PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh: it’s one giant community.

However, within that community are many smaller groups looking for people to meet up and enjoy similar activities like hiking, a shared interest in cars, and even dog dates.

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A new Instagram page is one of those groups that is quickly grabbing the attention of the city.

It’s known as the “Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club” and it’s promising to create a more fat-friendly city.

The founder, Emily Anderson, joined KDKA’s Meghan Schiller on KDKA News at 7:30 to tell us all about it!

“There’s actually a lot of fat-positive social clubs all over the country, there’s some in New York City, there’s one that’s really famous in Portland and I’ve been teaching yoga here in Pittsburgh since 2018, specifically body-positive and fat-positive yoga,” Anderson said. “I recently left my corporate job to focus on that full-time, and with that extra time and energy, I was really inspired to create that community here.”

Anderson says with her extra time and talking to her friends in the city, gave her the motivation to start the club.

“I have so many friends that are like, ‘I wish we had those events in Pittsburgh, I wish we had that type of community ‘ and it was to the point I was like, why not start making it?” She said.

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While the Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club isn’t the first kind of club in this area, it’s the first that is gaining traction.

“There was a body-positive group that was on Facebook a few years ago, it just doesn’t have as much activity anymore,” Anderson said. “I think now, especially as lockdowns were changing, people are just ready to get out there, make new connections, and make new friends, and that’s part of why this has taken off so quickly.”

Although the audience has been growing, there has been some pushback experienced, but Anderson is not fazed by it.

“I think they should take a yoga class,” she said with a laugh. “They need to just get out there and make a friend. I get that the word ‘fat’ is really challenging for people, and not everybody that is larger-bodied uses the word fat, there’s so much shame as a culture around the idea of fat that it is a trigger for a lot of people. People get angry about the idea of being comfortable in your body and moving past diet culture. I understand why people get so angry, but it isn’t the space for it. This is a space for people to feel safe being fat and being fat-positive.”

As the audience continues to grow, what’s next?

“The goal is to have very low-cost or free meet-ups, at least once a month,” Anderson said. “Right now we’re focusing on things that are outdoors. We’re having a pool party meet-up this month, we’re planning on a clothing swap next month, and in October we’re going to be doing a fall hike. A lot of activities that maybe some people who are larger-bodied might not feel comfortable trying on their own, or just in a general meet-up group because there is some stigma about going to the pool or going hiking, but as a community, we can do it in a way that is gentler, and safer, and makes more people feel comfortable trying new things.”

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You can learn more about the Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club by checking out their Instagram page.

Meghan Schiller