This is something i have been pondering the last few days. You would assume that the fatosphere would be a tight knit community where we are all friends and supporting each other, but is it really like that? or is it more like being back at school, where you are picked last to be on teams and the popular girls rule the roost. Bullies still exist, but they are people who you think should be your friend. Is it a world full of backstabbing, elitism, tension and rivalries?
Membership of the fatosphere arises from shared experiences, a sense of belonging and empathy, but this is somehow fragmented and not really there. My first example of this is the Simply Be Facebook page, recently they posted pictures of me and 4 other bloggers who all wore one of their dresses, the comments from other members of this page, who are presumably also plus size, were far from supportive and that of a community, instead they picked at the girls in the pictures, found flaws and projected their own insecurities, ended in over 120 comments of petty arguing between those of thought the dress was awful and those trying to defend the girls in the pictures. This is basic school ground behavior while everyone might not share the same views in the community, there should still be support from each other, we get enough abuse from people outside the community (this is evident in the recent Daily Mail article) that you would think we would try to be nice to each other, because we, over others, should understand how hurtful these comments are and the effect they can have on someones self confidence, because most of us at one point or another will have been on the receiving end of such comments. Is the problem just that girls can't play nice? We can't help ourselves but be mean, it is something in built in us? I know i am guilty of watching TV shows and making comments about peoples appearance, but these are comments that i would never dream say to someones face, it is the privacy of my own home, is this is the price to pay for putting yourself out their in the public domain? If this was true, again there should be a kind of sisterhood between us fatties, proud that there are people out there trying to change perceptions and showing that fat is fabulous, yet again this doesn't seem to exist.
Now onto the bloggers themselves because it could be argued these ladies on the Simply Be Facebook page aren't really part of the community, they are on the edges of the community looking in and the real community exists between those of us who blog, and while as a general the support is here, this isn't the problem in the community, the problem is that there is an inner circle of bloggers, and if you are not part of that, then you are not as worthy as a blogger, your contribution doesn't have as much value as these other ladies, this is where the idea of being back at school and being picked last, or the popular girls ruling the roost, if you aren't in with the power house bloggers, you will lead quite a lonely existence in the blogging world. Desperate to be accepted by the popular girls and trying everything to get noticed, but nothing works as only a select few make it through, these girls aren't horrible or nasty, which in a way makes it even worse, there is a sheen of perfection over it all, to the outside world we look like one big happy family, but come in close and you will see a bubbling undercurrent of elitism and people stepping over people to make it.
I would love to hear your views on this, do you think i am wrong? Or do you agree with me? Or do you have your own idea?