What I had originally devised as a small and sweet antidote to the More to Love poison that’s been coursing through my veins for the past two months has turned into a fairly substantial project. There are a great many happy fat people in relationships out there who want to tell their stories, and thus I’ve created a gallery site to begin to showcase them. Hence, my dears, I draw back the curtain on the Museum of Fat Love. You can find the MoFL’s temporary home here.
It’s far from finished, as I still have pictures and stories aplenty to upload, and a more substantial permanent website is coming. Also, I am still cheerfully accepting submissions from anyone, in any variety of romantic relationship, who’d like to be included. I’ve been surprised by how emotionally-moving this collection is so far; the fact that it’s affected even a haggard anti-romantic like myself is evidence of the power of taking control of our own representation as people worthy of love.
That said, Fat Love cannot be narrowly defined in the limited romantic-relationship sense. And I feel a certain loyalty to those who are unattached, for, in truth, before I was Happily Partnered, I was Happily Single. (As a child at summer camp, I was awarded “Most Independent Camper” two years in a row for a reason; though I’ve little doubt, in retrospect, that this was one of those scenarios in which everybody got an award, it’s still telling that my independence is what people remembered about the ten-year-old me.) Prior to meeting the person I’d eventually marry–and, if I’m being honest, even after–I was never one who actively sought serious involvements or long-term relationships or bemoaned, inwardly or outwardly, my lack of coupledom. I often went places and did things alone–things like movies, meals, shopping, even driving from Florida to Massachusetts when I was twenty–and enjoyed myself just as much or more than I would have if I’d done the same with a friend or a date. I was more surprised than anyone when I partnered up, though now I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Fat Love isn’t simply about loving a fat person or being a fat person and being loved by someone else; it’s about loving yourself. You may have the most devoted partner(s) in the world, but that doesn’t mean much if you never understand why they love you; loving yourself is primal and key to human happiness, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
Thus, I am now also inviting individuals to share themselves and their stories of self-love. You can be accomplished at body acceptance, or not; you can be happy, or not; you can be a poster child for fat-stereotype-busting, or not; but you must be honest and true. If you’d like to participate I ask that you include a picture and tell a story of your size-acceptance journey, and let me know if I can use your first name. (And yes, you can submit to both the couples gallery and the individuals gallery, if you’re up for it.) You can email your contribution directly to me here, with “Fat Love” in the subject line.
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