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Here it is, the HUGE stab in the back.

I had illusions, friends, illusions that this time would not come. I have been enjoying Huge, a show I really relate to...a show I felt was one of the best portrayals of fat people I've seen, a show that has given much-needed representation and complexity. But alas....

From the Huge Facebook account:

Hey Huge fans! Do you want to go to weight loss camp next summer? Win a full summer scholarship at Camp Shane. Write an essay for The Camp Shane Nikki Blonsky Scholarship and you just might be the deserving winner! Click here for details on how to enter:



I'm not even sure how to react at this point. This is not acceptable. This is a stab in the back, a mocking of the support, attention, and airtime we've given the show. Kind of seems like a twisted joke, if you ask me.

Reactions from fans on their Facebook were initially pretty negative, but now if you go there you'll see the fat haters and "it's for your health" evangalists are coming out of the woodwork.

I recommend you go to their Facebook page and leave your negative feedback. Actually, I no longer recommend you go to that threat because it's comments as usual there.

Then, tweet your thoughts to @ABCFhuge and include the tag #HUGEmistake. Tweet the hell out of them and tell your friends to tweet it too. @NikkiBlonsky isn't a verified account, but seems legit, so tweet her too!

Then, go 'Ask Katherine' why Huge would do such a thing?

And if anyone knows where to write the corporate address, let me know and we'll post it so you can send your angry letters.

Surprise, I don't hate you! | A Little Relief--Savannah Dooley on Camp Shane

BigLiberty's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | Ugh, I had a feeling this

Ugh, I had a feeling this was going to sour. Ever since I saw Blonsky's tweets the other week about her visiting a fat camp and what an 'amazing' experience she had there, how the kids were amazing, etc. I thought it was weird at the time, but I wrote it off as the candy-striper visiting the sick, as it were. Guess I should have listened to the 'weird' vibe.

If they're supporting fat camps then they're supporting what these camps are trying to do --- telling fat kids that the best use of their free time (summer) is to lose weight so that they're acceptably thin. Of course they'll claim that they support the 'get-healthy' message of such camps or whatever, and that this isn't about looking thinner, etc. They've already been trying to weave some HAES ideas in there --- after strongly hinting that most of the kids were flabby, ice-cream-microwaving, motionless couch-potatoes before they came to the camp.

But at the end of the day weight-loss camps aren't about HAES or health. They're about weight-loss. Parents pay for their kids to go there to see a thinner version of the kid at the end of the summer. Otherwise they'd send them to a regular camp where you run around with the skinny kids and, I dunno, do *fun* activities that aren't all about losing weight. But I suppose as a fat kid, why, that kind of thing isn't for you and it's just the pretty thins that get to go to tennis camp while you have to feel uncomfortable, get yelled at for being worthless as you are by some Jillian Michaels wannabe, and get routinely embarrassed or made to feel like a freak.

Yeah. I'm pissed. And I'm so effing glad my parents sent the CHUBBY, EGADS, EVEN FAT teenaged me to REAL CAMPS where I got to sing, dance, hike, and swim and it wasn't about losing weight.

So, in short, this is where I think you should shove your fat camp 'scholarship': *points to asses of HUGE producers*

CarrieP's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | know, I went to know, I went to fat camp for three summers when I was a young teenager and I have to say it was a largely positive experience. While there was the inevitable focus on weight loss - I was too young then to fully realize how much bullshit it was but I had suspicions - there was also something fantastic about finally being surrounded by people who *got* where I was coming from, who had shared my experiences, who knew what it felt like to be me. Fat camp was where I had my first boyfriend, modeled in my first fashion show, danced for the first time on a stage in front of a room full of people, and first learned that I could be a hell of an athlete. I made friends at fat camp that I still keep in touch with today. It opened my world up in a way I never would have expected.

I really hate the weight loss message perpetrated by Camp Shane and others, but I can't wholeheartedly say that fat camp is bad. I had some really important experiences there and I'd hate to deny another fat teenage girl the same opportunity. Maybe a better solution would be to start a HAES camp for fat kids and send our kids there, but that's still a ways off yet.

withoutscene's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | Carrie, I totally get that.

Carrie, I totally get that. I also think it's really sad that that's the only place a fat kid could go where people understand, where they could feel normal, etc. So while I don't think fat camps are all bad and I can see how good things could happen there, I don't think they are ultimately good or that we can overlook the central message either. I just wish there could be a fat camp without a weight loss goal.

CarrieP's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | Me too. Let's start one!!!

Me too. Let's start one!!! With this recent avalanche of childhood obesity we've got a HUGE target market Laughing out loud

BigLiberty's picture
August 11th, 2010 | Link | I want to help out! A

I want to help out! Laughing out loud

A body-positive camp for kids who feel bad about their bodies (for whatever reason) would be amazing. An alternative to fat camp, though will all sorts of fun physical (and non-physical) activities, with body-image and confidence-boosting being the main focus of the camp. And giving these kids words to fight the hate they encounter in such fine, virulent form in most traditional high schools.


BigLiberty's picture
August 11th, 2010 | Link | I agree. While I understand

I agree. While I understand that fat camp can give fat kids a chance to feel more accepted for the first time ever, it's naturally in the context of *not* being accepted by the authority figures in their lives. What a mindfuck. Why can't there be a camp where fat kids can go to feel normal and *not* have the focus on weight loss? Like a body image positivity camp? That would be amazing! And that's the kind of thing the HUGE producers and cast should be supporting, given what the show's message has apparently been up until now.

But I agree with Brian over at Red No. 3, it's increasingly looking like this show is going to be one HUGE bait and switch.

lmk August 10th, 2010 | Link | To be clear, this doesn't

To be clear, this doesn't seem to be connected in any way with Huge the series, nor the producers of this show, but is rather something Nikki Blonsky is doing. Odds are good that the ABC Family FB admin got a press release regarding one of their stars and dutifully posted it, and if this were about anything else -- Blonsky launching a plus-size clothing line, for example -- nobody would bat an eye at that.

There has been a demonstrated disconnect between the show's promotion and marketing and the show's actual content from the start, so I think it's premature to assume that the series' producers are responsible.

withoutscene's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | This is a good point. But I

This is a good point. But I think if ABCF is linking to it, they are promoting it. I don't necessarily hold the producers responsible, though it is their show. I held LB responsible when their Twitter-er posted bullshit, I do the same for a show.

lmk August 10th, 2010 | Link | Oh, I heartily concur with

Oh, I heartily concur with holding ABC Family responsible. But they've been rank idiots in their promotion of Huge from day one, so their continuing failure to understand the audience OR the very show they're supposed to be promoting is not a surprise to me.

moxie3's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | I was watching either Joy

I was watching either Joy B's show or Larry King Live the other night and they had some woman on there who represented the show "Too Fat for 15" I believe it was called and two of the kids from that show were on it. They have a boarding school for fat kids and charge $6,000 a month. My daughter who is 21 now walked in the room as I was watching it and I made some derogatory remark about the school and she said she wished they had one for her when she was in HS. So even though the main focus of the school is weightloss just the fact that the school was full of fat kids was tempting for her because they all had that in common and wouldn't have to face the abuse most fat kids face in day to day life in a regular HS situation. HS caused my daughter much pain and anxiety and by college had her gastric bypass.

So I can see where the fat camp although the focus is misguided would probably appeal to a lot of kids as a safe haven and a place where kids who would never put a bathing suit in public feel free to do so.

One more thing about the "TFF15" show, they also had Hayley Hasselholff speak on the news program and if you're familiar with "Huge" you know she's the blond girl on the show and she was very FA supportive during the interview. Saying she grew up with supportive parents saying that she could do/be whatever she wanted and they never tried to change her. She also was a plus size model for a while and made a comment about the world being made of people of different sizes and we should embrace everyone basically so I thought that as a positive.

Big Liberty it sounds like the combination of your parents and your own inner strength got you much further than a lot of us have gone. You're a lucky girl! Moxie.

BigLiberty's picture
August 11th, 2010 | Link | Big Liberty it sounds like

Big Liberty it sounds like the combination of your parents and your own inner strength got you much further than a lot of us have gone. You're a lucky girl!

Eye-wink Thanks...though I've got to say that I was headstrong enough in my youth that my parents didn't really have a say in most of my decisions regarding my extracurriculars. I chose the camps, the lessons, the plays, the bands, the clubs, they went along with it.

When it came to food, however, my mom restricted my brother and I nearly our whole childhood (I have a comment on a thread about this in the forum, if you're interested...about "childhood dieting"). And my dad let me know that I'd be a much more valuable daughter and *person* if I were thinner. He told me once that a woman's thighs *weren't supposed to touch each other* --- that there was supposed to be space in between. Shocked Given the fact that I was never built like that, from age 7 up, and in my the German side of my family (from which I clearly inherited my thighs) the woman's thighs NEVER touch, it was a pretty fucked up thing for him to say.

I'll reiterate about the fat camp/fat boarding school point: the solution to this isn't to help fat kids go to fat camps so that they can feel accepted, it's to make the other places where the 'normal' kids go more accommodating and less hostile. And perhaps start some positive camp like a body image camp.

Kunoichi August 12th, 2010 | Link | He told me once that a

He told me once that a woman's thighs *weren't supposed to touch each other* --- that there was supposed to be space in between.


That's just ... gah!!!

When it comes to thin, the one thing that I view as an early warning that someone is crossing the line to being "too thin" is the gap between the thighs. The thigh muscles are among the largest in our bodies. For a person standing with their feet together, the thighs *should* be touching. That gap tells me the person isn't just thin, but has a worrying lack of muscle mass. For someone who isn't recovering from an illness, it is a warning to me that they are going into muscle atrophy.

withoutscene's picture
August 12th, 2010 | Link | I gotta say I disagree. I

I gotta say I disagree. I try to be really careful about making claims about how bodies *should* be. People make a lot of claims that bodies shouldn't be fat, that it's a sign of poor health...and yes, anorexic or malnourished or atrophied bodies do have certain characteristics, but some that doesn't always mean people with very thin bodies are necessarily anorexic or malnourished or atrophied. Just like some people are naturally very fat, some people are naturally very thin. So, for me, to say that thighs should touch is just as harmful as saying the thighs shouldn't touch.

Tobysgirl August 12th, 2010 | Link | I have got to reply to

I have got to reply to THIGHS. My husband had a friend who was, shall we say, well-built. An African-American man friend of hers told her, "Ooooh, Gale, them thighs!" (I'll bet they touched!) Her response: "Ssshhhhh, there's white guys listening."

Personally, I find being able to view the landscape between someone's thighs rather odd.

moxie3's picture
August 12th, 2010 | Link | Thanks for the clear-up.

Thanks for the clear-up. And I agree with you on the Fat Camp point. How do we get there is the hard question. I never wanted my daughters to feel as tortured as I did but they do have bigger "balls" than I ever had so I did something right! Take care, Moxie.

nycivan's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | ABC Family discussion boards

So I went to the ABC FAMILY site to ask why they are promoting the scholarship and I wound up looking at the message boards dedicated to the show. In the thread with the most hits, I found the typical concern trolling and folks engaging with them. I clicked off feeling sad and discouraged. I want to go in there and reach out with a FA hand, but I am just not in a space to subject myself to the vitriol that would be part of engaging on those boards.

Glad to have a safe space like BFB to share about this stuff.



withoutscene's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | Ivan, we fight when we have

Ivan, we fight when we have it in us, but we have to rest as a matter of course and we have to protect our sanity. I agree you have to be in the right space. I happened to have it in me tonight, but am a little burnt out and discouraged myself now. But we rest, then we fight again, however we can muster the revolution. *HUGS*

BigLiberty's picture
August 11th, 2010 | Link | Don't worry, withoutscene,

Don't worry, withoutscene, there's a bunch of us who have some fight in us over this whole HUGE nonsense. We've got your back, and we'll be vocalizing about it, too. Smiling Great post!

amanda8501's picture
August 10th, 2010 | Link | I have been commenting on

I have been commenting on the huge FB page for a few hours just to keep things stirred up, but I seriously would love love LOVE a body positive camp. I'll be a counselor and teach body love. It would be a dream!

Tiana August 11th, 2010 | Link | I wanted to leave a comment

I wanted to leave a comment on that FB thread, but there was no text input box to be seen anywhere. I'm guessing you might need to be a "fan" in order to be able to comment, or else maybe some sort of limit has been reached.

Either way, I wish I could have chimed in just to say that for 95% of my life so far, I was a skinny person who had done absolutely nothing to get that way. There were too many "I worked hard for this body" types getting their knickers in a twist in that discussion. They don't realise that a) they still got lucky and b) the fact that they needed to "work for it" doesn't mean every skinny person has to.

I'm disappointed that this happened. I don't have an opportunity to watch the show itself, but I was hoping it would stay as awesome as everyone was saying. This does not bode well.

D-Man's picture
August 11th, 2010 | Link | I've left three wonderful,

I've left three wonderful, inspirational comments in the Facebook thread and now I feel lousy because I left three comments in a Facebook thread. Bunch of dumb-asses, celebrating their own socially advocated uselessness.

Here they are- because let's face it, nobody wants to go to Facebook if they don't have to.

"I feel like I'm walking into the midst of a roid rage. No wonder people left- you were about to corner them and beat 'em up for their lunch money. Or worse- eat them and absorb their bodies to make MOAR MUSSULZ. "Oatz" is code for "gang up ...on them" and "cardioz" is code for "cannibalize."

Listen, if you want to be a lumpy, unappealing, musclebound freaks of nature with little stegosaurus brains, then I can't stop you even if I think you look utterly horrendous and terrifying. Wouldn't take a single one of you to bed, but you can exist with my blessing."

"Because let's face it, puny peckers- you don't need to be musclebound in this day and age- there's no requirement for it. In fact, even in some of the more high-impact jobs, it's just considered overkill. Like it or not, you're an antique. ...Living anachronisms fantasizing about bygone days of hunting prey with your bare hands, "manly" flexing in loincloths and squatting in the woods. One doesn't have to be ripped, torn and nearly busting out of their own poor, stretched skin to be healthy. You bulk up purely for aesthetic value. And that's fine, as long as you accept that you're an ornamentation- a useless, gaudy bauble that's hung up in some gold-digger's four-story mansion.

Being at your size and exercising as often as you do, your poor hearts are about to burst and you don't even realize it. "But no, I'm healthy!" you plea. No, you're not. You've successfully stretched and pulled and expanded your body beyond its ability to be healthy. One false swing and you'll tear yourself out of your skin. I can see the veins in your neck pulsing in anger. Lovely anger."

"Lift and squat, lift and squat, day in and day out. How boring! You aren't really people. You have no personalities, no ambitions, dreams or even thoughts beyond your countless, meaningless hours, nay, DAYS devoted to sculpting yourself in ...this ultimate show of narcissism. One of your own said it himself- "Task done, ook! Back to training!" You're a bunch of in-crowd losers who never left the high school mindset.

I really can see why people left- you're too pathetic to be insulting. More likely, they left because they have real lives that they have to get up at 5 AM for, like the rest of us. You know, jobs? You may have heard of them in passing at the gym.

You honestly believe that stretching and bloating your muscles to the breaking point is any more healthy than eating Mcpukles or Burger Thing all the time? HA! (Note to BFB- if by now you don't realize I'm not serious about any of this, get a better sarcasm detector. Come on.)

And with that HA, I await your butthurt responses with exploding joy. Oatz and cardioz, lawl!"

Fortunately for me, I have no sanity to speak of, so there's nothing for me to lose by spending time in the comments. All I'll lose is my entertainment as I start to get bored when people stop replying and leave.



DeeLeigh's picture
August 12th, 2010 | Link | Ah, yeah. That's pretty

Ah, yeah. That's pretty crazy, D-man.

D-Man's picture
August 12th, 2010 | Link | Oh my, yes. Crazy, but not a

Oh my, yes. Crazy, but not a word of it is sincere.


nycfembbw August 11th, 2010 | Link | Larger Thought

Why do so many fat celebs have to roll over on the fat acceptance issue? I guess the pressure is tremendous, and the money provides so many options in which to mutilate one's body. The positive part is that it makes the ones who withstand the pressure all the more special. Still, it IS a stab on the back every time I hear that a powerful, fat celeb who used to stand up for their fat self is now representing Jenny Craig or getting surgery!

wriggle99 August 11th, 2010 | Link | Body and Self Acceptance

Body and Self Acceptance camp sounds good. If you need any help with 'internalized (fat) hate recovery counselling' (just made that up) I'd be happy to advise. Eye-wink

Notblue August 11th, 2010 | Link | How did I miss that?

I'm beside myself right now, having just read this bit of news on here. Man! I just...I don't have words. I guess I'm glad that this wasn't all over the promos/commercials or what have you, but still!!! I am loving every episode, but this just stinks. Bummer. Thanks for the info though. Already tweeted and asked Katherine.

"Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless." Mother Theresa

lmk August 12th, 2010 | Link | For what it's worth, one of

For what it's worth, one of the co-creators has commented on my blog, confirming my suspicions that there is no commercial tie-in between Huge and Camp Shane. The press release seemed pretty clear about that, though it's nice to have confirmation.

I feel like there is a disconnect between people's expectations of this show, and what it actually is, but I discuss that more thoroughly in the linked post so I won't spam y'all with it here.

BabySeal August 17th, 2010 | Link | "While I understand that fat

"While I understand that fat camp can give fat kids a chance to feel more accepted for the first time ever, it's naturally in the context of *not* being accepted by the authority figures in their lives. What a mindfuck."

This, a million times. Making a kid's ability to remain in his/her environment (family, school, whatever else may constitute it) conditional on the kid's weight is an extremely bad idea. As someone who was shipped off to an auxological center (the medicalized version of fat camp) at age 9, I'm qualified to say so with the utmost certainty. The nightmares about that place still haven't ceased, they show up regularly as a clock when I'm badly stressed, and I'm turning 37 next month - the only change is that now, thanks to FA, I am able to control those nightmares and to give them a positive ending (like me running away from that place or just turning around and leaving). And I don't even want to go into the implications of the standard question that was asked to all the children and teenagers - I have no evidence it was asked to adult patients as well - when they were being discharged: "Are you going to be good?" (Translation: are you going to keep on being thin/not too thin/whatever it was that we fixed here?") Solem nodding on the part of the kid in question: "Yes, I am, Doctor, I promise I am." ... Suspance moment, ominous silence, then... "All right, then, you may go home". So wrong, on so many levels. No child on this Earth should ever be made to think that his/her ability to live at home has any relation to his/her weight.

If anyone is on the fence re. sending his or her child(ren) to such a place and should happen to read this: please do not send your kid(s) there. It won't work, and the only things it will achieve is a) messing up your kid for a long, long time, planting into him/her fears that no child should know, and b) messing up your kid's relationship to you for a long, long time, and it's a kind of messing up that's very hard to repair. Take my word for it.

The very phrase "fat camp" makes my skin crawl.

pani113's picture
August 18th, 2010 | Link | No surprises

I am not one bit surprised. MSM is about selling products! Always has been, probably always will be. Its purpose is to create consumers-plain and simple. They were sympathetic to viewers so they could gain their trust, then sell them something. Anyone who really thinks that MSM will care first and foremost about viewer well being vs. getting them to empty their wallets is naive as the perennial mistress who really thinks this time will be different and her lover will leave his wife. Sorry to be so blunt, but until we realize how things work, we will continue to set ourselves up for disappointment and failure.

"Fat can be beautiful. Intolerance is ALWAYS ugly!"

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