The Power of Fat Friendships

Living in a plus-size body can often be an isolating experience. But when you find your community of fellow fat women, magic happens.

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In honor of National Friendship Day, we’re reflecting on the incredible friendships we’ve created with fellow fat women. Community can change the way you feel about anything—including your own body. Making friends who look like you and have shared life experience can bond you and inspire you. Every day, we see incredible friendships form in the Dia&Co National Community Facebook group over little things like finding a belt that fits around your waist, and much larger things like what it felt like for a family member to criticize your weight over dinner. Having friends who understand the struggles and joys of living in a plus-size body can be affirming and, ultimately, life-changing.

These 4 women have found fat friends and discovered for themselves just how powerful it can be to have fellow plus-size women in their friend circles. *Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

Natalie Hage and friend Charlotte

Natalie and her friend Charlotte, matching both each other and the poolside decor.

“Having fat friends has been transformative for me. It’s an unspoken community of minds that understand your day-to-day life on a deeper level. Whether we get to wear each other’s clothes or talk about our deepest body feels, there is something so special about having friends to share your experiences with that truly get it.”

Natalie Hage

Andrea DiMaio and friend Alyson

Andrea and Alyson hiking on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“Having fat friends online gives me a safe space to talk about things that only affect plus-size people. Having fat friends makes me feel safe, confident, and seen. It takes any shame out of the equation. Having fat friends allows me to ask for more room or complain about a too-small space/seat without thinking twice about being judged. Having fat friends allows me to speak candidly about what I need, like when I needed a longer hip belt for my backpack. I told my friend Alyson knowing she would be compassionate and understanding—and together we found a solution that didn’t leave me feeling less than.”

Andrea DiMaio

Ashby and Christine are two best, stylish friends.

Christine and Ashby, two friends who love shopping for plus-size fashion finds together.

“Having plus-size friends is like a special gift in my life. Of course, the shopping is to die for, having a friend who understands all the challenges of dressing a plus body is priceless. But aside from the shopping, I’m always mesmerized when my plus friends are living boldly, challenging themselves physically, and having fulfilling romantic relationships—things I was told as a little girl that I could not do because I was fat. Having fat friends really reminds me that I’m okay just as I am.”

Christine Yarde

Lauren Brake with friends Sydney and Becca

Lauren (pictured at right) with her friends Sydney and Becca, soaking up the sunshine on a rooftop.

“To me, it is important to have camaraderie among those who navigate through life as you do. The fat experience is very unique and can even vary based on your unique size. While allies may be able to empathize with you, there is truly nothing comparable to having someone who knows exactly where you’ve been or what you’re going through. For me, having fat friends has been powerful in truly identifying who I am and want to be in life. Because while I am fat, when I’m around other fat people, that is not my only glowing characteristic. I get to be a bold, funny, thoughtful, stylish woman who just so happens to be fat….and not just the only fat person in the room. While fatphobia can and does still exist, even in circles of fat friends, it’s important to have fat friends who want to tackle it and truly uplift each other. Those are the friends I have, and I’m grateful for them.”

Lauren Brake

 

Do you have fat friends? Or do you still feel like you’re the only plus-size woman in your circle? Whether you make online or in-person friends with other plus-size women, you’re sure to feel inspired and less alone. If you’re looking to join a community full of plus-size women living boldly, join our National Facebook Community Group.