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Where Plus Size Customers Can Finally Speak Out
By Ghia Vitale
Fat Girl Reviews is a review site for fat consumers. It gives the plus size community a platform for sharing our experiences with businesses, venues, services, products, and more. Check out this exclusive Quail Bell interview to learn more about this exciting website.
Fat Girl Reviews is kind of like Yelp, but instead of being an app, it’s a review website devoted to fat people’s interests as consumers. In the “about” section, FGR describes itself as “a safe place for us big girls to review places, experiences, and products from our unique Fat Girl perspective.” On this website, fat people write and share reviews with details regarding the level of fat accessibility at certain businesses. By publishing our experiences, FGR empowers fat folks (especially fat femmes) to speak out and helps businesses realize the power of fat consumers.
The world has a long way to go in terms of fat accessibility. Whenever fat people like me go out somewhere, we often worry about whether or not the place we’re going to can accommodate us. For example, I usually can’t fit into most booths, so any establishment I go to must offer free-standing chairs. With the help of FGR, people like me can learn about an establishment’s degree of fat accessibility before we decide to go there.
I found out about FGR through the fat positive community. I believe in this brand. I think that FGR’s concept is amazing and the world needs more spaces like this. I wanted to learn more about FGR, so I decided to interview Lana Hazou, the founder of FGR.
Here’s what Hazou had to say:
What inspired you to launch Fat Girl Reviews?
My professional background is in ecommerce and digital analytics. To me, everything in its purest, simplest form is either data or a process. This mindset is coupled with three repetitive experiences combined to inspire Fat Girl Reviews (FGR).
As many fat folks will attest, these experiences are sadly very common amongst us.
What is your vision for this brand?
My vision is three-fold:
I want FGR to be a safe platform for our diverse fat community to speak up and share knowledge about our experiences and bodies. The goal is to drive change. We want to capture this knowledge via reviews, surveys, events, and content.
If a fat person wants to critique or praise a space, business, service, concept, product, or anything as being fat-friendly or not, they will come to FGR since they know they will be heard. They know that what they’ve shared will be useful to others and acted upon by FGR.
If a business wants to understand the fat consumer or learn how to make their business more fat-friendly, they will come to FGR to educate themselves and/or engage our data-driven consulting services.
Have you learned anything in particular from reading so many reviews written by fat consumers?
I’ve learned that many of us have a LOT to say, but few of us expect anything to change. This not only hurts my heart, but it makes my vision grow larger and makes me work even harder. Our community needs this information. Our community also needs fat folks to speak up and add their voices. We need to be able to answer a business when they finally ask us what we want and need.
Also, though, I’ve still got so much to learn!
As an editor, are there any qualities that make one FGR submission stand out to you more than others do?
It really hits me when I can tell the person did their research, especially when they have measurements and everything. I go crazy gaga and I yelp a “YES!” before a quick fist-pump. A great example is Andrea DiMaio’s “I’m a Fat Outdoors Woman and I Need Gear.”
On the other hand, the ones that hit me in a totally different way are the ones that are super insightful. They let me know something about behaviors or processes that I wasn’t aware of before. We have a collaboration in the works that illustrates this. I hope you and your audience follow us on Instagram! :-)
Do you have any other advice for plus size consumers you wish you had known earlier?
Don’t be afraid to just ask. If you want to try a place and you’re nervous, call them or email them… Just ask them if they are able to accommodate you. Even if they say no, you’ve helped us all out by making that business aware of a new potential audience (aka new revenue stream). If enough demand is there, they will change. We just need to show them.
What message do you strive to send to fat girls?
I know it’s repetitive now, but… don’t be afraid to speak up and demand what you deserve as a paying consumer. You don’t have to do it alone, though. Let us know and we’ll join the fight with you. Remember: Fat folks’ money works just the same way as thin people’s money!
As mentioned earlier, FGR gathers information through surveys. You, too, can lend your voice and make the world a better place if you take FGR’s surveys. Here are some of the surveys you can take:
There’s a survey about The Basics: What do you say? Comfortable enough to talk about it? Then there’s also Share Your Flare. Flare is FGR’s word for “the measurement of your thigh and butt spread when you sit down.” You can also take the survey called How Deep Is Your Need? that focuses on expressing fat individuals’ needs. These surveys are anonymous, so your answers won’t be traced back to you.
With a resource like FGR being available, fat people like me can find out about spaces where we’ll be comfortable. FGR also helps to educate businesses on how to become more fat-friendly. I’m grateful for the fact that FGR exists and I highly recommend that you check this awesome resource. To get more updates, like FGR on Facebook and follow FGR on Twitter!
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