Friday Fluff: What the Hell Do You People Want from Me?

Alternative title: “Please Allow Me to Further Exploit Your Generosity for Free Market Research.”

So, you’ve already told us what your favorite posts are. (Thank you! And we’ll be reposting them soon.) Now, if you would be so kind, please tell us what we can do make Shapely Prose more interesting/fun/awesome for you. (Other than, you know, posting more often and more substantively. We’re working on it.)

For the record, here are some things we won’t do, no matter how nicely you ask:

  • Stop swearing so goddamned much
  • Allow diet talk
  • Quit being bitchy to commenters we don’t like
  • Tone down the feminism

Beyond that, though, we’re pretty open to suggestions. Some thoughts we’ve had already include:

  • Trying to make it easier for Shapelings to find each other and meet up in person. (Anyone have ideas for the best way to go about this?)
  • Vlogging (which would only be me, for obvious reasons, unless FJ and SM did it with bags over their heads) and/or Podcasts (which might only be me, if FJ and SM are worried about their voices being recognized).
  • Soliciting more guest posts, especially from folks who are underrepresented around here. (If you’re one of those folks and would like to guest blog, please shoot me an e-mail.)
  • This would be a looooong-term project and might ultimately be deemed too much of a PITA, but it’s a thought: Trying to put together a community blog like Feministing‘s.
  • Writing more about topics beyond fat/body image/HAES, etc.
  • Skype group chats

What do y’all think of those ideas, and what other ideas you have for making this place a better hangout? I can’t guarantee that we’ll implement all — or, frankly, any — of the new ideas, but we’d definitely love to hear your thoughts.

104 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: What the Hell Do You People Want from Me?”

  1. I’d like an associated message board, so it’s easier to communicate. I usually don’t read comments because it’s too hard to follow the multiple threads of conversation. And there are issues that I would like to see discussed that are not substantial enough for an entire blog post. Message boards would work better for those sorts of things.

  2. Tone down the feminism

    Who would request this?? I come here for the FA and stay for the feminism! I would request even MOAR feminism!!!!!!

    Well, you know, not that there’s not enough or anything. I just wanted to say I <3 the feminism, is all. :D

    Also, this : Trying to make it easier for Shapelings to find each other and meet up in person.
    would make my lifetime. However, if I had an idea about how to make this so, I would give you one. All I know is that if I can’t find a way to put together my Fat Movie Club, then I can’t help there, either. Bah.

  3. I second the message board idea.
    I would also like to see the BMI project continue to be expanded, or any kind of place where we could post photos. I know that takes up a lot of space, but nothing makes me feel better on a bad day than to see happy women of all shapes and sizes just being. I must have looked through the BMI project on flickr 100 times now.
    I think it would be nice to have film/tv reviews through a FA/feminist standpoint too.
    Other than that, don’t change anything too much because this is my favorite blog ever. To be colloquial, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    (Also, please don’t do ANYTHING to make this place more like feministing. Apologies to Jessica and crew, I used to be a big fan, but I can’t even read that site anymore, much less the comments.)

  4. Oh, and thirded on the message board idea. I can’t think of a good FA message board…I used to post at the Gabcafe at Fat!So? but I haven’t it a long long time. I think it had stopped being active or something.

  5. Surely there is some sort of fancy clever web 2.0 thing that will work as an auxillary Shapeling finder assistance provider?

    Yeah, I was sort of hoping someone could tell me what that was. Meetup.com, maybe?

    And great idea about the photos, Carleigh. I think I might have even promised to set that up a while back and then, um, didn’t. Eep. I’m going to be doing a lot of blushing on this thread, I think.

  6. Ew, message boards.

    I want you to be all things to all people, to please everyone, to encompass every point of view in every post, to be entirely all-inclusive of every other way somebody thinks the world has wronged them, either accurately or inaccurately, and I would like you to do so with such charm and grace that Miss Manners would give up and go home, so she wouldn’t struggle in a vain and pointless attempt to keep up.

  7. Yeah, I was sort of hoping someone could tell me what that was. Meetup.com, maybe?

    Surely there is someone in your abode whose profession requires him to be on the cutting edge of internet technology. One of them little dogs, maybe.

  8. I could totally help moderate!!! I don’t exactly have experience, but I am bitchy. And also evil.

    But, you have to realize, my primary motivation is probably so that I could say that I moderate a message board for the famous Kate Harding.

    I’m such a starfucker. XD

  9. I would totally do vlogging with a bag over my head! But that might undermine the “accepting yourself” message?

    Maybe we could get one of those voice distorters like my brother had in his 80s punk band!

  10. I know I haven’t been around a whole helluva lot lately, but a message board would kick ten kinds of ass and I’d be happy to help with moderating…I’ve been around a loooot of boards and have observed Evil Bitch mod powers being used both well and crappily, so I think I’ve picked up some useful tips! And I’m also just a flaming bitch on the internets, period.

  11. A message board would be very festive. I think it’d be nice to have a secondary place to go to to get into further discussion about topics brought up, as well as an off-topic yap-about-whatever kind of forum, as well as a place to organize meet-ups. I’m a message board nerd, used to run my own, used to mod another, so I’ve had the throbbing-vein-in-the-forehead-fun of rassling with persnickety posters and whatnot. So I’d be down with helping out modding the imaginary-at-present SP message board.

    I’d also enjoy more guest posts.

  12. Honestly, I’d just like to see you all post more regularly. I don’t even ask that you tailor them to my specific interests :). All the other stuff sounds like fun, but I don’t know how much I’d actually use it due to time issues (rather than lack of interest).

  13. I would like to see a gallery of offenders and supporters. I want to be able to support those companies that support females of all sizes and I want to be able to avoid those companies that help to perpetuate stereotypes and self hatred. If we had a section that we could nominate companies, then there would be more eyes on the sky so to speak.

    For example the fact that the company that owns Dove beauty products and their line of accept yourself advertising is also the company that advertises skin bleaching in India with a tag line somewhere along the lines of bleach your skin or you will not fit in. So I don’t buy Dove anymore, I don’t want to have a part in supporting any company that survives off of making people hate themselves. But I can’t be everywhere at once, and I can’t know all corporate affiliations.

  14. A message board with great moderators would be awesome, and that could be used to organize area meet-ups too if we had trouble coming up with something better. Commenting is fun, but I’d really like getting to know everyone better! It could be like a kick-ass FA version of those horrible weight watcher’s boards, lol.

    I’d also love to see like a “resources” page with books, etc. Whenever I’ve gone looking for HAES stuff I’ve had to wade through a million websites to find what I’m looking for, so having like a ‘top ten’ or something would be great. And i second the movies/book reviews from an FA perspective. That might be a cool thing to get commentators involved in, too.

  15. This seems like a good time to say how much SP rocks. I know others say this all the time but I want to say so too! I just moved across the US and I’m so lonely and overwhelmed. SP and other blogs are the only continuity I have in terms of HAES stuff—friends and other support systems are far away. Which makes me realize anew how precious SP is as a resource. All that said, I love the idea of being able to meet up in person.

    I also love posts about how fat/body image/HAES intersect with other kinds of oppression/power/privilege. As a white person, I totally dig the white privilege posts.

  16. Honestly, I’d like to see much less “look at the pretty clothing for fat people that is really expensive!” stuff. I don’t really expect that to happen, but if you really want to know what I think, that’s it. I know a lot of women here who have the money to afford that like them. But I hate those posts. It’s all great to have a place that’s supposed to support more positive feelings in regards to body size, but it doesn’t help as much when it comes with a side of negative feelings in regards to socio-economic class. *shrugs*

    If you’d want, I’d be willing to moderate a discussion board thing. I do have some experience with moderating online feminist discussion forums. And if you all don’t want me I understand that :)

  17. I would love a message board.

    And, this might be a sore subject, but I would like to see perspectives from people across different weight categories. Most HAES stuff is universal, but when talking about things like discrimination and bias, that is different when you are talking about different weights.

    Like, how dating and exercise and wandering the world is percieved differently with different people, and how someone that is 300 pounds has different issues accepting HAES than someone who is smaller or larger.

  18. I’d like to see much less “look at the pretty clothing for fat people that is really expensive!” stuff.

    Much less? I count like 20 of these in the history of the blog, and that’s counting things like tights reviews. I mean, fair enough, but “much less” implies we’re doing it more than once every couple of months on average.

    And, this might be a sore subject, but I would like to see perspectives from people across different weight categories.

    I totally agree with this, and it’s one of the things SM and I discussed when we were talking about this exact subject. Of course, right now you could just go to another blog — The Rotund, for example. The fatosphere as a whole has a good cross-section. But ITA that it would be great to have more guest posts here from people at different size points. I would also like to get some guest posts, even regular guest spots, from people who have lived experience with class, disability, and race. We’re all middle-class able-bodied white girls, and all we can do on our own is muddle through and fuck up. I want a fat man guest poster too, not just that old post about Brian being “differently straight” but a post about men’s fat experience.

    Oh, and I second MOAR FEMINISM.

  19. I just want to say that I love this place. Actually the cussing and the feminism are half of what I come here for, so please *don’t* stop! The things you mention all sound like fun but I know you-all have a lot going on so whatever you manage is fine by me.

  20. AmandaLP, I think that would have to fall under guest bloggers. *grin* Since I don’t think you’re asking them to gain weight.

    I’ll also pimp my blog, TheRotund.com, to you. I spend a lot of time talking about HAES, Intuitive Eating, and being 300+ pounds. You should also check out Lesley’s posts at Fatshionista.com for another 300+ pound perspective.

  21. Fillyjonk, I know the right guy and have been trying to get him to post for AGES and AGES for the Rotund. Not to steal your thunder, but this is definitely spurring me to go bug him about it again.

  22. If I might chime in on the fashion and expensive idea, I think one of the issues with that is what is seen as expensive varies a lot depending on one’s individual financial circumstances. For example, if you ask a number of folks where jeans become “expensive”, you might get answers of $100, $50, and $25. And they’re all right because there isn’t a universal answer.

    But I wonder if this might not be an idea for a guest post or three about size and personal economics and the difficulties they present for each other.

    (Sorry if this derails the conversation, I just thought it might be more fodder for future posts.)

  23. Hello. I’ve been lurking for a few weeks, so I thought I’d say something where I could.

    I would definitely love a podcast because I listen to around 10 of them already.

    I also have a question. Is there a website or a post about guidelines to somewhat prevent diabetes that doesn’t factor in fat?

    My grandma and my mom both have Type 2 diabetes. They have many other health problems too and are both fat (I love using this word now btw. It’s more humorous now that I’m learning to accept myself rather than seeing the word as an insult). After reading various posts here, I’m wise to the whole fat discrimination in the health field, so I’m wondering if there were guidelines, as a fat woman, I could follow to help in NOT getting diabetes. How much do hereditary factors predict diabetes anyway?

    Thanks for being a great help for my self-esteem and body acceptance!

  24. But I wonder if this might not be an idea for a guest post or three about size and personal economics and the difficulties they present for each other.

    That’s a really good idea.

  25. About this idea:

    Writing more about topics beyond fat/body image/HAES, etc.

    I would say, please don’t do that. Stay with fatpol, HAES, body image, and the intersectional oppressions interacting with them.

    The world is full of millions of shiny subjects, many of them crucial and pressing; but while I think you three would write sparklingly about tons of them, I feel it would dilute Shapely Prose. Having feminist fatpol as your CORE and SOUL is what makes SP phenomenal and fabulously subversive.

    Just my two emphatic cents.

  26. I would toooootally love to moderate a board.
    As some know, I am an work permit-less immigrant in Canada right now, so I spend much of my time DOING NOTHING.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a blog or journal or anything to provide as a resume, but I am a nasty, hairy-legged, humorless, chunky feminist bitch.

  27. I worry that if you have a message board or forum then the comments will be shorter and less interesting. I love the community of the comments.

    I just want regular posting again of the quality you have had before. :)

  28. More cussing and feminism!

    And since it’s almost Quittin’ Time here in San Francisco, I could really go for some cussing, some feminism and a pitcher of mojitos.

  29. I absolutely second rebecca. I would love to read more from you guys on other topics in other places, but I would really, really, really like SP to remain fat focused.

  30. Can we have performances by Piggy Moo? Or maybe a webcam Dance Dance Party Party for those of us in the sticks…

  31. I would love guest posts from a wide variety of people. I would be particularly interested in posts from people who identify as:

    *very fat
    *less feminine women – perhaps someone who DOESN’T care about fashion or want to spend more than the absolutely minimum of time thinking about clothing, but still, you know, has to find clothes that fit & are appropriate for work.

    and I’d love to see posts from people from a variety of cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

    I also agree w/ rebecca that I don’t really want to see posts about topics not related to FA, body acceptance, HAES, body image, fat politics/experiences, and anything that intersects with those topics. sorta related is fine, but I can go elsewhere for totally unrelated articles, though links to awesome non-FA articles are always welcome.

  32. Can we have performances by Piggy Moo? Or maybe a webcam Dance Dance Party Party for those of us in the sticks…

    Yes! Want!

  33. Much less? I count like 20 of these in the history of the blog, and that’s counting things like tights reviews. I mean, fair enough, but “much less” implies we’re doing it more than once every couple of months on average.

    I guess that’s a matter of perspective. The number of posts regarding super-expensive clothing feels like it happens a lot more to me than it does to you. But wouldn’t you expect that? I find them annoying (annoying meaning “feeling like fat acceptance is only meant for the middle class+ fat people” and “reminds me of the classism I deal with everyday”) , whereas that doesn’t seem to be your reaction to them. It makes sense to me that this would affect how we see the number and frequency of these posts.

    I think one of the issues with that is what is seen as expensive varies a lot depending on one’s individual financial circumstances.

    This is very true. Affordable clothing is different for different people. What many people consider affordable and great deals is way too fucking expensive for me. And at the same time, I know a lot of people who couldn’t possibly afford to spend what I have on clothing. I think it is really important to remember that our idea of affordable clothing prices is going to be way outside of someone else’s budget. (I doubt any person posting here is truly the poorest person in the world, so this probably applies to everyone here.)

  34. and I hope that doesn’t sound overly rude or mean, because that’s not the way I meant it and tone doesn’t carry well in writing.

  35. Relatively new lurker, here, but I’d like to say that I really enjoy reading this blog. :)

    I may be middle class white bread these days, but I grew up dirt poor and am not particularly able-bodied, though I fake it well, for those different perspectives discussed. ^_^

    I second (third, whatever) moar feminism and cussin’. It makes me smile.

  36. Hello. I would like to see a document, perhaps a FAQ, that is the kind of thing you can forward to your thinner friends who don’t understand HAES and what it’s about. I think sending people just straight to the website requires too much reading on their part, and they’re liable to stop out of laziness before fully understanding what the deal is, but a short, personal essay about the prejudice in society against the overweight and pointing out the hypocritical messages that society sends would be invaluable.

  37. Um, two things which are kind of related.

    1) I would luv some way to meet people in real life.

    2) I would like to propose a community supported Kate Harding Shapely Prose US tour. In my imagination, it’s completely punk rock style, with Ms. Harding riding around the country in a van, sleeping in people’s spare rooms, speaking at community centers, women’s colleges, and anarchist collectives, and it would be chock full of both foul language and feminism.

  38. Like Amanda, I would love to see more people who are a size 3X + post here and guest blog. I fall into this category. I know we’ve got The Rotund, Fatshionista, Big Fat Delicious, and Living 400 lbs. representing women like me, but we need more voices.

    Although 95% of us here identify ourselves as fat, being fat at a size 14/16/18/20 is a lot different than being fat at a size 24/26/28/30/32, etc, especially when it comes to clothes buying and dealing with size prejudice in general.

  39. Delurking to say that I agree with the people who want to see the focus here stay on fat/HAES/body image stuff etc – I mean, I enjoy pretty much anything you write, but I agree that moving away from those topics would dilute the core identity of the blog. I have LOTS of places to go to read about, well, everything, but not so many places to get what Shapely Prose does.

    That says, if it’s driving you nuts/feels constraining, I’d rather see you post about other stuff than not post!

  40. I agree with the FAQ and expanding the BMI project. Along with that, maybe some…factual stuff, or frequently updated links to factual stuff, with which to debate fat-haters at our fingertips. I mean, the BMI project is a fantastic, wonderful visual. I love sending people here to see it. But it would be even more powerful accompanied by an article about the origins of BMI and how wonky it is, for instance.

    I also agree with rebecca about sticking to your core message here. I don’t want the “fat issue” to become an afterthought, even if it means fewer posts.

  41. I would LOVE to figure out a way for people to meet up! The support I get on SP is amazing and I think it would be great to meet up if people wanted to.

    I also love the idea of skype groups, for the same reason above.

    Even if nothing changed, SP, the bloggers, and commenters would still make a daily difference in my life.

  42. When I’m not completely swamped (I’m moving across the country, oh, MONDAY), I’d love to guest-post about my experience in coming to FA, feminism, and realizing that I’m genderqueer all in the same few months after becoming a parent.

    Or maybe just talk about dealing with trying to shop for many-gendered clothes for fat people.

    I dunno yet, I’m a little exhausted from all the packing. *_*

    In other news: I love, love, love this site, I would love to meet other Shapelings, and yes MOAR to talking about feminism and intersectionality and other like goodnesses.

  43. AR, I think fillyjonk’s point is that, if you look at the actual number of posts and find the percentage of clothing posts to other posts, in effect your request seems to be that they not post about it at all.

    I know that every post really stands out for you – it’s always like that with stuff that makes us feel like crap, yeah? But I guess they would be sort of stuck for a solution in this case – unless the solution is to talk about clothes at a wider variety of price points, which is great in theory but I don’t know if they want to spend that much time talking about fashion, you know?

    Bree, I hear you on the sizes thing…. I just wonder if expecting them to handle the issues that larger fat people face on frequent enough basis for it to be satisfying and meaningful is a little like asking them to be all blogs to all people. I do agree that we need more larger voices, absolutely!

  44. MOAR swearing and feminism!!!

    I’d also be willing to help moderate on a message board. I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer and have been known to squash bugly trolls efficiently both in the Manolosphere and the wild, wooly world of online fandom.

    I also love, love, LOVE the idea of guest posts from folks living at different sizes, from different ethnicities and cultures, with disabilities, etc. I wish I could volunteer to help on that, but I’m an able-bodied, white-bread girl from the middle class, myself.

    Andy’s topics sound interesting to me. I’d love to read them.

    Oh, and MOAR baby-flavored donuts, dammit!

  45. Oh man, I have SO been waiting for this threat to request that the page be formatted in adjustable-width instead of fixed-width. The majority of poor people live ten years behind cutting-edge technology, which means most of us have standard aspect ratio 17-inch monitors still, not those snazzy landscape monitors you tech-savvy humans use. To read the page I have to scroll left and right as well as up and down, and it’s a pain in the ass!

    I totally volunteer to moderate any message board y’all wanted to put up, to Shapley Bitch Standards, I would even learn the technology required to do so. Just tell me when and where.

  46. I agree with keeping a focus on fat issues and minimizing off-topics posts. I’d also love to have in person get-togethers and more posts from kate. Especially rants!

    Mostly, I’d really really like some posts from other women of color. I love this blog, but it’s really hard not to see myself represented on here.

    And movie/pop culture commentary would be cool.

  47. I love the idea of message boards. I love message boards. I would happily participate. I also like the idea of getting guest bloggers from other perspectives.

    One thing I wouldn’t like is the other topics. I like the Friday Fluffs, because that’s usually just a nice time to be silly or whatever. But I do recognise that this is your blog and you can write about whatever you want, and if I don’t like a certain topic, I have the ability to skip it. But I came here for the FA and intuitive eating and HAES, and that really opened my eyes. Almost a year into it, I still struggle with a lot of those issues, and reading new articles addressing those things, or re-reading old articles help.

    I would also like to see a “So You Think Fat is Unhealthy” link list. I’m not suggesting you change your original essay at all, because it’s brilliant, but putting all of those links into one nice list and then updating it with new information as it comes up.

  48. Following up on FJ’s idea, …it would be great to have more guest posts here from people at different size points…, here’s my idea that would never work in real life. It would be great if somehow there was a topic, say dating or clothes shopping or discrimination, and we could get 3 or 4 different people of 3 or 4 different sizes to write from their perspectives. Someone of “average size” or just above, a true inbetweenie, someone size 16/18/20, someone 22-32, someone over… you know, something easy and practical like that. :-)

    I also vote for a fuckload more cursing and slapping down of trolls. And if you EVER abandon feminism (which, I know, would be like cutting of your own skin), I will never forgive any of you.

  49. Lilah, why wouldn’t it work? I’m sure there are plenty of folks who would volunteer for any particular topic, give them a word count, a general direction, and a deadline, and let ’em loose! Given the commenters here it seems there are a lot of people who like to write :)

  50. I like Lilah’s idea! I’d totally volunteer to run my mouth. I’d also love more reviews of various things, but that’s probably because I’m a book reviewer at heart . . .

    Also, I totally support the MOAR FEMINISM AND CUSSING meme.

  51. On the BMI project, I think it might be useful to try to encourage people to participate who aren’t white & apparently able-bodied/etc. A greater diversity of humans would be terrific.

  52. My two cents are for more guest bloggers, and not straying too far from FA, HAES, etc. Like others have said, I come here to read kick-ass entries about those topics – I can go other places to read about other stuff.

    I would also like to second what Moonlight0806 said:

    I would like to see a gallery of offenders and supporters. I want to be able to support those companies that support females of all sizes and I want to be able to avoid those companies that help to perpetuate stereotypes and self hatred. If we had a section that we could nominate companies, then there would be more eyes on the sky so to speak.

  53. MOAR use of the word MOAR!

    Lauredhel, I did specifically ask for more people of color to contribute to the BMI project, which helped more than you might realize — it was ludicrously white before I asked, and now it’s just… ridiculously white. Asking for people with visible disabilities to contribute is a great idea (there are definitely people with invisible disabilities in there already)… problem is, I’ve closed submissions for the time being. This thread is making me think I should probably open them again.

  54. I want the message board, too! And I will volunteer to mod, because I am such a big old meanie, it’s like woah.

    I also have to admit how much I love the “douchehoundz” posts. I mean, so totally love laughing at the haters, and the way you smart funny people respond to them. (Not just the bloggers, either, all the Shapelings.) So, if it wouldn’t harm anyone’s mental health too much, I’d love to see more tearing down of idiots.

  55. I also like moonlight’s suggestion about the gallery of offenders and supporters. We could blacklist a whole bunch of fat-haters like McCarthy hunting communists. Fun! I’d also be interested in hearing from some more guest bloggers – maybe on the lines of self-acceptance without having to buy in to the whole fashion thing, even fat-shion. I think the fashion stuff is fun, and it’s an issue we deal with, but I guess I’d like some help making me feel better about myself even during those times when the clothes are just not looking good or the money is not available. Bring back hairy-legged feminism!

  56. Also it would be cool if there were some kind of directory of fat-friendly stores, gyms, drs, etc. for different cities or geographical areas

  57. I would love to read some posts about Size Acceptance as it relates to height – particularly from a short person’s perspective, and particularly *particularly* from a short male perspective.

    Other than that, I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of people saying ‘More of the same, please!’, ’cause we already enjoy SP just the way it is.

  58. I have to chime into the MOAR PLZ chorus, esp. more posts… ;-)

    Re: Message board: I’m not too sure if I’d sign up for a message board; I’d probably forget to use it… *blushes* As mentioned above, you’d need very good and also sensitive mods to keep everything under control. With sensitive, I mean mods that don’t always have their finger 1 cm above the panic (i. e. ban) button, but are willing to educate newbies about FA and correct the n00bs’ mistakes without assuming they are automatically concern trolls.

    The reason I’m elaborating on this is that from the comments above I get the feeling that some people are more than ready to pounce on anything trollesque. Even though I’m all for BURN TEH TROLLZ, I fear that it could soon turn into a witch hunt and that would make SP less enjoyable for me (too much negative energy). To use Marymette’s example: I wouldn’t want a second McCarthy era to break out.
    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a wilting flower or Mary Sunshine who doesn’t want conflict, but I feel that a blacklist isn’t a good thing. A hall of shame, on the other hand (like on heartless-bitches.com) with the douchehound of the day/week, isn’t such a bad idea.

    I also second the directory idea, but on an international basis, since there are a few Shapelings (including myself) who are from overseas.

    Lilah, I love the mini carnival idea! I’d especially love to hear about experiences of Shapelings from countries outside the US. Sure, there are a few FA blogs from other countries, but I’d like to have a topic (e. g. clothes shopping) and have people from various countries write about difficulties or advantages. Same goes for public transportation, acceptance, image of fat in the media, doctors appointments, whatever.

    Last, but not least, I’m also against opening Shapely Prose for other topics that have nothing to do with fat acceptance. While it is interesting to read about other topics (e.g. Sweet Machine’s post on disability and language), my main interest here is FA/HAES.

  59. I love the idea of different perspectives on a topic – the ‘carnival’.

    I’d really like to hear your views on eating disorders, Overeaters Anonymous, recovery from compulsive overeating.

    Other than that, more of the ‘more of the same’. Thank you.

  60. What about a Ning site? You can set up a social network for free, it might be less annoying than trying to do the community thing Feministing did (since I’m sure you saw the bazillions of unforeseen problems they encountered – which isn’t a jab at them, just pointing out that technology is a beeotch).

    And please, never fucking tone down the swearing. :)

    And I like the increase in guest posts idea. I’ve been trying to come up with something to send in because, well, I’m a but of a whore for seeing my name in print (journalism being a good choice of major, then).

  61. I did think of something else. It would be cool if there were a way for us to look at all the comments a person has made.

    I don’t even know if that’s technologically possible without a major site overhaul, but it would be cool. Sometimes I want to find a specific comment of mine to see if anyone has replied and I can’t remember precisely which post it was in.

  62. The message board idea is awesome. I have no fat friends–I live in a part of L.A. where fat people are practically mythical, like unicorns–and I so often find myself thinking, “I wonder if other fat people go through x,” or “I wonder what other fat people think about x.” It would be so cool to be able to connect with other Shapelings like that.

    I also agree that I come here specifically for FA posts, which are always brilliant and wonderful and I’d love it if there were more. I tend to skip over the non-FA-related posts most of the time.

    I’d also be thrilled if there were a resurrection of the BMI Project. I missed it last time…I wanna submit my photo!

    But really, even if you guys starting writing about mechanics in pig latin, I’d stick around. You’re that awesome.

  63. MOAR practical advice on being fat and living with a chronic condition (you pick).
    I like the mini-carnival idea.

    I’ll be honest and say that I use SP as a portal to the fatosphere feed, as much as there are other bloggers that I love out there.

    I definitely feel older, fatter, more “weighed down” in many regards than the main bloggers here, so topics that others might see as “downers” are actually ones I love most.

    Intersectionality is covered well in other places but I would love to see more of it here (not saying there hasn’t been enough, just that I want MOAR).

    Someday, when I am a person of greater influence than I am today, I will be proud to say that I was part of the S.P. community in the late 00s. Right now, I’m just fortunate to have small slices of spare time I can spend here.

  64. First let me say that I totally love SP, and I wouldn’t stay here if not for the feminism and total freedom to say fuck if I want to.

    I too would like to see more FAT as in guest posts from the fattest of us. I often feel a bit of disconnect from a lot of the fat blogs as I am so much fatter than most of you.

  65. Hello. I would like to see a document, perhaps a FAQ, that is the kind of thing you can forward to your thinner friends who don’t understand HAES and what it’s about. I think sending people just straight to the website requires too much reading on their part, and they’re liable to stop out of laziness before fully understanding what the deal is, but a short, personal essay about the prejudice in society against the overweight and pointing out the hypocritical messages that society sends would be invaluable.

    I almost always send these people to the ‘don’t you realize fat is unhealthy?’ tab at the top of the SP page.

    Just because I’m feeling left out, does anybody else want the page to go to an adjustable-width format? Or am I so hopelessly behind the times that you guys are all just laughing at me behind your landscape-style monitors?

    Love you anyway,


  66. Coming in late to the thread (still don’t have internet in my new place, because some giant corporations are really stupid fucks and eventually I get tired of yelling into my phone) but I will also put up a giant hand in volunteering to admin/moderate a message board, seeing as I’ve done so on various other message boards in the past, and I take out the crazy trash on my facebook group all the time anyway.

  67. @AR way upthread: I am so not a fashionista, but the fashion posts are what brought me to Kate’s writing a long time ago. I can understand that some people don’t get into reading about buying stuff they can’t afford (or stuff they wouldn’t buy even if they could afford it), but damn! This board has been such an invaluable resource for me for clothing — even just exposing me to new ideas for wardrobe, as I don’t really take the time to sit around and think about it on my own. I think for a lot of people, some of their first exposure to size discrimination happens in the dressing room (guys too — I have a lot of male friends who were traumatized by having to shop in the “Husky” section as kids) and also in gym class, which is why I loved Fillyjonk’s post on “What do you do for exercise” (and the AWESOME thread that that generated) and Kate’s reports on trying new activities. So I see those threads as uber-positive and stereotype busters. Yes, I know that people have economic and physical limitations, and may not dig those topics, but I’ve learned a lot from them and hope they can continue once in a while.

  68. Firstly, as a long-time lurker and exceptionally infrequent poster, thanks for a great site. I wouldn’t change too much, really. I particularly like the mix of levity and geunine anger.

    With regard to guest-posting, it would be nice to get a more international perspective on occasion. I realise this is an American site, and that’s fine, but sometimes it’s a little hard to connect what I read to the world around me. Particularly with regards to issues of class and race (what’s self-explanatory on one continent can seem pretty clueless to a person elsewhere!)

    This might work particularly well when reporting dopey stories from around the world – Japanese government says X, Australian government plans Y – as I’ve read these in the past and wondered what the local perspective was.

    Regarding clothes – I can afford to spend money on them, but I don’t find lists of shops etc very interesting. I much prefer the kind of ‘problem-solving posts’ – where to find a large strapless bra/how to find boots with big calves/can fat people where horizontal stripes – which I think tend to generate a wider range of budgetary responses anyway.

    I doubt I’d use a message board – I prefer centralised discussion like this.

  69. I was going to weigh in and say that I know you folks are super super crazy busy, but that I’ve been anxiously awaiting the FAQ since it was first mentioned, if not earlier. It would be great to have another place to send people who just spout bingo points all day (with more up-to-date data than the also awesome “Don’t You Realize” post).

    And then I thought, I wonder if there’s a way to do that communally, so that it didn’t just rest on these three awesome but busy people? People could work together to find links to the relevant studies and you folks wouldn’t have to organize it all yourselves.

    And then I thought, the trolls would be too hard to moderate on a wiki. And maybe this already exists and I forgot. And then I decided to just post this comment.

  70. A while back, i set up a FA101 blog, which i hoped to set up as a FA FAQ type thing. I haven’t had time to write more recently, but if anyone’s interested in contributing or just giving feedback, there’s a few articles already up.

    I also set up some message boards a while back; they were mostly for FA bloggers, but a set of forums for everyone interested in FA would be nifty.

    For the past three weeks, i’ve been hosting an FA Chat room on stickam.com, on saturday afternoons. It’s been fairly sparse; maybe Skype would be better/easier? I’ve never used their software, so i’m not really familiar with the sort of feature set they might have.

  71. 1. Please DON’T stop swearing so goddamned much. It makes me feel like a drunken sailor.

    2. Please DON’T allow diet talk.

    3. Please DON’T quit being bitchy to nasty commenters & trolls.

    4. Please DON’T tone down the feminism. I think that feminism and FA are mutually reinforcing and make me happy.

    5. I think the idea of a message board or a MEET-UP thing.

    6. Please DO think about the caravan/tour. I bet you could fund it largely with donations from Shapelings and donations at events as you tour. (Yes, I promise to donate and to offer my place to Kate, FJ & SM if you make it my way).

    I like the variety of topics posted here.

  72. I think something like “a day in the life…” posts would be cool. Like, days where you just pay really close attention to small or huge things in life that would make women hate their bodies (though, sadly, that’s not even necessary as It jumps out at you–you don’t have to go looking for It) and make a small commentary on them and how they make you feel, and ask people in the comments to offer advice about how they overcame (insert certain type of body-hate creation here) and how they’ve come to view it.

    Guest posts from “skinny” girls showing how they don’t have it all that great–how they are also so self-conscious about their bodies that just LIVING can sometimes become crippling. Just something to show people who’re two seconds from a guilt!diet that magically becoming ~*skinny*~ isn’t going to make you instantly love yourself or be loved.

    Reviews about body acceptance books, etc. Because I know sometimes I really want to have books (I horde books, haha) that are about fat acceptance. But the thing is, most books that market themselves as fat acceptance just turn out to be about diets and exercise (and how just having the will power will “CURE YOU OF YOUR FAT!!1!) and “wearing shirts that don’t show your arms.” And that’s depressing and actually makes me feel worse about myself rather than better. So book/movie/magazine/etc. reviews would be a nice touch; rating books on a scale of how fat-accepting they REALLY are, so we know which ones to avoid and which would be interesting to pick up.

    Granted, you may not have enough time for all that. :) But I just thought I’d throw those out there so you can think about them.

  73. Well, okay, so I’ve been having too much of that-there stereotypical laziness to keep up fully with what’s been going on here the past few days. And I wanted to have this super-intelligent response to this post and all the comments, because so much of it is making me squee with the awesomeness of the ideas.

    But because I’m tired as all blamed get-out, I’m just going to say: Oh please some way to meet fellow Shapelings, because I’ve felt so very alone of late and I know several of you lovely people are close to me. Maybe even more than I think.

    Maybe more later. If I can wake up.

  74. On a semi-selfish note, I’d appreciate some quick ‘n dirty stats and resources to get information in sound-bite type sizes.

    This week I have to discuss Hesse-Biber’s _The Cult of Thinness_ in Women’s Studies, and two weeks from now I have to write and co-present a report on eating disorders in Abnormal Psych. I don’t really anticipate any trouble in the Hesse-Biber discussion, but the AbPsy presentation is going to be trickier (especially since our text discusses obesity in the eating disorder chapter). I won’t be able to give a decent account of FA, but it would be great to have some statistics or thoughts to share that might make an impact on my classmates.

  75. Chiming into say that I also
    -> enjoy douchehound smackdown (so festive!),
    ->like the fashion stuff even though I totally can’t afford it (because now I have fashion dreams for someday my rich will come),
    -> also really enjoy pop-culture discussions that have happened – ie: WW ads, Mamma Mia, etc.

    Plus, Aunt Fattie.

    With Douchehound, Aunt Fattie, and possibly pop-culture spies submitting for Critiquing the World, topics could come to you – I don’t know how hard it is to generate topics for y’all, but that might help.

    Also plus, I have no idea what to do with non-FA people anymore. This has come up a lot here already, but seriously – more and more I feel like I’m living in Crazytown. Today, when buying Queen Size fishnet stockings and dealing with the salesgirl’s obvious discomfort at my cheerful announcement of my weight (she asked), I thought “wow, what a provincial attitude” before remembering that actually, that’s the prevailing attitude pretty much everywhere in my city, and she’s not bucking the norm, here, I am.
    I should have whispered and blushed. Heh.

  76. I love the board idea!

    Um, something I don’t think I’ve seen yet – I’ve loved the series on rating exercises for they’re HAES friendliness. I’d love to see more! I’d also like to read more about exercising (I really miss Fat Girl on a Bike!) and related discussions on how to find functional work out clothes and shoes.

    For instance, this weekend I totally had an amazing experience at Bikini Village in Barrie, where the manager took me in hand to show me all the varieties of plus sized suits and how to best accommodate my rack of doom in three different ways! I’ve never had such a positive experience before with that branch of shopping. And when I’m ready (i.e. can afford it) I’m going back there to buy it from her if possible.

  77. I love y’all as you are so much that I am leery of a message board skimming off too much of the commenting energy. But I am wholly outvoted, I see, which is okay too.

    I lovelovelove Lilah’s mini-carnival idea. And guest bloggers in general are always welcome to talk about things that might not be on the radar for the three of you.

    For example, now that I’m pregnant I notice the absolute ubiquity with which ‘you should put on some weight for the health of the baby’ is followed by ‘this is not a licence to eat for two/go insane with greed/mainline baby flavoured doughnuts’ in an almost panicked tone – as if, without that warning, the removal of the standard stigma against weight gain will lead to pregnant women lolling around in the street drinking gently-heated lard from a baby bottle.

    That’s my current bugbear, one to which I was completely oblivious before now, and it’s something that I wouldn’t expect a woman who hadn’t gone through this to notice or to post about. Which makes me wonder how many hundreds of others there are out there.

  78. 1. Keep focus on FA/HAES; that’s why I’m here.
    2. I like the fashions, even though I can’t afford any of them, either. The photographs supply some idea of what I could look for when/if I find a sale or a good deal somewhere.

  79. Oh, Rainne, you mean I wasn’t supposed to drink gallons of gently heated lard for m’pregnancies?

    THAT’S what I did wrong.


    But – yeah! Having a few fat-mom posts would be pretty cool, I think. We’re seen as having “given up” and are therefore fat; we were controlling our barely restrained urge to snarf the baby donuts until we trapped the dude into giving us babies, and then we just don’t care.
    Also, the MILF/YummyMummy Thing is right up my butt.

  80. I don’t like the fashions, but I don’t really like fashion, period. I feel AR’s self-consciousness about class. It would be nice if there was more of a shout-out for day-to-day stuff that really works for you – for example, I found kick-ass Lands End pants that aren’t “fierce” but wear well, are the right length, and don’t gape awkwardly anywhere, which is like getting a free pony. Maybe you, too, have things that just work, like a bra type, or calf boots for people who have fat calves. That would be better for me than the flowy $200 dresses. (But I know everyone’s mileage varies!)

    I’d like to get more perspective from gay/bi/trans fat folks. I’m bi, and the pressure I feel to look a certain way is definitely different between the genders. I’d love love love to read other perspectives on this.

    I miss the days when the whole blog post showed up on RSS, and variable width would be a good thing – I often like to do multiple things at once (watch vid + read blog, for instance), and variable width is more conducive to that.

    I like the idea of having a contributable column – stuff people could participate in, like Aunt Fatty.

  81. I love the idea of a message board, and I’ll totally volunteer to help moderate it (I work from home, mostly, and I’m on the computer a lot–like, whenever I’m not in class).

    As a sub-heading of the message board concept, and since so many people enjoy the douchehound smackdowns, maybe it would be fun to have, like, one officially sanctioned unmoderated thread? That way we could keep all the trolls in a confined space where those of us who are amused by that sort of thing could go and poke them with sticks.

  82. I just want to delurk to say, I really don’t want to hear from “skinny” girls, loving their bodies or hating them. If I want to read about that, I can pick up a copy of Self or Marie Clare or 100s of other mainstream women’s magazines. It would be nice to have larger/lgbt/male/disabled/WOC perspectives, however.

    I would love a message board and I’ve been wishing y’all had a FAQ practically since I found this blog a year or so ago. I like the fashion posts, the troll-bashing posts, Aunt Fatty, the fat/HAES perspective, the swearing, the feminism, the bitchy moderation, and pretty much everything you do now. I especially like the posts that give me a glimpse of life for someone following HAES. I’m less than a year out from my most recent diet and I guess I find those helpful. More recipes might be nice, too, but if we had a message board, that could serve that sort of purpose.

    Anyway :) I love your blog. I mostly lurk but I guess I’m happy to see the dawning of a new era or whatever.

  83. Dangit I missed a lot on my trip…

    I second, third, fourth whatever, many in that a meetup mechanism of sorts would be rad. I’ve encountered some cool chicks sort of near me and wish there were a non-weird way to meet them (and eat ice cream with them in public!).

    I enjoy Aunt Fattie, too, so MOAR please! And I love any post that makes me feel better, you know, like SM’s recent jeans post and basically anything bitchy, feministy, and reminding me the patriarchy wants to keep me hungry, miserable, and ineffective… So keep doing your thing, pretty much….

    And guest posts from in-betweenies (oh my fellow in-betweenies, where on Earth does one find clothes in the boonies?!), and possibly a perspective from an ED recoverer relative to FA.

    Finally, I really, truly LOVE the posts related to intersecting issues such as race, disability, and privilege for a mostly but not entirely selfish reason: I’ve had some holy shit moments in the past few months as a result of those and I really believe it’s made a positive change in me and my ability to stand up for other people, which has boosted my confidence in an entirely un-beauty way, which has probably never happened to me before. Like I said, selfish, but it feels good. (And for the non-selfish part, I’ve raised some serious awareness in those around me whether they like it or not.)

  84. Roberta was just saying last night she’d love to hear about fat dating experiences, how to find fat accepting and fat loving partners while avoiding creepy fat fetishists, and any experience with BBW dating sites (Good or Evil?).

  85. Is there a baby steps to HAES post somewhere, if so could you pin it like the “Don’t You Realize That Fat Is Unhealthy” post? And while you’re at it, please put a pin in “The Fantasy of Being Thin” that’s the post that got me here in the first place! :-D

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