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FatCon is Philadelphia’s first convention celebrating obesity

Three Philadelphia women have ridden the contemporary wave of authenticity by organizing FatCon, a conference tailor-made for people with an above-average body mass index. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, this unique conference aims to communicate that a significant number of Philadelphians are comfortable with their body size and proud of it.

Philadelphia, with its reputation for indulgent foods like cheesesteaks, hoagies, roast pork sandwiches, scrapple and pizza, is already garnering attention for its contribution to the foodie landscape. It is reported that 68% of Philadelphia adults are overweight or obeseas do 41% of young people between 6 and 17 years old.

FatCon is Philadelphia’s first convention celebrating obesity

Donnelle Jageman, Adrienne Ray and Kenyetta Harris are pioneers in a movement that supposedly celebrating body diversity with Philly FatCon, a unique convention scheduled for October at Temple University. The convention aims to go beyond buzzwords like “body positivity” and “body neutrality” to promote an atmosphere where people can unapologetically celebrate their bodies.

Organizers aspire to make FatCon a judgment-free zone, fostering community spirit among people who often feel ignored because of their size. The event aims to offer an alternative perspective to navigate a world full of so-called fatphobia. With panel discussions on fashion, confronting fatphobia, and the influence of social media, topped off with a keynote from “The Fat Sex Therapist,” the conference seems more inclined toward expression and acceptance than instead focus on health, exercise, and weight loss. However, there is a fat-friendly fitness class. The convention will conclude with a Plus Swap + Shop event, offering attendees the opportunity to purchase plus size clothing.

The idea for this three-part convention was born out of the second annual Plus Swap, Philadelphia’s largest plus-size clothing swap, founded by Jageman in 2021. Jageman, Ray and Harris, realizing the need of a larger, more inclusive event, they run larger-sized companies began planning in November 2022 and officially announced FatCon in March.

“This sentence [body positivity] has become bogged down with the relationship with body image,” said Ray. “What people with larger bodies need is to get away from constantly talking about body image, because that can be very triggering for people who they have disabilities, chronic illnesses, have been dieting their whole lives and have developed eating disorders because of it. “

He also said that “people just want to be able to be themselves,” and that’s why there’s an “extreme need” for FatCon. “Some people aren’t in love with their body every day, but this is the body they exist in,” she added.

While there is certainly no need to be mean and cruel to people struggling with obesity, too many people in our society have misunderstood what true compassion means. Lying to obese people and telling them they should accept themselves as they are, because the real problem is beauty standards, instead of giving them concrete ways to cure their metabolic disorder only leads to more destruction and diseases

We are currently in the midst of a public health crisis. 70% of Americans are overweight, and more than 40% are obese. Six out of 10 Americans suffer from a chronic disease and four out of 10 suffer from two or more chronic diseases. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke, many cancers, type 2 diabetes, etc. While the three organizers of this event may have good intentions, they are simply allowing an entire demographic of people to continue making poor life choices. Their time and energy (and money) would be much better spent creating a convention that offers obesity solutions: nutrition seminars, workshops with holistic professionals, cooking and meal preparation classes, etc. good with themselves

Obesity is completely reversible and curable. We have all the tools we need to solve this obesity crisis, but our culture is too concerned with virtue signaling and patting ourselves on the back for being “compassionate” to people who are overweight extremely But the irony is that this is the opposite of compassion. True compassion is telling the truth, and that certainly won’t happen at FatCon.

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