Getting plus-size flood victims clothes with the right fit

My Fat Squad co-founders Farizah (left) and Kirath sorting out donated clothes for plus-size flood victims in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.

Volunteer group My Fat Squad is helping to ensure plus-size flood survivors have access to clothes that fit 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: Flood victims who do not have clothes that fit them feel anxious about going out.Farizah: Flood victims who do not have clothes that fit them feel anxious about going out.

Farizah, 34, said they decided to create a WhatsApp group to keep in touch, as their values and goals were aligned.

“We realised that more conversations on systemic issues faced by plus-size people were needed.

“We also wanted to give people like us a safe space to talk about their experiences.

“That is why we set up the My Fat Squad Instagram account last year,” Farizah told StarMetro.

Initially, it was aimed at supporting plus-size people through the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order period, especially in relation to their health.

It also aims to be a resource for advocacy, education and representation for acceptance of fat people.

Farizah noted that during the recent floods, many of the clothes donated to temporary evacuation centres could not fit plus-size people.

“The flood victims had lost nearly everything and could not even access basic necessities like clothes that fit them.

“When a disaster like this happens, the lack of suitable clothes can feel like a double blow.

“It makes it more difficult for the survivors to start the process of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives when they don’t even have clothes that fit them.

“There is also a lot of stigma against women who wear clothes that are too tight.

“Those who do not have clothes that fit them well, will feel embarassed or anxious about going out and carrying out tasks.

“This is just an example of how the needs of people who are marginalised, including those who are plus size, are always overlooked,” she said.

Farizah said that a follower of their social media account had shared about being discriminated against during the flood evacuation process.

“They were told that they were heavier than the other victims, so the two of them and their sisters as well as their bedridden grandmother were the last to be rescued,” she said.

Since My Fat Squad started the plus-size clothes donation drive, Farizah said people had not only come forward to make donations, they also volunteered to help the group with its work.

“We are willing to collaborate with anyone who understands the challenges faced by plus-size people and are willing to respect the process of aid, both individuals and organisations,” said Farizah.

She said they were currently collecting cash donations to buy undergarments for plus-size flood victims.

“We are planning to collect officewear in the near future so the flood survivors can return to work with confidence.

“We are also open to more collaborations and conversations about ‘fatphobia’ and ways to be more inclusive of plus-size people,” she added. — By AIDA AHMAD

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My Fat Squad , plus-size , flood , survivors , clothes


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