As a fat guy, I know how difficult it can be to find a community of people who understand me and my approach to life.
There are, of course, many people who think they understand what it’s like to be fat. But they’re all personal trainers who tell me how bad it sucks to be out of shape and that I should work with them to get fit…
No, thanks though.
Even though society has made some great advances towards body positivity in recent years it isn’t evident everywhere. In fact, that was the entire reason I started this site. So I could have a place to read/write about weight-related content besides weight-loss advice. After all, almost every article you find on Google or Bing either aggressively or passive-aggressively suggests that you need to lose weight.
Thankfully, there are still some good online communities for bigger people to discuss their life experiences, trade tips about how to do things more easily, and things of that nature, free from the judging eyes of those who don’t fit into their shoes.
So if you’re stuck and looking for some birds of a feather, here are a few of my favorite online communities that help promote body positivity (in no particular order).
5 Communities For Plus Size People
By “Facebook,” I don’t just mean your Facebook wall. Facebook Groups are becoming more popular every day; they’re a great way to reach like-minded people with similar interests.
I prefer private groups myself because the posts can only be seen by other members of the group. That means you have the freedom to speak openly about things that you might not want to admit in front of coworkers, family members, or other people you know.
If you aren’t comfortable using your real name in these groups, you can create a second Facebook profile with a nickname. Some of the private groups may not accept you right away if you have a new account, though, and you may have to message the admins first to explain that you aren’t trying to troll the group.
When most people (or most men, at least based on the ones I’ve talked to over the years) think of Pinterest, they think of black-and-white photographs of someone’s lunch and women’s fashion.
These are both heavily represented, of course, but there are other aspects. There is a solid body positivity community on there as well. If you’re looking for inspiration, body positivity infographics, or just information about it in general, Pinterest is a great place to start.
While the community aspect isn’t as significant on Pinterest, you can collaborate with others on boards as we do on our Pinterest account.
I’m not a big Discord guy but a lot of friends love it and use it as their primary method of communication. If you haven’t used it before, it’s a collection of chatrooms like AOL Chat and ICQ used to be when I was growing up. I might be dating myself a bit with that!
There are mobile and computer apps to access these chatrooms but they can also be reached through a web browser by visiting Discord.com.
In these chatrooms or “channels’ as they’re called, you can speak to thousands of people who will accept you as you are without giving you endless speeches about diet and exercise.
Discadia.com is a great place to search for channels that work best for what you’d like. Not all of these channels will be for everyone, as some of them combine the body positivity message with sex, cannabis, or other things that might not interest you.
4. Hobby Groups
If you’re looking for a community to do things with both online and offline, you should probably focus on similarities beyond just your BMI.
After all, there are lots of fat guys out there and I don’t like them more (on average) than I like all the skinny guys out there.
What I did, then, was to look at groups of like-minded people who shared interests with me. Since I typically enjoy “fat-guy-hobbies” it’s reasonable that there will be other plus-size people in groups that discuss my hobbies.
This was especially helpful for me as it allowed me to focus on things besides my weight and how it affects my life.
5. Communities for Gay Men
While this may not apply to most people it’s a significant enough online community that I feel like I should mention it.
I would assume that all heterosexual men are just emotionally inept because nearly enough support group out there for plus-size guys is aimed at the LGBTQ community.
Since I only meet half of the requirements to join most of these groups I can’t offer any specific recommendations but, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve got an entire smorgasbord of groups to choose from!
Places to Avoid
Now that we’ve looked at a few good options, I want to point out a few that probably aren’t very good, at least in my opinion.
As far as I know, there aren’t a lot of good options on Reddit. I could be wrong but I’ve never been able to find a good, active community for body positivity on there. I think r/FatAcceptance has like 50,000 members but very few new posts.
Most of the other subreddits for people like us are either focused on losing weight or exist as a vehicle for people to post themselves naked. There’s nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t usually result in interesting discussions.
Twitter is also probably not going to be very helpful. You may be able to find people you like and start a group chat through DMs, but in the public sections, you’ll get every “comedian” and troll in your replies to insult you.
Even worse, you’ll also probably get the “brutally honest” guys who are usually more interested in being brutal than in being helpful with their “honesty”.
These are the guys who will bully you “for your own good” because they think it’ll help you decide to lose weight. It won’t. I’d avoid the public sections of Twitter for this purpose.
Last, but certainly not least, be very wary of dating sites if you’re plus-sized. While online dating can be a great way to meet people, it comes with the downside of dealing with mean people, fetishizers, and other unpleasantries, no matter what your gender is. If you’re going to dip your toe in these waters, put on shoes first.
Although most of the conversations around people our size online are annoyingly centered around trying to convince us that we need to lose 50 pounds immediately, there are still a few good options out there.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a community that’s right for you! If you can’t, you can always start up a Facebook Group, a subreddit, or something similar. The odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to find other people to join you. Bigger people like us need to stick together!
Good luck out there! You can also find us on Facebook if you need to talk or want a place to start out!