Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club wants to create a more fat-friendly city | News | Pittsburgh

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CP photo: Jared Wickerham

Emily Anderson of the Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club

On July 12, a new Pittsburgh-focused Instagram page popped up and quickly gained attention. Title Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club, the first post said he was “here for a fat-friendly Pittsburgh.” What this means can be confusing for some, so Pittsburgh City Paper spoke with one of the people behind it, Emily Anderson from All Bodies Welcome Yoga, to see what PFSC is all about.

“PFSC has four goals: to create an online community of support for big and big positive allies, to organize welcoming meetings that are financially and environmentally accessible, to crowdsourcing local directories identifying health care providers, health care services personal and accessible seating, and to amplify and support mutual aid through the sharing of resources, ”says Anderson.

Anderson says she has always admired the great militant spaces like PNW Fattitude and Fat Girls Hiking, and she began to think more about creating a similar community here in Pittsburgh after quitting a corporate job to focus on l teaching of yoga. PFSC was born from this desire and is slowly increasing its number of subscribers on social networks.

Anderson says that although PFSC is very new, it quickly grew through word of mouth, demonstrating a need for this type of community in the city.

“I hope that through dating and online growth more people will be interested in volunteering to plan events, share ideas for other programs – especially the fat ones that are overlooked in traditional body positivity. , like the super fat, the fat black and native, the fat bucks, ”says Anderson.

Anderson says fat activism has been around for a long time, longer than people realize. There is a common misconception that people in previous decades were naturally thin, but a first demonstration of acceptance of fat took place in New York City in 1967, and author Johnnie Tillmon wrote about being black and fat in the early 1970s.

Although the movement and its core values ​​have changed over the years, Fat Activism remains an initiative to help end prejudice and discrimination based on weight.

Those unfamiliar with the terms fat acceptance or fat activism may have heard of “body positivity” or BoPo. While the ideas may seem similar, Anderson points out that the BoPo movement has become mainstream, making it more susceptible to corporate manipulation. Yes, we can see more plus size models in ad campaigns and things of that nature, but even those models come under a particular body standard.

“Traditional body positivity says that you should love your body and that it looks good,” says Anderson. “But he became commodified #girlboss in the onboarding process. I’m happy for everyone who gained confidence because of the positivity of the body, but in some areas, like advertising, the goal posts have been moved. but the process is still the same, the representative perfect body is still white, able-bodied, and cisgender, but maybe now they won’t do photoshop when the model sits down. Also, no one can love their whole body. time – it’s just another standard that people feel compelled to meet.

For Anderson, Fat Positivity is a “celebration of the resilience of the obese person’s experience in the face of discrimination and marginalization.” It is also respecting a person and his body even if they do not fall into the “healthy” category. Anderson says that “good health” is not a guarantee or a moral value.

Some of the categories that you can currently find on PFSC’s Instagram page are Fat Free Seating Sources, Healthcare Providers, and Service Providers. There have been many horror stories shared online about obese people going to the doctor with a problem, only to be turned away and urged to lose weight. It is only in the event of a medical emergency such as a tumor or other serious health event unrelated to their weight that they are taken seriously and treated. PFSC hopes to refer obese people in the city to healthcare providers who will not ignore their very real concerns.

There is also a fun side to this group. Anderson says they are having a pool day in August and that they “hope to plan a clothing swap in September and a spooky cemetery walk in October.”

“I’m so excited for dating in person and for people to make great friends,” says Anderson. “Personally, I don’t have many big friends in real life, and there is a hunger, pun intended, for this shared community.”

She adds that people have already suggested other ideas for PFSC, including a zine or a publication featuring the “Big Creatives of Pittsburgh.”

“I hope PFSC will be a hub for these ideas to diversify and grow,” said Anderson.

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