The My Fat Squad volunteer group helps ensure that plus-size flood survivors have access to clothing that fits them.
The six members – Farizah A, Kirath KS, Ratna M, Preamiitha P, Villa S and Dorian W – met a few years ago at an event that promoted body image acceptance.
Farizah, 34, said they decided to start a WhatsApp group to stay in touch because their values and goals were aligned.
“We realized that more conversations about the systemic issues faced by tall people were needed.
“We also wanted to give people like us a safe space to talk about their experiences.
“That’s why we created the My Fat Squad Instagram account last year,” Farizah told StarMetro.
Initially, it aimed to support tall people during the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order period, especially with regard to their health.
It also aims to be a resource for advocacy, education and representation for the acceptance of obese people.
Farizah noted that during the recent floods, many clothes donated to temporary evacuation centers could not fit tall people.
“Flood victims had lost almost everything and couldn’t even access basic necessities like clothes that fit.
“When a disaster like this happens, the lack of suitable clothing can feel like a double whammy.
“It makes it harder for survivors to begin the process of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives when they don’t even have clothes that fit.
“There is also a lot of stigma towards women who wear clothes that are too tight.
“Those who don’t have clothes that fit them well will feel embarrassed or anxious to go out and complete tasks.
“This is just one example of how the needs of marginalized people, including tall people, are still being overlooked,” she said.
Farizah said a follower of their social media account shared that he had been discriminated against during the flood evacuation process.
“They were told they were heavier than the other victims, so the two of them and their sisters and their bedridden grandmother were the last to be rescued,” she said.
Since My Fat Squad launched the plus size clothing donation campaign, Farizah said people have not only come forward to donate, but also volunteered to help the group in its job.
“We are willing to work with anyone who understands the challenges faced by tall people and is willing to respect the process of helping, both individuals and organizations,” Farizah said.
She said they were currently collecting cash donations to buy underwear for plus size flood victims.
“We plan to collect office clothes in the near future so that flood survivors can return to work with confidence.
“We’re also open to more collaborations and conversations about ‘fatphobia’ and ways to be more inclusive of plus-size people,” she added. — By AIDA AHMAD