I recently wrote a post about how Burning Man isn’t just for thin people. I really wanted to take a minute to reiterate this, because there was more body diversity on the playa this year than ever before (says everyone I discussed it with). I also found out that more people wonder about this issue than I thought, so here’s a bit more on it:
In my camp, we had 18 folks who trekked from all over the U.S. Here’s the half [and whole]-assed demographics:
12 men, 6 women—
2 of the men were over 60. 2 of the men were between 40 and 60. 2 of the men were between 30 and 40, and the rest (6) were between 21 and 30. Out of them all, 2 were super thin hippie types. 2 were college kid summer hipsters. 4 were the athletic/adventurous type. the rest were overweight to varying degrees. Our camp leader was about 300 pounds and rocked mesh and fur costumes ALL week. He was fierce.
2 of the women were over 50. 1 was 40ish. 2 were 30. 1 was 20. Of these women, 2 were obese, 1 was overweight, 1 was extremely athletic (she ran the BM 50k ultramarathon), and the other 2 were hippie granola crunchy women who obviously take good care of themselves… except when I made them bacon.
Ok, so now you know the numbers (in case you ever wondered for whatever reason), but what about how I *FEEL* as a fat woman on the playa?
I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes I feel intimidated by all the art installations folks climb up and into. The ziplines, the crazy ladders, the tiny cubbies, the massive climbable structures — I just can’t do any of that. I *AM* limited by my weight. But does that stop me from having a good time? No… it just means I find other things to do.
YES YOU CAN:
ride an art car (and YES, there are some great art car owners who aren’t intimidating pricks out to find the most elite hollywood-esque riders they can muster up)
climb SOME structures
ride your bike around the playa like a BOSS (I made NO changes to my simple $100+ WalMart cruiser bike and I rode probably 5-10 miles per day. It felt GREAT (despite the chub rub, which I managed in various ways)
LOOK the part. Just be YOU. Figure out outfits beforehand – find at least 1 or 2 outfits YOU think you look awesome in, regardless of how BURNY it is… bring that.
look amazing even if you aren’t comfortable being naked. Look, I’m 230 pounds and 5’5″. I have a huge ridiculous chest and a giant belly and I am just not comfortable for others to see what I’ve got swaying in the wind. I keep myself highly clothed the entire week because I feel COMFORTABLE with clothes on. Some overweight women looked amazing in their scantily-clad outfits. Me? I stuck with what I knew this year. I’d rather feel comfortable and be clothed than wondering all day if my TuTu is covering my crotch.
That’s it for now… more about BM later… it was incredible.