Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My Big Fat Fetish

Image © Channel 4 via SLiNK Magazine | Well, My Big Fat Fetish (on Channel 4/4OD) has certainly caused a lot of discussion, as well as an incredible amount of slander on Twitter, over the past few weeks. In contrast to the remarks on Twitter, I have noticed that there are a lot of positive comments/words of admiration on the Channel 4 page for the programme (as linked previously).

Before I start I would like to state that my comments are not to be taken personally and are not an 'attack' on anyone involved in the documentary or who otherwise may be offended (i.e. the feeder/gainer community). I am purely expressing my opinion and do not judge anyone as an individual..."each to their own" and all that jazz.

Firstly, I'd like to talk about the association between BBW and feeders/gainers - I feel this is overly strong, both in the documentary and in the website description (e.g. "big beautiful women - also known as gainers"). BBW are NOT feeders/gainers, they are two completely separate things. You do not have to be a BBW to be a feeder/gainer, and only a very small proportion of BBW are feeders/gainers. So, why the association? In my opinion this is just doing further damage to the view of BBW by society (in general).

I heard a rumour that Big Girls Paradise (BGP) were asked to be involved, but declined as they didn't want BGP to be associated with feeders/gainers - rightly so. From this point of view I am glad that they didn't participate, but I wonder if the documentary would have given a broader view if they had been involved - I mean, asides from a very small snippet on squashing/sitting, the documentary focused on feeders/gainers and not a lot else.

I wouldn't judge someone for being a feeder/gainer, nor would I dismiss anyone's friendship because of it, but I don't agree with it from a health point of view. Intentionally increasing your weight to excess (particularly over a short period) is not healthy - at some point it is bound to have a negative impact. The documentary shows this in the case of Patty, but doesn't really discuss any other health implications - I am sure that if it were about slim women not eating it would be an entirely different story, sparking international outrage.

Anyway, I did feel there were some positives/interesting points in the documentary. One is that it highlighted to me that each BBW has a completely different figure from the next - there were a few ladies in the documentary around the same weight as me (I'm 20st, in case you were wondering), but each had a different build. Though, I still appear to be one of few BBW that are not blessed in the cleavage department (42B)...

The second positive point, for me, was hearing about Lizzie's story. An absolutely stunning individual who is interested in modelling and not in feeding/gaining (for the time being, at least). Though I am somewhat sceptical as to the possible links to the feeding/gaining industry, given her modelling for Reenaye, it would appear from my subsequent research that there will be a separate (unassociated) website - perhaps more focused on modelling? I am following Lizzie on Twitter and look forward to following her journey and seeing exactly what the outcome is of this venture into the modelling world.

All-in-all, there are pros and cons. Watch the documentary for yourself, if you haven't done so already, and let me know what you think. I feel that a second documentary focusing on other, less taboo areas, would go a long way to restoring my faith in the media.

Last but not least, kudos to all the BBW that took part in the documentary. Regardless of my previously voiced opinion, you are all stunning and inspirational in your own ways.

Image from MSN TV.


  1. I really enjoyed watching it! I thought it was fascinating but the backlash on twitter and some of the comments I read deeply disturbed me. How can anyone talk about their fellow people like that? People can be cruel keyboard warriors. In my eyes, the feeder/gainer communities are just as bad as the pro ana/bullemia communities; if this was a documentary about an anorexic sufferer saying how good being skinny felt then there would be uproar. Both are eating disorders, just on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Lizzie was amazing though, she has her head screwed on.

    I'm rambling. I hope this made sense! Good post :)

    1. I have to admit I am slightly addicted to looking at the Twitter hashtag, even though it enrages me! Completely get all your points, especially about the eating disorder side of things - precisely my point, if it was the other way round you wouldn't hear the end of it!

      Looking forward to seeing more of Lizzie. Just hope I haven't offended her, or anyone else...oops!

      You're rambling? I thought I was! Aha, thank you :)

  2. I think Betty is right to say this will have negative impacts on someone's health eventually. I think it's a very interesting topic which deserves more indepth discussion and research than I can give it. I wrote an articles about gainers/feeders for Full Figured Magazine, and when I was researching I couldn't find any scientific studies on the phenonmenon, all the informations was ancedotal.

    1. Is your article available online? I would be interested in reading it. It wasn't something I'd heard of before the documentary, but I'm not sure if it's a 'new' thing or not...makes me think of Seven, although that's an extreme.