Fat, Happy and Healthy Women Photographed by Gabriela Hasbun

Phat Fly Girls “All That Fab” poster image.

Countless men and women are fighting an unending, toxic war against their own bodies. They strive to meet an arbitrary expectation of size and weight in a culture that portrays thinness as the epitome of health and beauty. I am committed to raising awareness about an alternative lifestyle that isn’t well understood: being fat, happy and healthy!—Gabriela Hasbun

Fat. Fit. Flabulous! is San Francisco-based photographer Gabriela Hasbun‘s long-term project that examines how women view themselves up against society’s preconceived notions about weight in relation to beauty. Hasbun follows a growing movement of energetic women—Bay Area fat activists at the center of Health at Every Size (HAES). Self-described as “the new peace movement,” HAES is on a mission to inspire that “good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size.”

GABRIELA_HASBUN_PhotographyLady Monster photographed at China Basin Beach in San Francisco was titled Queen of the Fire Tassels by burlesque sensation, Satan’s Angel.

The Padded Lilies are a Bay Area group of fat women who perform synchronized swimming. They have attracted more national attention than any other San Francisco based fat performance group. Their shows are consistent crowd pleasers. They teach body-acceptance and fat-empowerment. They believe that everyone can exercise regardless of size.

Fat!So? Author, Marilyn Wann.

Yay Scale by Marilyn Wann, author of Fat!So?, is the queen of the modern American Fat-Pride movement. Marilyn began making “Yay Scales,” where numbers were replaced with compliments like “sexy”, “gorgeous” and “cute”, as a way of encouraging people to get on a scale without fear.

Backstage at a performance of “All That Flab.” Matilda St. John, Artistic Director of West Coast Phat Fly Girls, gets ready before going on-stage.

Big Boogie Nights in San Jose, Ca.

Gabriela HasbunUnderground sensation Candye Kane is a legendary diva, large and lovely porn star, pin up model and fat activist. She is also an award-winning blues singer. Her CDs include Whole Lotta Love, Swango and Knockout.

Gabriela HasbunRae Bergamino runs Heavy Rotation- a fat friendly dance event for “size rebels, fatties, and chubsters”- at El Rio in San Francisco every second Friday of the month.

  • absolutely beautiful and awe-inspiring 😀

  • Greg

    These are beautiful pictures of beautiful people, but they aren’t healthy people.

  • Andreae

    Greg, assuming you are a doctor treating each of these people pictured, wouldn’t that statement be a breach of your doctor-patient confidentiality? And if you’re not their doctor… well, the mind reels as to how you could possibly know anything about their health.

  • Nanasha

    If you really want to take the long view, Greg, no one is healthy because we all die some day.

    Besides, who the hell OWES health to anyone? And why is health a size instead of a state of being that is measurable by rigorous scientific blood tests instead of simply glancing at a body like you have magic health seeking missile powers?

    Can you tell if someone has cancer just by looking at them? Can you tell what they last ate?

    *shrug* I’m actually NOT healthy. I have no thyroid function and I have severe, high-testosterone hormone levels PCOS, which is a hereditary disease. When I exercise, I do it for myself. It feels good for ME, and I love how my body feels afterwards. I eat food to nourish myself and to enjoy time with friends. I do not feel it is my place to police or ascribe my own personal desires and morals to other peoples’ bodies or food/exercise habits.

    And I still deserve human rights and non-shitty judgement from other people who have no IDEA what my life is like or how I live.

    In fact, most people have hereditary diseases running in their families- cancer, diabetes, etc. The lack or gift of health is not an excuse to treat people poorly, nor is it a reason to tell them that they are bad/must change.

    Because you know what? You can give a 79 year old person enough plastic surgery to make that person look 35, but that doesn’t MAKE that person 35, and you can’t go on to blame that person for having normal 79 year old health issues and acting like everyone can live forever and be perfect and healthy and young and never have one problem if they just follow the diet and exercise regimen that YOU have been doing for, what, a month or two?)

    Newsflash: we all die. It is what we do while we LIVE, no matter what body we are in, that counts.

  • Sharon

    Love the pictures!

  • moniqa

    Gorgeous. I would love to see more of this. 🙂

  • Siobhan

    I have to add, Greg, that I recently read an article in which the definition of obesity is clarified. It is based on the amount of measurable deep abdominal cavity fat. Which, surprisingly, is not predictable on the basis of how fat or thin a person appears on the outside. This is a clear indication that a person’s health is not discernible on the basis of size. So… there.

  • linda

    I wish i can be strong like you all, confidence and beautiful

  • Gabor

    Whoa! Greg isn’t saying anything offensive. OK, I’m not a doctor either, and no, I have not lived in each of the bodies above, that’s established. They look very happy, maybe they are, and that’s fantastic. Yet, as someone who’s been fat, I can still say (without a medical degree!) that in many cases, people that are that overweight struggle in physical exercice, walking over certain distances, trouble breathing… That’s not healthy, and can lead to heart problems. Of course, the most important thing is to feel confident and happy with who you are, and while there definitely is a repulsive cult of the anorexic, let’s not be hypocritical about it and go around saying “being fat is perfectly healthy”

  • I don’t see anyone saying anyone is perfectly healthy. You can set any number of metrics about this. I’ve heard on the radio several speeches by a Dr. Mario Martinez who studies centenarians. On the one hand, at one point, he say’s there are “no obese centenarians” to his knowledge. On the other, he says that centenarians quite consistently don’t despair of what others’ evaluations of their health are, including their health care professionals, and have total disregard for what he calls the “cultural portals” assigned to terms like “young”, “middle age” and “elderly”, and that they occur more often in societies which don’t put a lot of conceptual restrictions on what an old person can do. On that logic, perhaps a healthy disregard for the cultural portals of “overweight”, “obese” and “morbidly obese” will lead some fat people into longer lives. Maybe if more fat people take this tack, and if society is moved to fewer conceptual restrictions on what fat people can do, Martinez will eventually have some fat centenarians to contend with. But even aside all that, people with all manner of health difficulties pursue the most full and joyful life possible for them, and in terms of society that means being visible and taking territory in the collective consciousness as part of the spectrum of humanity. Far as exercise goes, I think the objective should be as much as you can. If it’s a little, do a little. If it gets to be more great, if it doesn’t then do what you can do.

  • Greg is one of those people who, while they are attracted to fat women, struggle with their concern trolling and incorrect assumptions about their health.
    I’ve written a blog about this, please give it a read….

  • Greg is an asshole! Who will look at these Gorgeous ladies and pass such a poor judgement.

  • Judi Duffy

    I’m with Greg here. As an epidemiologist in public health for 30 years, I’ve studied the data on obese individuals over time, which indicates that obesity is definitely a health concern. This is not fat shaming. And yes, overweight individuals indeed can be beautiful and happy. I’m always happy to see them portrayed as such. But it’s important to accept that obesity is a serious risk factor, similar to smoking, and can exacerbate a long list of conditions and diseases. Please keep in mind that this is not a judgement, it’s just the facts.

  • tutu71

    These are beautiful humans indeed, bur health can become an issue here, I know it’s cliche all the health vs. fat vs. happy, but it is a reality…

  • T. S.

    These people are far from healthy.

  • Lorraine

    Someone elses health and body is none of your business, you have no idea about them or what medical issues they have. Why can’t well all enjoy our one body we’ve been given free of judgement? Beautiful work.

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