Week of June 29, 2005

Into the Fire
Blatant ignorance: An Internet friend shared your "Lard Have Mercy" article [Unreal, June 15]. Unreal thoroughly succeeded in nurturing the negative stereotype of BBWs. I found that the article bore the stench of snotty high school mentality. I am grossly offended. You need to learn to walk a few miles in the moccasins of the people you write about. The suggestion that you stuffed yourself with food prior to and after your task was clear indication of your blatant ignorance.

As a BBW, I'm a gentle, softspoken woman. I've worked hard all of my life to present myself in a neat, ladylike and intelligent manner. People like you make it difficult to be seen as such. We are not all like Roseanne, the fat Anna Nicole Smith or Kirstie Alley. Believe me, fat is not always synonymous with lazy, stupid, piggish, obnoxious or slovenly.

I believe that you need to either publish an apology to BBWs, or find someone to do a follow-up article with a less bigoted point of view. Someone who may represent us in a more positive light. We can't all be Barbie dolls or Calista Flockharts. Life would be truly boring if all women came from the same mold. And yes, there are nice men who truly appreciate the BBW figure.
L.G. Lolies
Gardnerville, Nevada

Grow up: Your article was very disrespectful and tasteless. What is the big fascination for you or your readers? Do larger than "normal" people have to explain who, what, where, how we do things? For your information, BBW parties are held so that larger people can find others, be it male or female, for whatever they want.

In case you never noticed, "fat" people are not socially accepted in "normal" settings. A larger woman at a nightclub will be teased or ignored by the "skinny" girls or harassed by the men that find them repulsive. But at a BBW party, it is different. They are accepted because why go to a BBW party if you don't like larger people?

And what is with the asking about positions? Do your readers really need to know how a "fat" person makes love? Have you ever gone to a nightclub and asked the patrons their favorite positions? What makes you think they are different? Who really cares?

And all the words you used to describe "fat" -- I am guessing you used a thesaurus, because with the level of your writing I'm almost certain you didn't come up with them alone.

How can you justify the behavior of someone being so discriminating and condescending to your readers? Grow up and stop the hate.
Amanda Merejildo
Tallahassee, Florida

Where's the follow-up? This article was done in very poor taste and did not represent what this group is about. Midwest Chub Club and other BBW groups have helped a lot of us to be able to get out and socialize.

It is a whole network of support for many things, including clothing, health issues and, yes, relationships. BBW make up a large number of people in this community that support many of your advertisers, and we can organize to boycott your paper and its advertisers.

I feel a more fat-friendly article is in line, showing the good this and other groups do.
Joan Boehmer

Walk a mile in a BBW's shoes: If whoever wrote this article had to be in a Big Beautiful Woman's place for one day, I believe they would have chosen to express themselves in this article in a more sensitive way and not make it sound like all BBWs are out for is sex.

Living as a BBW is not that easy, and if the person who wrote this wrote about the function instead of being so critical, then maybe someone such as me wouldn't be writing to complain about a badly written piece.
Paula Kircher
Lincoln, Nebraska

Rose Martelli's June 15 review of Papa Fabarre's erroneously indicated that Federated Department Stores, Inc. only recently acquired Bon Marché, Rich's, Goldsmith's, Burdines and Lazarus stores. In fact, Federated has held those companies for years.

Clubs Editor
The Riverfront Times is looking for a part-time (25 to 30 hours a week) clubs editor to contribute to our music section. Must be knowledgeable about -- and fascinated by -- the local nightclub scene and possess a desire to put that knowledge to work in building the RFT's clubs coverage. Please send résumé and writing samples to:
Tom Finkel, editor
Riverfront Times
6358 Delmar Blvd., Ste. 200
St. Louis, MO 63130

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