‘Completely positive’: Fat Con sought to increase community acceptance

Jan 9, 2024, 5:30 PM

fat-con acceptance...

(Photo courtesy of Fat Con)

(Photo courtesy of Fat Con)

Fat Con — coined as “the biggest fat celebration of the year” —took place last weekend in Seattle and it definitely had an impact on at least one Western Washington resident.

According to the event’s website, it featured “(more than 30) workshops, panels, fashion shows, size-inclusive vendors, and more.” It also included performances and forums on art, health, public policy and community. The event also had hotel room photoshoots with photographers, and food with a “brunch feast” as part of the occasion.

More news: Fat Con takes Seattle by storm despite pushback from critics

Normandy Park resident Emily Stroeve attended and said it was important for everyone to feel recognized.

“I’m probably gonna sit here and get emotional, but it made me feel so recognized,” Stroeve said. “As a bigger body plus sized woman, sometimes I don’t always get that and feel that. So being surrounded by so many amazing people of all different body sizes was just completely positive.”

According to the event creator, Mx (pronounced Mix) Pucks A’Plenty, Fat-Con sold out when it was held at the Hyatt at the Olive. About 300 patrons from all over the world visited the event.

Pucks told KIRO Newsradio the event was about fat liberation.

“By calling it Fat Con, we’re taking the sting out of that word,” Pucks said. “That’s just a descriptor, and I think that fat has been thrown at people of size as a way to tear us down, as a way to invalidate our humanity.”

Stroeve said people spend too much time looking outside, especially when it comes to the name of the event and what the word means.

“I think for me, I’ve talked about this on my social media since I was at the event, thinking about the word fat and how we have societally taken that word and always had a negative connotation, a negative opinion, or a negative impression of what that word means,” Stroeve said. “We really have to stop doing that.”

More news: Billy Joel returns to Seattle for T-Mobile Park show in May

Stroeve added that she wants to be more involved in the event next year, and they could use the help because the turnout was “absolutely amazing.”

Even though the event received opposition, Stroeve, who performs as well, said Fat Con helped her find love for herself.

“I absolutely have found it’s a work in progress,” Stroeve said. “I have my life to the point where I’m like, ‘Yeah, I love myself as a woman as a fat person and my own speaker.'”

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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‘Completely positive’: Fat Con sought to increase community acceptance