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Before there was fat shaming, there was fat pride ...

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Fascinating entry from Wiki ...

Fat men's clubs were a type of social club that peaked in popularity from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, primarily in the United States. Membership was typically limited to men weighing over 200 lb (91 kg), and members were generally quite wealthy as well. Fat men's clubs declined in the 20th century as male obesity transitioned to being perceived as a primarily negative trait.

Description[edit]​

Fat men's clubs typically required prospective members to weigh in at over 200 lbs in addition to demanding a small membership fee. Club members were typically wealthy, and the clubs often arranged busy social calendars for their membership that included balls, sports events and banquets, which often doubled as networking events.[1]

Fat men's club events often opened with a public weigh in of the membership, with prizes for the heaviest men. Competition at these public weigh-ins was heated enough to inspire widespread cheating, with participants loading down their pockets with weights in order to appear heavier.[2] Many clubs ran eating contests before the official weighing.[3]

History[edit]​

Fat men's clubs were most prominent during a time when societal attitudes towards male obesity were largely positive: being overweight was seen as a sign of economic success, and was also thought to correspond with kindness and good-humor. The first fat men's club was founded in New York City in 1869.[4]

Some fat women's clubs existed as well, but these were much less common, as fat was seen as less desirable in women. Fat women's clubs in the style of fat men's clubs were outnumbered by women's weight loss clubs even at the fad's height.[2]

Fat men's clubs were popular throughout the United States, and were particularly common in the state of Texas.[2] Fat men's clubs were started in France, Serbia, and the UK as well.[1]

In the early 20th century, the popularity of fat men's clubs waned as obesitybecame increasingly associated with bad health. The New England Fat Men's Club, which at one point had 10,000 members, disbanded in 1924 with only 38 members, none of whom actually met the 200 lb standard prerequisite for membership.[2] The advent of the bathroom scale also contributed to the decline of fat men's clubs, as weight measurement transitioned from being a public spectacle to an exercise that was carried out in the privacy of one's home.

 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I find the variation between people today, and people over time, to be very interesting.
Fascinating, and in fact riveting !!!

It all goes to another saying of mine ... never be too sure of anything that you believe. Anything!
Science never is.
Science welcomes being proven wrong, as that's the only way to grow closer to what really is right.
But of course "right" is like a mathematical asymptote in that you can approach it, but can never reach it.

All that said, I am not disputing the overwhelming medical evidence that obesity harms one's health.
 
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Ionysis

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Oct 1, 2015
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685
An attitude which still prevails in many parts of Northern Africa. Where starvation as a result of poverty is still an issue the trend remains towards big being beautiful and sign of health and wealth. In countries where HIV is also rife being fat is perceived to be an indicator that you are not a sufferer.

I have a good friend who is from Eritrea originally who recalls going back to visit her grandmother after living in London for ten years and being asked in a horrified tone by her elderly female relatives “where did your butt go????!!!! Are you sick? Do they starve you there? You will never find a husband being so skinny”

Where I live in the Middle East there has always been more partiality for voluptuousness, although slender European body types are now becoming more the aspiration, at least publicly, due I assume to the proliferation of these ideals in global media.
 

kenny

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This reminds me a bit of the skin thing, light vs. dark.
Long ago it was felt lighter skin meant you were more affluent since you didn't have to work outside in a low-wage job.

Then after the standard of living in Europe rose considerably (no doubt because of colonial exploitation of distant less-whatever countries, same as why America became so rich via slavery) Coco Chanel was instrumental in suddenly making it fashionable to have darker skin, IOW a tan.
Then darker skin was perceived to imply you were more affluent since you could spend leisure time and vacation in the sun near the Mediterranean coast.

I love history.
It informs today.
Also, it shows us how stupid we are.
 
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thecatmom

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Mar 18, 2021
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I wish loosing weight was as easy as ordering through Doordash and Grubhub!
 
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