rock Art center at Deer Valley. Bookman’s- a small chain of used book stores. Coming to visit me! ;)

  189. Oh, I also meant to say that I’ve had good luck with the doctors here, at least at the student health center. Not once has anyone had a problem with me declining to be weighed.

  190. Anyone interested in a DC Shaplings meet up? There seem to be a good bunch of us. In May, maybe? (some planning time, plus I’ll be done the semester by then.) We should start a list or something. A Google group?

  191. Another fabulous Frau from Germany (I am actually from Seattle, but set up home here a few years ago).

    The one thing that I *love* about Bavaria is how it has changed my attitude toward showing my body in public. In the States, I used to wear a t-shirt and shorts over my bathing suit to go swimming because I was so embarrassed of my belly fat, stretch marks, and jiggling thighs. Here, the women at my pool just wear bathing suits and walk around as if they have no reason to be ashamed of their bodies. Women of every size. It shouldn’t be revolutionary, but it was!

    It has really changed my whole perspective (and definitely goes to show the importance of having fierce fat role models). Now I shower in the communal shower room, change in the locker room (not in a toilet stall!), and have no problem with trying on clothes in communal changing rooms at department stores. The women at the pool have no idea how much of a positive influence they have been to me. They rock!

  192. Hi, American in the UK here! (you can find me on the map :))
    I haven’t run into much fat unfriendliness on a personal level here–but with a nearly-one-year-old, I really don’t get out much! I have had a hard time finding great [and, er, affordable] clothes to fit me post baby though, which has been a source of much frustration.

  193. hello from Oakland, CA! the bay area is a wondrous place and is progressive enough that you can be whomever or whatever without a lot of push back. i liked someone’s comment about about being faux open minded. I think that is a good way to put it for a lot of social circles.

  194. i see a few people from ithaca on the list! adding another. there are (at least) two very separate demographics: the ithacans are VERY fat friendly, body image conscious. cornellians seem to be… less so.

  195. I’m in Portland, too. I’ve been here for two years, but it seems to be taking me a while to adjust to life here. I’m Hispanic, and miss the diversity (and pple with my body type!) that I used to see in Texas. Still, the weather and the activities (hiking, running, biking) are WONDERFUL and I’m loving being outside way more than I did in Texas.

    I have only received one fat-ignorant type remark: A woman yelled out, “YOU GO, GIRL! YOU’RE DOING GREAT!” as I was jogging (mile 3 out of 6) along a busy jogging trail. Yes, fat people exercise sometimes in-between our baby-flavored donut binges…grrrrr…

  196. Inexplicably, the map is only showing me myself now, in the DC area… when I signed up, there were lots of others, including FJ. Weird.

  197. Hey Emmy! Nice to meet you too. I was just in your neck of the woods, in Abita Springs. What a cute little town. I immediately wanted to go for a bike ride on the Tammany Trace.

    Did you know there’s a Torrid in the Esplanade Mall in Metarie? I’ve been wanting to go for a while now. One day soon we should meet up and go shopping.

    I live a shortish distance from NOLA. The city means so much to me that I’d rather say I live in New Orleans than in Monroe. I’m working on moving there full time.

  198. Stella I don’t think that woman was trying to be insultive, she might just have been ignorant and thought she was urging you on. Unless she said it with some sort of mean undertone, which you can’t really convey well on the net.

  199. Jackie,
    Yes, I do believe she was *trying* to be nice, to urge me on, and truly I think she would have reacted with wide-eyed in surprise at my taking offense at her comment. But it feels a LOT like unintentional racism: (i.e., “that’s funny, you don’t look/seem/act Hispanic…”) because it feels patronizing, condescending, as if I am a child who needs extra encouragement instead of someone who has been running for 17 years, who has completed a marathon (while FAT, no less!). Why didn’t she yell that out to all the other runners on the trail? I actually wanted to stop and ask her that, to make her acknowledged that she singled me out due to being fat and that goes along with a lot of stereotypes she must have about fat people.

    I finished my run and immediately went to http://fatgirlonabike.wordpress.com/ and posted my experience. Her reply was GREAT: “… most people who shout those sorts of things are totally clueless and you likely would be wasting your breath. My inner grown-up side says to ignore them. My inner 11-year old says to give them the finger.”

    I LOVE SARAH! And Shapely Prose. And Good With Cheese. And and and…ALL OF YOU!

  200. Emmz, good times! Are you going to be moving to near-Decatur or just putting up with one hell of a commute? In any case, us Atlanta peeps oughta meet up or something. :D

  201. Reporting for duty from Limerick, Ireland. I’m a european 18 – no idea what that is in US but I’d guess a 14-16. 5’4″ and 180lbs. And, I LOVE this site, so thank you.

  202. I’m super new – I only learned about the site recently but thought I would partake anyway!

    I’m in NYC. I come from upstate (Albany) where it is SO not friendly, at least not in my experience. I remember when I was planning to move to NY but still living upstate, I went through a stint where I couldn’t walk outside downtown without a bunch of guys yelling out their car window at me… ugh.
    (side note – I found it funny that while they were telling me to go on weight watchers, I outdid their 120lb girlfriends on the elliptical five days a week)

    When I first moved to NY I ended up stuck in Staten Island, which was really bad. People there are so obnoxious. Now, I’m in Brooklyn and am pretty happy. As for resources – I’m totally stumped on clothing stores. I had hoped that there would be more selection beyond Lane Bryant and whatnot, but not for my budget. (I’m a size 20 for reference) I hear there are some nice plus sized boutiques about, but are pricey. If anyone knows of some good quality local options, I would love to hear them!

  203. *waves at Stella* Yeah, I actually had some woman say to me while I was chugging uphill to get home from work, “Good for you, that’s great exercise!” But she wasn’t exactly skinny herself, so I chose not to read it as fat-baiting.

  204. OFF TOPIC

    So, in my I’m making fat socially acceptable and I’m not sorry, we’ve got a couple of high schooler trolls patrolling everyone’s pictures and leaving nasty comments. I’ve reported them each a bajillion times and assume that if facebook has any sort of sense they’ll be banned for violation of terms of use, but I just thought I’d share these little gems.

    On a picture of a woman holding a baby:

    dinner?

    (woman: are you asking me out?)

    no i meant
    do u eat your baby for dinner?

    Another woman with a baby

    u gonna finish that?

    And another woman with a baby

    you should cover it with choclate tastes better

    See. And for a minute I thought we had someone who truly understood the fat acceptance movement, but covering the baby in chocolate before eating it? Bleh. Too messy.

    Every fatty knows you bake them into donuts if you really want to eat them properly.

  205. Portland peeps, I have to come visit you sometime though – that bookstore’s calling my name.

    You will love it. They can invent all the Kindles they want, they ain’t never getting rid of Powell’s. Not in my lifetime!

  206. Not for nothing, Stella, but every time I see a runner of ANY stripe, I want to shout out ‘YOU GO!’

    It might just be that woman who shouted to you was simply a passionate runner herself. And / or, like me, someone who wishes they could run but is sidelined by injury, and has enthusiasm to spare.

    *shrug*

  207. Oh, yes, TM, that would be great if you could do it! I know it’s kind of a schlep for you, but a Voodoo Doughnuts Shapelings party would be awesome. Or any kind of party, actually.

  208. Oh, I forgot to mention Cotton Ginny! They have them all across Canada, and they make cute, casual, environmentally friendly clothes. They’re one of the most fat friendly stores I’ve ever been in because 1) Every single item of clothing that comes in straight sizes also comes in plus sizes and 2) They have the straight sizes along one side of the store and the plus sizes a long the other side, rather than the straight sizes in front and the plus sizes hidden in the back.

  209. I’m over there in northern Colorado. It’s a good time in the South Park state. I mean, uh, Centennial State.

  210. oh, I forgot. Yeah, Portland is semi-fat friendly, depending on where you hang out. Honestly, the malls are one of my least favorite places to be since I’ve gotten to be plus size. In my teens when I was a size 12 I had been asked at a number of stores in the mall if “they had anything in my size” and at Forever 21 I was even asked why I was in their store since nothing was my size. The funny thing is, I could wear that stuff back then.

    In terms of the general population though, Portland is more size-friendly than the outter suburbs. I live in Beaverton and grew up in Hillsboro, and in these cities I’ve faced more issues than in the more accepting Portland population. And, hell yes, Beth Ditto is from here.

  211. Wow! I’m the only one in Toronto. Though shout-outs to the London, Ontario crew and Jen from the Soo – I’m originally from the Soo, too, though I haven’t lived there in like, 12 years.

    I’m looking forward to going to the UK this summer – thanks, all, for the shopping tips.

    I was also in Portland last summer, and wanted to let everyone know that I found it to be a beautiful, awesome, friendly city.

  212. I’m a little over an hour drive from Portland, Oregon.
    Wow, there’s a lot of us!

    I don’t think my city is wonderfully accommodating to people of all sizes, but I’m admittedly isolated as a student and straight-sized gal.
    On the plus side, people are super into self-improvement that extends beyond beyond weight loss. HAES is a fairly common default.
    We have a lot of safe places to play outside and the entire community really values education.
    The homeless population and tech industry execs are both taking advantage of the extended library hours and bike paths.
    It’s not a place without problems, but there are definite perks.

  213. I’d come!

    Great! So, TM, since you would have to come from the farthest away, maybe you could pick a date for us? (My sole blackout period would have to be May 15-20.)

  214. And I certainly agree that health is a minor religion in the Pacific Northwest.
    People are generally less concerned about weight, but may sometimes assume that fat folks do not venerate the health gods … or recycle … or engage in civil discourse.
    All of which are the REAL sins, not adipose tissue.

  215. Hillsboro! C. used to live there. It’s home to Swagath, which has the BEST FUCKING INDIAN LUNCH BUFFET EVER, especially on weekends. I miss that place!

  216. I’m up for a DC shapelings get together in May too.

    I am not.

    But local (DC/Balto) Shapelings should email me anyway.

    In fact, shoot me a line if you’re in NYC, too.

  217. @sweetmachine: Hey, I’m a grad student at UO currently, finishing up my master’s this year. Small world!

    @Stella: I’m not fat in the eyes of most people, though I’m on the larger side for a runner (about a size 8), and I get those kind of comments, too. While I do think that sometimes it can be patronizing and annoying, it is also sometimes simply enthusiastic people wanting to encourage fellow runners or people cheering on anyone who is out moving their body, whatever their size may be. I’m not particularly a fan of it, but it’s a lot better than some of the other things that happen to runners on the trail. I’ve been “woofed” at by men in a random car passing by (obviously trying to make me feel bad about myself was something they thought would be fun), I’ve had a car deliberately swerve near me and honk at me (I was on the sidewalk), and I’ve been chased by unleashed dogs who snapped at my ankles.

  218. Hurray, I’m on the map! Reading, UK – in Berkshire, 25 minutes by train from London (where I was brought up). Not especially fat-unfriendly. I’m a student, I have friends of all sizes – actually I’m lucky enough to be able to socialise mostly with people who are very accepting of all kinds of differences.

    Reading is not an exciting town (I’m intending to move to Manchester in about a year’s time, to be with my partners!) but compared to many other London-satellite places (Slough, ugh, Bracknell, ugh!) it’s quite nice. The university campus is one of the nicest I’ve ever been on (green and spacious but not too huge for walking across) and it has all the usual shops, a Hobbycraft (my financial ruin), a great vegetarian cafe/restaurant, the Cafe Iguana, and a generally pleasant atmosphere. Come in June or September and you might find me busking in the town centre (if I get round to renewing my licence…).

    Too many brackets!

  219. I’m not too far from Ithaca where a few of you are – if there’s a good set of fatshion stores to go to, I’d be up to drive down for a group shopping day! :)

  220. I’m in Grand Rapids Michigan, half an hour north of Kalamazoo. It’s very fat friendly here, and I have a fabulous doctor. Shopping is great if you’re size 24 and under, but limited to Catherine’s and Avenue if you’re a 32. Never been harassed in the street despite being supersize. I get some mean looks when I use the scooter cart in grocery stores (I have a mystery muscle disease) but that might be my age (41) rather than my fat. Hard to tell.

  221. Thank you all for your support. I look at this and other fat-friendly blogs everyday. This has changed my life. I want to shout to the world how much this has helped me be me.

  222. Miss Minx: no you’re not the only one! I’m in Toronto! Or will be in 2 weeks. I’ve been in Vancouver for the past 8 months for grad school (shout-outs to the other Vancouverites in here … more than I’d expected!).

  223. Great! So, TM, since you would have to come from the farthest away, maybe you could pick a date for us? (My sole blackout period would have to be May 15-20.)

    Well, I definitely couldn’t make it from the 11-18, because I’m going to be checking out film schools in California and hanging out in Disnayland (which I am SO EXCITED for), so maybe the 24th of May, or sometime that weekend? Does that work for other people?

  224. Looks like I am the third one of us that will admit to being from the Sacramento area. :)

    Overall I’d say Sac is pretty fat friendly, although I will admit to being happily oblivious to most unpleasant things in life.

    Lots of larger chain shopping options (Torrid, LB, Avenue, Fashion Bug, etc), although my boutique experience has been pretty hit or miss (Ydnic – I’ve never tried Irene’s, although its looking like that is for the best) so I tend to go online for more interesting clothes options.

    The most size-oriented flack I have ever received living here was an idiot teenage boy trolling the mall parking lot with his buddies: “Big girls need love too!” Um, yes? That is true… You’re not the smartest cookie in the box, are you?

  225. @ralfalfa

    Yeah, I’m at Cornell, and I do not find it particularly fat-friendly. Also, Ithaca itself is pretty bad for finding plus-size clothes. I had to buy a suit on short notice not too long ago (call-back interview for a summer job, and I had already worn the one suit I owned to the initial interview), and it was a nightmare. I went to every store in the mall, and only found one hideous suit at Sears that fit me. I ended up at Kohl’s, where I managed to find a reasonably attractive suit that mostly fit me (it was an 18, and I’m really more of a 20/22, but they only had it in an 18 and a 24, and the 24 fell right off my ass, which seemed like it would be poor form at a job interview). It was very annoying.

  226. Hailing from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada!

    I live near two universities so you can imagine how fat-friendly my town is… not. *rolls eyes* Generally it’s ok, but you do get the occasional drunken frat boy idiot screaming “PIG” at you out of the window of his SUV. In terms of accommodation, I’m an 18/20 and generally haven’t had too much difficulty fitting into seats or on buses.

    Shopping-wise, it’s the usual slim pickings us Canadians deal with. Also, I dislike Addition Elle (unless it’s a large store the choices are very limited) and loathe Cotton Ginny (too many pastel pantsuits). Pretty much I shop at Winners (where I get pretty much all my jeans), Zellers and Old Navy (which only goes up to an 18/20 and XXL in Canada). Rietmans’ plus section is tres blah. Ricki’s is nice but on the pricier side. There is a plus boutique in Cambridge (a nearby town) called Krave Clothing, but it’s kind of a pill to get to. I have recently experienced the joy of ordering from LB and Torrid… now if only they would open some stores in Canada…

    I will also be moving to the Vancouver area in a year or so for grad school. Reading all these testimonials about how bad the plus shopping is in BC is making me nervous. I’m gonna have to bone up on my online shopping skills!

  227. I hope this isn’t too off topic….but I hate you people sometimes :smile:.

    We ended up having a late supper out so most of the places we grab a little dessert were closed. But I remembered the mention of the sea salt caramel ice cream, and the grocery store is open 24/7….so we bought a pint of the Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel Caramel….and put a little of the King’s Cupboard chocolate sauce over it because I like my lilies gilded…. oooh, nom nom nom….so really good….I hate mmmmmm……

    (Did I mention :smile: ?)

  228. NameChanged – hello down there. Getting together sometime is a great idea. I’m alyce_b at hotmail.com. Yes, that’s an underscore. Kickin’ it old school.

  229. Oh and I hail from the Bay Area (San Rafael, Larkspur, Alameda, Moraga) – my dad is still in Alameda/Oakland. So nice to see y’all here.

  230. I’m newish here and haven’t commented all that much (yet), but I think a PDX meetup would be fun. I’m always looking for excuses to escape to Portland. As far as I know, the 24th of May would work for me.

  231. @ Lindsay at 6:56…

    I won’t be “moving” where I live, but I’ll be attending college at a different location. It’s a funky system, but it’s Emory (as I already mentioned), which is in Decatur….except the part of Emory that I’m going to now is actually not in Decatur. But once I’m a junior, I’ll be at Emory’s main campus in Decatur. (If you’re familiar at all with the branches of Emory University, you probably know what I’m talking about. If not, then it’s cool :) )

    I agree. If there are any more Atlanta Shapelings, a meetup would be in order. :)

  232. I’m in Rockville, MD, which is just a bit outside DC. Since DC/Baltimore’s been covered, and my bedroom suburb is pretty fat-friendly, I echo the comments above.

    @Emmz at 4:30 – Do you like the Flying Biscuit? I lived in Atlanta for a year while my boyfriend was at Emory, and I STILL miss that place.

  233. Emmz, i know what you’re referring to re: Emory campus. Heh. In/near the Decatur campus (if it is where i think it is, lol), there’s an awesome restaurant called Doc Chey’s. I haven’t been there in years so i can’t speak for how fat-friendly an establishment it is… but they serve up some DAMN fine noodles.

  234. Hey, meegs – you’re in my hometown… And moving to where I’ve been living for 15 years. STALKER!! *g*

  235. Himawari, just a question, does your screen name come from xxxHOLIC?

    Because I freaking love xxxHOLIC.

  236. Checking in to represent a different side of Los Angeles…both literally and figuratively! I’m on the East Side (South Pasadena) and find it very fat friendly. There are tons of plus size fashion options and I’ve been welcomed in a variety of yoga classes, dance classes, and all manner of other places over here. There’s also great food (there’s a restaurant in Pasadena that only serves cobbler of all kinds of delectable flavors) and much less of the body consciousness than you find on the West Side of LA. All of us who don’t work in “the industry” live over here and giggle at all the stress people are putting themselves in about looking like perfect little fake nailed, fake highlighted, and fake tanned clones.

    I do venture to the other side of town for beach-going every now and then and then I occasionally feel a little body conscious but luckily I grew up on a small lake in Upstate NY and watched my whole imperfectly figured family prance around in bathing suits throughout the summers of my formative years so I got very used to being comfortable in a bathing suit. I tend to have the most fun of all my friends when we go to the beaches, frolicking in the waves, running around playing frisbee or flying kites and just not worrying about what anybody thinks about how I look in my cute little tankini!

  237. Another UK Shapeling here! I’m in Edinburgh. I’m a native of Yorkshire, but I’ve lived here for nearly 5 years now. The UK as a whole is becoming more fatphobic, but Edinburgh is no better or worse than any other city.

    We have an Evans (up to a UK 32), Next (UK 22), Monsoon (UK 22), New Look (cheap but cheerful up to 26),
    H&M (has a plus range up to 4X UK 28), Jenners
    Department Store (has some designer ranges up to a 24),
    Debenhams Department Store (has some ranges up to a
    22/24), Asda Supermarket (Walmart) has ranges up to a 24)
    Tesco Supermarket (has a few items up to a 22), John
    Lewis (up to a 22/24) and finally ebay, a godsend to all fat
    women :)

    Most of these are generic chain stores, but Jenners is an Edinburgh institution. It’s one of the first Dept stores opened in the whole of the UK in the Victorian era. The building is an
    amazing labyrinth with stairs and lifts everywhere, and is wheelchair accessible but you need a map to know which
    lifts to get to which floor.

    I’m very jealous of our American cousins. You have much better and wider choice of stores at what to us are much cheaper
    prices. The sting of customs and shipping charges makes it difficult to access your markets, Perhaps I could find an
    American buddy who wants Monsoon clothes?

    I myself make clothes. It’s not always cheaper but at least
    they fit and are exactly what I want. W have much less
    choice of fabrics than the US and it’s more expensive. I buy
    a lot of my cotton prints from equilter.com who are great for reasonable prices and crazy and interesting prints.

  238. juliafaye – an early welcome to Toronto for you!

    …. and… cherade9 – i’m jealous that your H&M still has plus-sized clothes. A couple of years ago, they just disappeared one day from every Toronto store.

    (I’m thinking I should send them a sternly-worded letter)

  239. oh – and I wanted to comment on how amazing it is that so many of us are pursuing graduate school (even me – phD 2012!!).

    best wishes to all!

  240. I just wish I could get plus sized GAP clothes. They have
    some gorgeous grass green trousers I’d kill for. I’m having to
    buy 20 metres of white cotton drill and dye it myself into
    daffodil yellow, deep teal, grass green, burnt orange, royal
    purple and sky blue. Then I can make a pair of slim fit jeans
    and a matching slim fit jeans skirt.

    I already have a pair of bright red and royal blue slim fit
    jeans and I’m loving the wearing a monotone outfits or
    playing around with contrasting and complementary colours. Now I just have to get the blaze of black dye in the back of my
    platinum blonde hair, some white framed glasses, my tattoos
    and new ear piercings and I’ll be rocking myself. This body acceptance thing is so exciting!

  241. I’m in Kalamazoo, MI. Can’t seem to get away. It’s a good city with basically good people, but the lack of bookstores is appalling and the civil engineering is clearly the result of too many Rorshach inkblots and not enough logic. :P

    I just finished law school in Ann Arbor, MI (ye U of M) – moved home because the rents are WAY cheaper. Also my dream job is here.

  242. It looks like I’m the only one so far in NH. Anyone else out there feel the urge to live free or die?

  243. I’ve been a’wandering. Originally from a suburb of Chicago (Wheeling), currently living in a suburb of Boston (Waltham) and moving to Seattle in July (NOT A SUBURB! WHOO!). I don’t quite recall the specific fat friendliness in Chicago. I was still very much in my self-hating OH-MY-GOD-I’M-FAT-MUST-LOSE-WEIGHT-FAT-IS-EVIL phase. I had a hard time finding clothes, growing up. I mourned the loss of Marshall Fields because that’s where I found my fabulous plus-size prom dress. But there was definitely a weight-loss culture. Boston’s not so much better. I agree that, for being so liberal, it’s pretty conservative. As a fat dancer (I belly dance) I am saddened that I never got to see Big Moves and will be out of town for their performance! Aaaah, sad!

    However, I’m super-excited about moving to the PNW. So much greeeeeeeen. Even in the winter. It was so pretty. And the Chicagoan in me was in awe of the mountains. Anyone know of fat-friendly dance studios in Seattle?

  244. Hey all! I’m in Baltimore City, Maryland. It’s not particularly fat UNfriendly, and I’ve never had a problem finding a Lane Bryant, Avenue, Torrid, Ashley Stewart, or SOMEthing to fit my size 22-24 body. The plus-size department at Old Navy in Security Square mall is gone, alas!

    But there are lots of tasty foods from around the world to enjoy! My favorites are the Real Deal Jamaican carryout on Greenmount in Waverly and the Chicken Rico on Eastern Ave in Highlandtown. And lots of ethnic markets all over, too.

  245. @colleen

    yeah, syracuse’s mall might be a better bet. i don’t do much shopping here, but now that it’s spring and i’ll soon need something other than thick, thick sweaters, i’m starting to strategize. lol

  246. ooops. When I was on here earlier I just gushed about how happy I am to have found fat friedly people. Soooo I had better keep on track. I am from Phoenix, a pretty fat friendly place, I guess. Depends on the day and my mood.

  247. Checking in from Minneapolis– where Friday’s snow is finally melting.

    I grew up here, but lived in Tucson, AZ, and southern CA (mostly Long Beach) from age 20-27. When I moved back to MN in 2003, I did notice that there are *more* fact people here, but I’m not convinced that that makes it fat-friendly. It seems like most of the fat girls/women have resigned themselves to shopping at Kohls and the frumpiest of Lane Bryant.

    There is a Lane Bryant in *every* mall here, and a Torrid at the Mall of America, but it’s pretty unusual to find anything awesome at either store.

    We do have a couple good (read: overlooked) outlet/bargain stores– Marshalls (esp at HarMar), Nordstrom Rack (at the big mall), TJ Maxx (esp at Knollwood), Opitz Outlet (Hwy 100 and Excelsior Blvd), Saks Off 5th (downtown Mpls). These places are kind of like thrifting– you have to stop in frequently, and do a quick once-over. If you need to get something for a wedding or a job interview *tomorrow*, these are not the places to go.

    The Daytons-Marshall Field-Macy’s at Southdale is often a treasure trove of deals– their women’s department is in a mall store, separate from the main store, so there is always a *lot* of good stuff on clearance. They get a reasonable amount of young cute clothes, but only elderly ladies seem to know it’s there.

    Finally, as the Home of Target, we have awesome and well-stocked Target stores. I buy most of my basic-type stuff there– plus whatever else I can find.

    Restaurants? We have them. We have enough that I don’t know where to start. Peninsula and Quang on Eat Street, almost *anything* in the Midtown Market, but especially Tacos Ocampos, Highland Grill and its sibling Grills… Minnesota also has the nicest grocery stores of anywhere I’ve lived, AND we now have Trader Joe’s.

  248. Hey, taimatsu – I’m wondering how much of a Shapeling/LJ crossover there is now :)
    Everyone else who doesn’t already know me: I’m in Cambourne, nine miles west of Cambridge. Hopefully moving to Ireland within the year, though! (not sure where. Probably Kildare but who knows?)
    I can’t say I’ve noticed Cambridge being any more or less fat-friendly than anywhere else I’ve lived, but then I don’t go out much due to various disabilities. I was mostly raised in London which is NOT REMOTELY fat-friendly at all.

  249. @Time-Machine: Nope, I haven’t even heard of xxxHOLIC *scampers off to google it* (but it looks interesting!). My name comes from something FAR more lame. Himawari is the Japanese word for sunflower. I like sunflowers, and thought it was a decent enough alias.

  250. Cookiemonster-
    I’m from Israel too! Checking into Shapely Prose from the holy city of Jerusalem.
    I’ve found Israel to be slightly fat-friendlier than America, at least among those, say, age 40 and up (the younger crowd is very influenced by American TV and movies). If an Israeli calls someone “full” (which is a synonym for “fat,” albeit slightly more polite), they mean it as a descriptive word, not usually as a put-down. Also, men of Moroccan descent (ie whose families fled to Israel in the 1950’s) are waaaay into big girls. Loving that! At last, I get the compliments I deserve!

  251. Have I just insufficiently covered the, oh, over three hundred responses here, or is it really the Trooth that I’m the only Shapeling in Las Vegas? Say it ain’t so.

    We have Torrid, lots of LB’s (including an outlet), and Ashley Stewart. We have some really incredible eats and some phenomenally bad ones. And, oh dear Maude, try not to be fat at the beautiful drunk people. I’ve never tried to get into one of the hot clubs around here because, well, first, it’s not really my thing anyway ($300 for a bottle of $30 vodka? Hhruhwhut?), and, second, I’m kind of scared that they’d turn me away at the door. Y’know, when they ADVERTISE on BILLBOARDS that you should “dress to impress” (next to the pictures of thin women who clearly didn’t bother to do the “dress” part), something just screams “only in < size 4 clothing.”

  252. Looks like I’m the first Sandgroper (Western Australian) to hit the map. I’m based in beautiful seaside suburb of Cottesloe, about four blocks back from the beach and a couple of blocks from the nearest railway station.

    The suburb itself isn’t too bad – there’s a distinct lack of fast food joints (which is a problem when you’re jonesing for pizza or something quick and greasy), and most of the little “fascinating boutiques” tend to think normal stops dead at about size 14 Australian, but there’s a specialist larger sizes clothing provider near the post office, and nobody really makes rude comments about your size or shape (although this is more an “Australia” thing than a Cottesloe-specific one). Plus it’s in easy train distance to Perth City and Fremantle (on the Fremantle train line), where there’s all sorts of shopping and restaurants and similar.

  253. *waves to Sarahau*

    I’m in Adelaide, South Australia, too! I’m not sure I can access the map, and I don’t dare try – Frappr tends to freeze my computer.

    I don’t know how fat-friendly or fat-hating it is here since I don’t get out of the house much these days, but when I was fifteen and an Australian size eighteen I stomped through West Lakes Mall (for Sarafau’s reference) in lycra bike shorts and no-one said a thing. I don’t get many fat-related comments in any arena except potential dating/relationships.

    I’m personally not too fussed about how fat-friendly it is, though I wager no more or less than any other Australian city.

  254. About 40 minutes west of Boston, in the Framingham area. Not too too far from NH (depending on what part!), anyway I like to drive so cover a lot of ground. Now that it’s getting on into summer will be spending lots of time at parents’ cabin in western MA, yay. Anyhow, typical clothing stores y’all have mentioned, the restaurants leave much to be desired here (I mean where I am, not around Boston). But I still love the area, both the suburbs and the city, especially around this time of year…I know this is sounding generic but I’m still half asleep. It doesn’t sound like there’s much representation from this area here (on SP), but I would be happy to get in touch with others.

  255. I seem to be the first one from Sweden to post here.

    I think this is neither more nor less fat-friendly than most other places. Most of the chain stores have special sections for sizes above 16 or 18; at least one offers all their clothes in ranges from 4 to 24.

    The media is yelling about OMG! TEH FAT! ITS KILLING US!!eleventyone!!! about once a week, but that’s also probably no worse than any other place.

  256. Coming in late, but I’m in a suburb of Columbus, OH–first one, perhaps? Anyway, I’m an inbetweenie, so I’m not all that versed on the plus shopping around here, but I do know that we have multiple Catherine’s, a Lane Bryant in most malls, Avenue, Ashley Stewart, Rainbow, Fashion Bug, and DEB. No Torrid, though.

    I think that Columbus is probably average on the fat-friendly scale…I haven’t received comments or harrassment in public or anything. On the other hand, all the trainers I’ve had have been completely unable to believe that weight loss is not my exercise goal.

    As for fun stuff, the Book Loft downtown is famous; another bookstore that distributes maps! Cup o’ Joe is a local coffeeshop chain with ridiculous desserts, including some vegan ones.

  257. I’m from Connecticut. We’ve got…. um, well Lane Bryant. And that’s about as fat-friendly as it goes, though we do have some killer restaurants and microbreweries nearby, and I live only a few miles from the beach, which is awesome.

  258. Wow, 322 comments so far!

    I’m another one from NYC here. (Live in Queens, work in Manhattan.) I find it pretty fat-friendly, although I agree with Sustantia Jones that mass transit isn’t always so great. (Especially those older subways with the benches that have seat-breaks in them, as if everyone’s butt is the same standard size.) For shopping, I actually like Macy’s plus-sized floor, which has a lot of options – I just wish it wasn’t an entirely different floor from the “regular sizes” so that I didn’t have to split up from my friends to shop. I also do relatively well at the Old Navy on West 34th – they tend to have everything – in the same place – up to a size 20 or so.

    I absolutely love this city and can’t imagine leaving it. :) And if anyone needs good restaurant recommendations for the Theater District, I’m your girl!

  259. Tricia- If you’re a fan of ribs then I would highly recommend going to Dreamlands for barbecue. I insist on going every time I visit my Birmingham relatives, I love it so much (as evidenced by my map picture).

    I seem to be the only one from Knoxville, TN on the map. I think it’s reasonably fat-friendly here. I don’t hear people openly commenting on the size of others, and people are usually pretty quick to compliment each other. However, I tend to avoid the UT undergrad students so I’m not sure what it’s like on campus. There aren’t loads of plus-size stores, but there are a decent amount (LBs, Torrid, a great Dillards Womens section, etc). If anyone comes through Knoxville I recommend hitting up Tomato Head for pizza or sandwiches and Nama for sushi. I also recommend going to Dollywood during their Christmas season; my Dolly Parton-obsessed sister and I had a blast.

  260. What a fantastic idea! I live in the Seattle area, and through this map, I just found a couple Shapelings who live fairly nearby.

    If you’re visiting Seattle, there is, of course, the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. I think most tourists go to those, and they’re well worth it. The waterfront area is fun (we’ve got a lot of waterfront), with fun shops (Ye Olde Curiosity Shop!) and restaurants and the Seattle Aquarium, and there are a couple good beach parks, like Alki and Golden Gardens.

    Oh, and I have to mention the Woodland Park Zoo (I used to work there), which is one of the most progressive in terms of creating naturalistic exhibits, and extensive in terms of size, and all-around amazing zoos in the country. If it’s not pouring rain, you should go!

    Seattle is built on a series of hills, and if you go to Queen Ann Hill, you can visit Kerry Park, which has probably the best view of Downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. And then you can go to one of the great restaurants nearby, like The 5 Spot or Olympia Pizza and Spaghetti House.

    Or, you can go to Capitol Hill, which is just east of the downtown, and go to Volunteer Park, which is at the top of the hill and contains the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Volunteer Park Conservatory (big ol’ beautiful greenhouse), and a water tower which gives you a 360 degree view of the area, though not as great a view of the downtown as Kerry Park. Capitol Hill is Seattle’s very gay district, and if you walk down Broadway, you’ll find many interesting shops (The Red Light has some amazing vintage clothes, though it’s hard to find anything plus sized) and restaurants and meet many interesting people. I got my tattoo in a parlor on Broadway. Oh, and Sun Liquor and Cafe Metropolitain are great bars there.

    Seattle has a great International District, with many amazing restaurants, and Uwajimaya, which is a Japanese supermarket, gift shop, book store, and food court. If you’re into Japanese gardens, there are a couple great ones – the Seattle Japanese Garden in the Arboretum, and Kubota Gardens, in Rainier Beach.

    Clearly I’m giving you a lot of options that involve viewing our natural beauty here – and how can I resist, in a city built on hills, with lakes and the Puget Sound, and mountains to the east and the west.

    But Seattle also has fantastic indoor places and landmarks (and how could it not, with how much rain we get here?).

    It’s true that there’s a coffee shop on every corner in Seattle. I’m being serious. Of course, we are the birthplace of megacorporations Starbucks and Tully’s and Seattle’s Best Coffee, but we have loads of rad independent coffee shops in the area.

    We also have a great music scene, with tons of venues ranging in size and many local bands. And we have some great theaters, like the Paramount and 5th Avenue and the Moore and Taproot.

    So yeah. Seattle is amazing and I love it and you should come visit and I’ll be your tour guide and we’ll have a fantastic time. ^.^ Yay Seattle!

  261. Hey killedbyllamas! I work in Columbus and live about an hour northeast. I’ve seen a trainer for almost 2 years and it took awhile for me to train him… he couldn’t believe I wouldn’t lose weight. Anyway, I played all his games (diet, workouts, bodybugg, etc) and let’s just say he now understands weight loss is not always possible, that it’s more important to be strong and kick ass than it is to be thin.

    Anyway, where I live, we have a pretty dumbass teen population, but otherwise, it’s pretty fat-friendly. I’ve had many teen idiots yell at me from their cars when I’m out walking the dogs. But the kids at the gym tend to be super polite. Guess it makes a difference when they’ve seen you in action and know you could hurt them.

  262. Late to the party, cause I haven’t been online all weekend…

    I’m from Denver (the actual Denver part), but I’ve been living in Tucson, AZ for almost three years. Sarah, I miss Watercourse more than anything–their tempeh chorizo… I’m drooling just thinking about it! The lack of Watercourse is somewhat mitigated, though, by the realization that Buffalo Exchange started in Arizona, and the Tucson branch could eat the Denver branch, like, three times.

    I’m a thrift store junkie and Tucson has a plethora of options to suit my needs (although I, and most of my friends, are inbetweenies–I’m not sure how well the thrift stores would work for a fatter chick). Other stuff to check out around here: 4th Avenue, the U of A Poetry Center, and Flam Chen, the pyrotechnic dance troupe. Also, my poetry slam at Bentley’s Coffeehouse.

    And Krista–yes–Bookman’s rules life!

  263. ralfalfa & Colleen, there’s a Lane Bryant, a Catherine’s, and a Dress Barn plus in Utica, so Syracuse has got to have something. I’m close enough that I ought to know, but I don’t get over there much. Carousel Mall has a Lane Bryant listed, but I don’t know how big the store is.

  264. I’m late to this but I am definitely down for a PDX voodoo doughnuts get together and I am extremely flexible, so whatever ya’ll decide is cool with me.

    Also, for the NH fatties – I grew up in NH and I found it so be extremely phobic – of fat, of race, of sexuality, etc. I didn’t waste any time getting the hell out. But maybe it’s changed. I grew up in the Lebanon area, in terms of plus sized shopping options, not too much. But whenever I go visit my family there I always go to their thrift stores, you can find rad kitschy things and they’re never totally picked through by hipsters.

  265. @car

    Yeah, the Lane Bryant at Carousel Mall is pretty nice, I’ve shopped there before. When I lived in Cortland it was only 30-40 minutes to get to Syracuse, but now that I’m in Ithaca, it’s 1hour+, and that’s a hike unless you’re planning on spending a full day shopping (which I hate doing). I miss living in Rochester, where there was a Lane Bryant at the mall 5 minutes from my apartment. :)

    I keep meaning to check out the mall in Elmira; I don’t suppose any Shapelings are from around there?

  266. Just added for Kalamazoo, Michigan (well, close enough). For clothes we’ve got a newly-expanded Lane Bryant in Portage, Catherines (slim pickings, but did find a decent swimsuit) and Fashion-Bug Plus with a decent sales rack. Wal-de-mort (the store that shall not be named) is occasionally good up to a size 32 as well, plus actually carries fabric and dress patterns.

    Decent number of places to go/things to see in the area, including bike/nature trails, a good downtown, a few new restaurants worth checking out (including a new tapas bar and some decent Indian) and Bell’s Brewery now featuring their summer Oberon brew on tap and indie bands every weekend. Yeah, it’s not Chicago, but it’s not quite podunk :-)

  267. No, fillyjonk, it’s because the internet is watching you.
    It uses its faithful minion, ceiling cat, to discern the location, actions, and favorite ice cream flavor of all who partake in the stream of information that is the web. :D

  268. Can I also just mention that I’m so incredibly impressed by the amazing variety of people that are proud to call themselves Shapelings? We are so hotz, including Maggie the Cat. :)

  269. Anchorage, Alaska!

    The largest state in the US and also home to some of the largest people.

    We’re pretty secluded up here so not only does shopping for larger clothes suck, but just getting food up here can be difficult. There are a lot of farms up here though so in summer, we go down to markets and get lots of tasty veggies. And reindeer sausages! Mmm-mmm!

  270. I’m the shapeling-come-lately…

    I live in Wise, VA… and it seems pretty fat-neutral here…

    nothing really special going on. Although, if there was a Shapelings shindig in Atlanta, I could totally drive there from here, no problemo.

  271. Oh Snap, (and anyone else who would like to know) the PDX meetup is going to be on Saturday, May 24 at 1 P.M. I will probably make an announcement about it on Fat Fu, but in the meantime you can E me for details.

  272. Hi Lindra from South Australia! It’s always good to see another local reference and another local reader:)
    I’m the only fat political person I know. (whose not some whippersnapper in uni…..not that I would know them!!)

  273. Pingback: Announcement: Shapelings PDX Meetup on May 24! « fat fu

  274. I am a late comer to the comments here but I thought I would put my two cents worth in anyway! I am in Victoria, Australia.

    *waves to the other Aussies*

    Between me and shapelywench (Victoria), sarahau and lindra (SA) rosiecakes (NSW) rachel and meg (WA) and choochoobear (TAS) we only need people in NT and QLD, oh and the ACT, to cover Australia! lol

  275. of course, i’m a little late to the party…

    i’m in oklahoma city. we have an entertainment area here called bricktown, full of restaurants, recreation, cultural things to do, and nearby we have the ford center, where we hope we’ll have an nba team here soon. our mayor challenged the citizens to lose weight. go to http://www.thiscityisgoingonadiet.com for info on that.

    and i’m not even from here originally! however, growing up in southern california, you get the message that “thin is in”. if by thin they mean damn near anorexic, then i’d rather rubenesque than skeletal, thanks.

  276. I live and work in the white working-class southeastern suburbs of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin. Who I am is more a product of Madison, but by some odd twist of fate, I ended up here and will likely remain for the forseeable future despite not really fitting in. The upside is that people here are not really terribly self-conscious about their physical appearance or how they present themsevles. (Yes, you correctly detected a bit of cultural-elitist snark there.)

  277. Also late to read this post, though I did put myself on the Frappr map several weeks ago.
    I was pleased to see somebody else from MS —
    hi, Emmy!

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