Size Matters: Philly Will Welcome Tons of Attendees to Its First 'FatCon'

Ben Swan

News flash: A FatCon is coming — and that’s not a notice about a stout salesman.

In the 1986 cinematic smash Back to School, “Thornton Melon’s Tall and Fat Stores” owner Rodney Dangerfield asked potential patrons the following:


“When you go jogging, do you leave potholes? When you make love, do you have to give directions? At the zoo, do elephants throw you peanuts? Do you look at a menu and say, ‘Okay’?”

At the time, those large and in charge were occasionally treated to light ribbing. But just as in Genesis, the rib has been removed. These are the days of affirmation, and “Sexy at any size” is a roundly-embraced mantra.

Apropos of portly positivity, in late October, Pennsylvania’s largest city will welcome an extravaganza ardent toward all things organically outsized. A recent Instagram post hails “FatCon — Philly’s first fat-focused convention.”

The sizable event vows to be “curated for fat people, by fat people.” Among its advertised attractions:

  • Dozens of Raffle Prizes
  • Expert Panels + Speakers
  • Fat-Friendly Fitness Classes
  • Fat Marketplace
  • Discount Codes
  • Burlesque Performances
  • Live DJ
  • Photo Opportunities
  • Fitness Classes — “Yoga, Sound Bath, Twerk-lesque, Curves N Stilettous, Free the Jiggle”

Amid nearly 40 spotlighted sponsors:

  • Big Fig — “The Mattress for a Bigger Figure”
  • Burnt Toast — “An anti-diet, fat-positive community about body liberation”
  • A Soft Place to Land — “Unlearning diet culture + relearning body trust… … [A]ll bodies are good bodies.”
  • Fitso — “Fit in to stand out. Plus-size streetwear for bold and unapologetic women”
  • Shefit — “Rethink Your Sports Bra, Rule Your World.”

The speaker list hosts heavyweights such as Fat Girls in Black Bodies author Dr. Joy Cox. The pleasant and potent self-proclaimed “body justice advocate” promises to prod guests into “Fatting in Peace.” Supplemental to Dr. Cox’s direction, a VIP Meet & Greet will connect congregants with keynote colossus Sonalee Rashatwar — “The Fat Sex Therapist.”

From Sonalee’s (they/them) site:

[S]onalee’s notoriety first peaked when they were featured on Breitbart in March 2018 for naming thinness as a white supremacist beauty ideal. And they continue to draw the ire of white supremacists everywhere with controversial statements on intersectional fat liberation since then.

Speaking of sexiness, the full-bodied festival’s Linktree page points visitors to lingerie shop All are invited to entice:

Become a true seductress by setting your sensuality free!

Looking for the Plus Size section of the website? No worries, our entire online boutique carries sizes 1X-4X. We have your size in every garment, sis!

America’s institution of plus-size promotion has grown to epic proportions. It’s a solid-surfaced foe to old-school fit-or-fat fascism, and there are no signs of showing a crack. That’s made clear by a hefty horde of headlines:


Professor Fights for the ‘Freedom of Fat Bodies’

Viral Video Rips the Racist Roots of ‘Fatphobia’

Medical School Hosts Seminar on ‘Body Terrorism’ Against ‘Fat LGBTQ+ People’

‘Health at Every Size’ Group Razes the ‘Racism and Healthism’ of Physicians Fighting Obesity

WATCH: Sports Illustrated ‘Shatters Perceptions’ & Teaches You What’s Attractive with Its New ‘Obese’ Swimsuit Model

Plus-Size Model and Fat-Acceptance Activist Comes out as Anorexic

‘Cosmo’ Manhandles Myths With Its New Series of ‘This is Healthy’ Covers – Featuring Plus-Size Women

Back to FatCon, the corpulent carnival is nothing if not health-conscious. Consequently, a COVID policy:

All attendees and participants must be fully vaccinated. Masking is optional but strongly
recommended. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available.

Our Recommendations:

  • Wear a high-quality N95/KN95 mask if you are at high risk for severe illness with COVID-19.
  • Receive a booster vaccination.
  • Discuss your risks and the precautions you should take with a medical professional.
  • If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, you should follow the CDC’s
    guidance on isolation, testing, and quarantine.
  • Test 48 hours before the event; free at-home tests are still available through

Is the massive meet-up worth it? Surely so. Early Bird Ultimate VIP Pass purchasers will eat up a pile of perks:

  • VIP early check-in on Convention Day
  • a swag bag full of goodies + FatCon merchandise (T-Shirt in your size, a canvas tote, candle, and more); valued at over $150
  • a VIP Lounge at the Convention with extra seating and refreshments
  • Concierge and VIP designated seating for speakers and panels
  • Meet and Greet with our Keynote Speaker + Featured Speaker in VIP Lounge
  • Exclusive VIP discount codes from brands
  • Costume Party Perks: free parking, free drink ticket, VIP Lounge with food & access to full bar with designated server
  • Early access to Influencer Closet at The Plus Swap + Shop, curated by Cue the Curves

All that costs a pretty penny — Ultimate admission is $250. But FatCon is an opulent endeavor, boasting oodles of activities and a voluminous list of vendors. To use an automotive analogy, the conference is far from the Yugo of obese bashes; indeed, it’s the Rolls.

FatCon 2023 will get off the ground on October 29th and 30th, at Temple University and Fat Lady Brewing. For those who miss the fun in Philadelphia, Seattle will see a FatCon in 2024. Ticket tiers are “Fat Friend,” “Plump Patron,” “Fat Bae,” and “Fat Royalty.”


If you’ve got a fat wallet, go hog wild and attend both cellulite celebrations.



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