Corissa Enneking, @fatgirlflow, on why fat acceptance is the new body positivity
Corissa Enneking has been creating content online for years. What started out as a blog on Tumblr quickly turned into a website, an Instagram account with over 218k followers, a successful merch line, and features on websites including Huffington Post and Nylon. What makes Enneking special is that they are more than just body positivity and being fat. They talk about what it means to accept your fatness and all of the issues that may come with it.
Enneking talks fat acceptance, being an influencer, and future plans in The Pitch Questionnaire.
Current neighborhood: Lawrence
What’s your guilty pleasure? There is absolutely zero guilt in all of my pleasures! But if there was one thing I spend a bit too much time doing it would definitely be Pokemon Go.
Who did you want to be when you grew up? A physical therapist or a lawyer—I was very practical and way off.
Your drink: Any non-alcoholic summertime shrub that comes garnished with flowers.
The best advice you ever got: Being vulnerable is going to hurt a lot, but the payoff is real real big. I still resent that this advice is so true.
What inspired you to share your personal experience with fat acceptance publicly? Originally I just wanted to share myself trying fashions I had never tried. I knew that there was a desperate need for someone to share where they shop and how to shop as a plus size person, so I set out to make that happen. Along the way, I realized that there’s no way to uncouple the marginalization of fat people from their lack of access to clothing and that the oppression of fat people went far deeper than that.
Was there a specific moment or post that gave you traction as an influencer? The fat community online is so incredible and supportive; there were so many people who amped me up and shared my stories. @readytostare was the first writer to share my blog on Bustle, and from there, things really took off.
You made a video in September 2020 about the language that is used surrounding being fat. Since then, you’ve decided to stop using the term, “body positivity.” Can you explain the reasoning behind this decision? Body positivity has become a trendy way to market clothes and people who want the benefits of being inclusive without actually serving the communities that need that inclusion. “Body positive” influencers and brands want to make money off of a movement that was created to liberate people in bodies that don’t fit the “norm,” but they rarely speak up about things that the fat community faces like discrimination at work, lack of access to appropriate health care, medical fatphobia, and housing discrimination. I am here for dismantling all white supremacist systems that are in place that make living as a marginalized person unsafe—fat acceptance and liberation seem to resonate more for me in that way.
What is one thing you hope others will take away from your platform? I hope that people love watching me just be a fat person enjoying my life and take permission from that in order to enjoy themselves and be unapologetic in their happiness.
What do you wish people knew about you? I went into social media knowing I was going to make it my career. I think a lot of people think that I happened upon “influencing,” but I have always been intentional about this being my job. A lot of femmes who are bloggers or influencers get treated as if they lucked into being successful instead of being treated as a smart and adaptable business person. This is my career; I’ve worked hard to be good at it.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I think I’ll be doing something similar to what I’m doing now—maybe traveling around to have fat pool parties in different cities with fellow fat babes? You never know.