Last year, Samantha Puc was talking with friend Alice Lesperance about cool it would be to create a space where fat folx could talk about being active, adventuring, & traveling; a safe space where you could exchange ideas with other fat folx. In January, the two took that idea to Twitter to see if anyone would be interested. And as the internet does, the tweet blew up. And They knew it was something they had to do.
And that something was Fatventure Mag, a print + digital zine featuring work by fat women & non-binary creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture.
Puc explains that Fatventure Mag is unique because – as far as she and Lesperance know – it’s the only magazine that focuses on experiences of fat women & non-binary people. “It’s a magazine that’s part of a larger movement of fat acceptance & body positivity that aims to dismantle diet culture, & create more visibility for those of us who do participate in outdoorsy or active culture without wanting to lose weight,” she shares.
And while her conversation and the following tweet led to the creation of the zine, its originating spark came about in 2015 when Puc sold her car, & became a walking + biking commuter.
“It was the first time I'd ridden a bike in 13 years, & it was really, really hard,” Puc recalls. But adds that she come to really love riding her bike, & often rides for pleasure as well as for basic transportation. “In the last few years, several fat folx (including friends & strangers on the internet) have come to me to ask for advice on how to get into biking or to ask me how I deal with feeling discriminated against in the culture,” she says. All those conversations are what led to her and Lesperance’s talk last year.
Puc & Lesperance also took to Kickstarter to get Fatventure ready. “We spent that entire month worrying that we wouldn't meet our goal,” she says. Going on to say that the biggest challenge, for her, was keeping up momentum & also not getting bogged down in that worry. “Because negativity always breeds negativity,” she extolls.
They also ran into some first-timer glitches, like mistakenly swapping the international & domestic shipping rates for one of the rewards tiers. But they were able to fix quickly that by turning off that tier & creating a new one with the correct rates. “Otherwise we just had to keep promoting the Kickstarter,” Puc shares. “It takes so much more time & energy than I ever would have though,” she divulges. Adding how she thinks, “we also learned that, although the goal amount can look like a lot of money on paper, once you pay contributors, print, & then ship everything, it doesn't look like much money at all.”
And while Puc admits that the Kickstarter campaign was really stressful, she shares how it’s an incredible tool.
Puc says of the zine, “I really want readers to come away from Fatventure Mag with a new understanding of how it feels to have a fat body & to use that body for the kinds of activities that popular media tells us only cishet, white, thin men can or should do.”
Check out more from Fatventure Mag by visiting them online (click here). And be sure to follow and like their Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook. Plus, you can sign-up for bi-weekly e-newsletter (click here).
Fatventure Mag, Vol. 1 will be available for purchase this fall, in both PDF & physical formats. Links will pop-up on their social media when the shop is live on the site. AND they’re currently accepting pitches for the second print issue, which is themed "Home" (launching March 2019).
VOL 1 cover art by Rose “Honeyboy” Morris