Ask A Fattie

Welcome to our newest section! For a while we’ve been looking for the best way to answer your private and personal questions. We’re not sure this is it, but we’re ready to give it a try and learn as we go!

The questions below were asked in our private Facebook Community and emailed to us directly. These questions have been answered by members of our Facebook Community. In addition we’ve reached out directly to members of the community who have shared experiences that they are willing to open up about. The editorial team also throws in their two cents which means sometimes there will be multiple responses to the same question. The answers from the Facebook Community are noted as CA while answers from our Editorial Team are noted as EA.

Disclaimer: This is only to be used for educational purposes, not as medical advice. We are not health professionals. These are our personal opinions and experiences. Always check with your individual healthcare provider.



I’m 5’10, 340 pounds and I have severe lumbar lordosis, spina bifida, and an extra vertebrae. I’ve had chronic pain my entire life because of my spinal conditions which has resulted in me spending a fortune on mattresses over the years. All king size because my husband and I are both larger and tall. After about nine months the mattresses that I’ve had seem to break down no longer giving me the back support I need.

Looking at my body from a side profile my spine is in the shape of an S. This causes my butt to stick out more and my lower back to dip in towards my belly button. When I lay flat on my back on the mattress eventually there becomes a large depth where my butt is. Then I no longer have the support I need for my back.

In five years I’ve spent $5,000 on Icomfort by Serta mattresses, $4,500 on Sleep to live mattresses, and $3,800 on Sleep to live 2.0 mattresses. All of which have broken down. I could of used this money to travel or elsewhere and I’m still in so much pain!

Is it worth spending even more money on a better mattress or buying less expensive mattresses more frequently? I don’t like the idea of creating that much waste but I don’t know what to do. Any help and advice is appreciated. 

Community Answer:

Our editors reached out to FGT Members Marcy Cruz of Fearlessly Just Me and Alysse Dalessandro Santiago of Ready to Stare who both recommend Big Fig.

Marcy: It sounds like her mattress is sagging where her butt lays. This happens when you sleep in one position regularly and your mattress is not built for a heavy body. It’s definitely worth investing money in a great mattress made for fat folks as this is something you use everyday, sleep is essential for your health and a mattress’s lifetime is about 10+ years so over time, you get your money’s worth IF you invest in the right one.

Big Fig is now not the only brand out there offering mattresses for us. At the time I got mine, they were the only ones. Their mattress is amazing as it’s sag proof and the frame is made out of steel. That bed doesn’t move AT ALL when I sit on it. It’s a bit firm so if someone wanted a pillow top, they’d have to get a topper. Corissa over at Fat Girl Flow did a review of other mattress brands for fat folks – this was last year. I am not familiar with any of the other brands but I trust her judgment as she has always been upfront and honest in reviews.


Anyone experience really long periods and the doctors/ gyno just say lose weight? Any ideas/ suggestions to tackle it?


There are a number of conditions that can contribute to excessive periods or stopped periods. Hormonal fluctuations of some sort tend to be the cause, but what’s causing the hormonal dysfunction should be rooted out. You need to find a doctor that will check you for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) first and foremost. This is the single most common missed diagnosis, especially for younger women. This diagnosis must entail at the very least a blood test (looking for excessive free testosterone levels in your blood) and possibly some imaging of your ovaries (the lack of cysts on your ovaries doesn’t mean you don’t have PCOS). Demand a blood test for free testosterone and if your doctor doesn’t know what that means, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist who knows what the hell PCOS is and who can read your blood work appropriately. (There’s a reasonably decent endocrinologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock who specializes in PCOS.)

Another thing to ask your new and attentive doctor to check for is fibroids (this will likely require an internal ultrasound, not much fun but not usually painful). As others have mentioned, there’s also thyroid issues, either too much or too little, will screw up your other hormones. Also, metabolic syndrome, this tends to be more a raft of symptoms found together that aren’t being attributed to some other cause. I have/had all of these things, and I didn’t get the PCOS diagnosis until -last-, and I was in my mid-30’s when it was given to me by the doctor I finally found who listened to me. I was able to get an hysterectomy (YAY) when I had serious flooding that broke through a couple years after I’d had an ablation of my uterine lining to stop my heavy periods. What it finally took was me soaking an ultra tampon and super maxi pad every half an hour. I had to sleep on the toilet (literally), while I was traveling for business, it was a nightmare. Finally got hold of my doctor while at this conference. She had me taking six ibuprofen every 4 hours to control the flooding until I could get home and they could get me in to see what was going on. I got scheduled for an hysterectomy a few weeks later.

Photo by Good Soul Shop on Unsplash

IF you have options available to you, please don’t ever put up with a doctor who ignores your obvious health issues. If you can’t find a doctor who can help you, see if you can get to a Planned Parenthood office. They usually don’t dismiss everything as caused by being fat. Heavy and long periods are not how a healthy reproductive system functions and it has a significant impact on our daily lives. It is also not a condition brought about by being fat. There are, literally, hundreds of millions of fat women across the globe who do not have excessive or insufficient periods. If it were just something to do with being fat, that wouldn’t be the case. I don’t even let my new primary health care physician mention my weight during our appointments. I told him at our very first appointment that it was a trigger for me. He has respected that. We talk about things that cause various health problems without referencing my weight. I demanded the same thing from my gynecologist years ago, too.

Honestly, at this point, I won’t even return to a doctor (a specialist) who makes everything about my weight. I might tell them why I didn’t come back, but most of the time I don’t bother. Though I will tell my PCP why I want a different referral if I have to. I keep looking until I found ones who would pay attention to my medical needs and not abdicate their responsibility to me just ‘cos I am fat.


Wondering if anyone has any experience with breast reduction surgery? Here in Ontario, Canada, surgeons use BMI to deny us the possibility of this important surgery. Wondering if any ladies have experienced the procedure (before or after having children) and how much improvement they felt as a result.


I did it before I had children and my back pain got far better. I had a terrible surgeon though! So I needed to get it fixed about 6 years later. You should try to get a good surgeon and check their prior work on similar bodies. And be sure to request spinal X-rays to check for kyphosis, which is an abnormally curved spine.



How do you suggest getting over the social anxiety of taking up more physical space? Like, I went out with people after a meeting and we grabbed a cab, and someone very skinny hopped in the front seat, so I squished in the back with 2 others – and I just feel guilty for taking up space! Same with having to sit at a group table where there is a middle seat against the wall left meaning everyone will need to get up for you to get in. I don’t have this issue with my friends – more so with acquaintances / people I meet at work or social events.


I have gotten comfortable making the statement: “I’m going to need some extra space.” Ask for what you need.

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Editorial Answer:

This is such a common feeling, especially from female-identifying folks of all shapes and sizes. No matter how small we make ourselves, we are taught that we are Too Much. Being Fat presents a few additional challenges, on top of being a woman or POC or part of other marginalized groups, as you highlighted. I promise you that every fat person can relate to this struggle.

Moments like you described, where your thin friend jumped in the front seat, forces us to confront an issue which experts refer to as “unconscious ableism.” The Fat Activism movement has a lot to learn from Disability Rights Advocates – who have been in the fight to make this world more accessible for a long time. If you were visibly disabled, for instance, with mobility-assisting equipment like crutches or a wheelchair, your acquaintances would probably think twice before choosing their seating in cars or at tables. Moving through this world while being Fat looks very different than moving through it as a thin or straight-size person. Our needs are overlooked, in part because there is a widespread assumption that our bodies are our own fault. Then the guilt comes in, because we, as owners of Fat Bodies, internalized the disdain of our bodies drilled into us by our culture, and we are hesitant to make our needs known as a result. Being squeezed and uncomfortable is penance for the sin of being different.

But think of it this way: every time you advocate for yourself, whether it’s asking to sit in the front seat or asking for an aisle seat on a plane, you are advocating for another person with a body just like yours.

Last summer, I was in a theater, waiting to see my favorite author (Margaret Atwood) give a talk about her latest book. I had reserved a special VIP seat just for the occasion in the front row. When I arrived at the theater, it was immediately obvious that my seat was too small for my size 18/20 butt. The skinny woman seated next to me appeared to be growing more uncomfortable the more I struggled with sitting like a normal person. I looked around and saw that other fat bodies were struggling, also, not just me. Anyone over a US size 12 would not be able to sit without discomfort or even pain in these seats. I channeled my inner Julia Sugarbaker, and I got up, kindly signaled to an usher that I would like to speak with the manager (yup, I did it and I’m not sorry), and asked for accommodations.

I was shown by an apologetic man to an “accessible” area in the back of the theater with wider seats that were basically just normal-size chairs. They weren’t bolted down to the floor, so I picked one up, stuck my chin out, and marched down the theater aisle to my original seat on the front row, and put the chair in front of that seat made for a child, and sat in it. The skinny woman next to me was fine with it, and I was much more comfortable, and got to reap the benefits of my non-refundable pricey ticket. Other guests realized what I had done, and a few asked for the same for themselves. My advocacy for myself ended up making others’ lives a little easier, if only just for one night.

Your body is not an inconvenience. By asking for what you need, you pave the way for others to not *have to* ask. Sometimes it’s hard to stick up for ourselves – so stick up for all of us, instead.


I’m young, I’m 24, and most girls my age are thin and petite and all sexy and stuff. Also, I have social anxiety and gained some significant weight in the last year. Now I’m struggling because the social anxiety keeps telling me whenever I go out, people see a fat girl first, and a person second. Have you been there? How do you embrace yourself in a bigger body?


You are young and so wonderfully normal! YES, we have all been there. I’m 35, and I still have this ugly little voice in my head saying the same thing. I wonder if when people describe me to their friends, they say “Oh you know her, the fat one.”

It feels like everyone around you is thin, especially at that age. But in 2016, the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education reported that the average dress size of the American Woman is equivalent to a size 18-20. That’s just the average, meaning women come in a range of sizes from 0 to 40. The research shows that not every woman around you is thin, it just feels that way.

Some girls our size stay home, because they don’t feel safe socializing in a world built for thin and straight-sized bodies, so we don’t see them as much. Of course you have social anxiety, because between TV, movies, advertisements and books, you never see bodies that look like yours, so you feel like yours is the only one. And as a result of a steady diet of mainstream culture, yes, some people will absolutely see you as Fat first and a person second. Not the majority, but some. But what if, WHAT IF you knew that, and just did what you wanted to do anyway?

I wasted so much time and energy thinking that I was not allowed to participate in my life because of the way I looked. I got a serious illness in college that put me on corticosteroids for several months, and I gained 30 pounds seemingly overnight. It wasn’t my fault, but the self-loathing was real. Instead of being relieved or thrilled that I had survived an illness that caused a great deal of pain and prevented me from participating in life, I was severely depressed because my body was bigger than what our culture wanted. With the weight gain, combined with other preexisting mental health issues, I crumbled. I withdrew from a play I was supposed to perform in. I developed a panic disorder that led to agoraphobia (fear of being in public). I limited my caloric intake to a dangerously low level.

Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

It was my best friend who pulled me out of it. At the time, she was my only other Fat friend. We both found solace in sharing each others’ stories and anxieties. We challenged each other to make tiny strides outside of our comfort zone, and we did things together that we would never have had the courage to do alone. Having access to another beautiful human who I loved and admired and who also had a Fat body was so healing for me.

So my advice is to normalize your body by surrounding yourself with other Fat bodies as much as you can. Find local Fats in your area through whatever social media you prefer. Start chatting with them online and then maybe an in-person meet up or a Zoom call. Read books by Fat people, like Lindy West’s Shrill or Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by FGT Member Jes Baker! Watch Fat Girl movies like Dumplin’. Follow fat activists on Instagram like @yrfatfriend. Read this blog! There is strength in numbers. Find your people. The more you’re around bodies that look like yours, the more you will know you belong in this world.



I’ve recently gained a little more weight and am struggling with body confidence particularly with dating and men. I always assume they won’t like me unless I am thin. Does anyone have any tips or advice?


First of all, stop telling yourself the story that people won’t be attracted to you because of your size. Regardless of whether this is true or not, you confirming to yourself that it is doesn’t serve you. It’s not true, but would you walk up to any fat woman in this group and tell her “he won’t like you unless you’re thin”? Probably not. So why tell yourself that?

Second, when you’re in public, look around at couples. There are many fat people in public out and about with their partners, just as there are thin people in relationships. Fat people are sought after just as much as thin and straight-sized people.

Lastly, spend more time with yourself naked. Not necessarily in front of the mirror, but just dancing around or doing whatever, cooking, cleaning, etc. Get comfortable being sensual with yourself and work on becoming comfortable in your own skin. You obviously can’t be comfortable with someone else if you’re not comfortable by yourself when you’re alone. Easier said than done, I know, but maybe start by touching your body more often (belly, thighs, hips, etc) and just picking one thing that you like, even if it’s just because your skin is soft or something small like that.


Sexiness is all about attitude! After my divorce I started dating again. 20 years older and way more than 20 pounds heavier. I had no trouble getting men in my bed by being my sassy self. And as I was repositioning myself to pleasure him while not “feeling exposed” he was like, where you going? It was that exact moment I realized once we’re naked the only one worrying about the size of my ass was me. Embrace your body and they will too!

Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash


Where do y’all meet men that are interested in dating larger women? I am from the land of taller/bigger people but live in the South where it seems like a lot of the women are thin and petite. My 6’2”, queen-sized self will never fit in here physically. So…where DOES one find men who would want to date someone different than the norm?


I’ve had good luck online, most recently on Plenty of Fish. I’m pretty up front in my profile, stating that I’m plus-size and that if you’re not ok with that, don’t bother to contact me (not in those words, but you get the idea). I like bigger guys, and I state that in my profile too. It seems that weeds out the men who wouldn’t be into me. I was surprised at how many guys are into middle-aged, fluffy women like myself. Good luck and be safe!


I’m going to answer these together, as I have a similar response to both of you.

Dating is hard, and it’s even harder for Fat people or people with different bodies. The risk of rejection is so real and visceral. All of us, including thin and straight-sized people, have wrapped up our self-worth almost entirely around our bodies, so when someone rejects our body, it’s like they are rejecting our deepest self. I’m assuming you are a cisgender, hetero woman. Most cisgender, hetero men are very visually oriented, and have been steeped in millennia of patriarchal culture that teaches them that their own self-worth is wrapped up in the kind of women they can attract. Men have been taught that having a woman who meets the definitions of submissiveness, attractiveness and conformity is the ultimate gold star on their report card. The men who need to have a woman who is smaller than they are or who looks like a movie star – those are not our men. Those men will never serve your beautiful body the way it deserves to be served. Those men will never be able to really appreciate your kind heart, witty mouth or your juicy thighs. In a way, we are lucky to have the bodies that we have, because it serves at a litmus test for the people we attract. Even if you were the “perfect” size, the “perfect” height, the “perfect” age – our bodies grow and change every single day. No one stays the same for long, including straight-sized people.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Many men are prefer Fat partners. Many men ARE the Fat partner. They’re struggling with the same thing we are: the taboo of it. They haven’t been allowed to love fat bodies, or even their own fat bodies, even if it’s their preference. Many men adore tall women. I’m 5’6” and have met at least two men (in my state of Texas – where everything is Bigger) who said I was much, much shorter than what they normally date. A tall woman is like a goddess to some men – powerful and awesome.

The spectrum of what people are into is much wider than our media would have us believe. Think of it like K-Pop: some people don’t understand K-Pop so they’ll never really get into it. But the ones that are into K-Pop, REALLY LIKE K-POP. There is someone out there (many people) who is dying to find a body like yours to love and adore. Thank goddess for the internet. Set up your dating profiles and be honest about all the goodies you can offer that no one else can! Here’s my review of the most fat-friendly dating apps. Who knows how many men will come a-swiping at first, but the confidence to own what you have is sexier than anything. You could have fish scales growing out of your face, but if you embrace your imperfections, even if you’re struggling to feel that way inside all the time. You’ll be shocked at how many people suddenly want scales on their face, too! You know that saying, fake it until you make it. Confidence in anything begins with believing in yourself.


My name is Isabel and I am 21 years old. I have never really dated anyone and I want to start. I have one year left of college and I want to get out and meet people but I have a few issues that I’m struggling with. The first one is, I’m fat and I don’t know how use/am scared to use dating apps. I’ve been on two dates Bumble but all the guys there just want to hookup with me. I post full body pics but am also very uncomfortable with that.

The other this is I do not like one night stands. The last two dates I went on, I didn’t go in for a kiss and barely even went in for a hug. I don’t know how to find someone who isn’t looking to just hookup. And finally, I still live at home with my family while I finish my degree. I’m a broke college student. Should I just wait to start dating until I’m out of the house to make my life easier? 


First of all, thanks for writing in – I think many young women your age have the same issues and concerns. Good for you for trying a dating app and putting yourself out there! I understand about being uncomfortable about full body pics – and I just want to drive home the point here that you do NOT have to do anything you are even slightly uncomfortable with doing. This is your life and your body, and you must honor what your instincts tell you to do, no matter what.

The same goes for dating in person. No one needs to touch you unless you give consent to them – even a hug. Especially in today’s age of a global pandemic, a handshake suddenly feels like unprotected sex. You don’t have to explain to anyone why you have boundaries – just that you have them. Anyone who is interested in getting to know the real you will respect those boundaries. MOST women on dating apps, especially Bumble, are not looking for casual sex. Boys, especially boys your age, have a hard time understanding that for some reason, so we may have to keep reminding them. 

If you don’t want to use dating apps, you don’t have to! Start with Bumble BFF app and see if you want to meet just regular friends your age that way. Expanding your social circle is a great way to safely open yourself up to meeting new people. Are there social clubs at your school for your area of study? Or a volunteer group you can join? Lots of love connections happened at my school in different extracurricular clubs.

College is such a stressful time. We teach kids that college is the time in your life for you to experiment, party and date wildly. What I wish we taught instead is that the time for you to date is whatever damn time you want. I was a broke college student, too, but I lived in a dorm and had my social and romantic life thrust upon me whether I was ready for it or not. As a broke student, dating sometimes just looked like going to the park, art museum on the dollar-days or going hiking. We had our own stay-at-home movie marathons, or played board games A LOT. Coffee shops or bookstores are also great meeting spots where you don’t have to spend lots of money. There’s tons you can do with zero dollars. If you’re ready to start meeting new people, do it, and be firm with your boundaries. 

Product & Services 

Gabi Fresh Lyla Flame Strappy Suspender Belt


Do you have any suggestions for sites that sell plus size garter belts and stockings?


Playful Promises has collaborated with a few plus size influencers including Gabi Fresh and Felicity Hayward on collections. Their options in garter belts go up to size 26 US and the stockings currently go up to size 18 US.

If you’re looking for something a little edgier try IniHarness. This Etsy shop retails leather and vegan leather harnesses, made to measure. One of our editors swears by them and has nothing but positive things to say about fit.

As far as stockings go, the only brand we can think of is Leg Avenue. Not ideal, as their plus size options are one of two. But for hosiery to wear with a garter belt, it should be fine.

Have a question for us? Send it to All submissions will remain anonymous.

Disclaimer: This is only to be used for educational purposes, not as medical advice. We are not health professionals. These are our personal opinions and experiences. Always check with your individual healthcare provider.

Samantha Mitchell

Artist/Writer, Feminist, Voting Rights Activist, Fundraiser, Sexual Assault Advocate, Passionate 5th Gen Texan. Lover of Chips n Queso.

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