Kitty Fisher

Size-positivity, feminism, self-esteem crises, ginormous tits.

Archive for August, 2008

Pennsic

Posted by Kitty on August 11, 2008

I had a simply marvelous time at Pennsic XXXVII, and just as I had thought, it was generally a very body-positive experience.
I camped down in the Swamp, for anyone who’s ever been; for those who haven’t, I’ll just say that as I now understand it, Pennsic being such a ginormous event (this year, a slim year, had an attendance of only 10,500 or so, so you get the picture), it tends to separate out into several zones of the type of thing that goes on. The Serengeti, or “Topside”, is where the merchants, food court, battlefield, and most of the royal encampments are. Up Top, they take it somewhat seriously, at least enough that they at least strive for authentic costumes, and are more into playing the game. This is by no means universal, of course. And there are varying degrees of these sorts of thing throughout the site, heavily influenced in intensity by different contexts.
But the Swamp is way down the hill, far from the Important Things, in the shade, cooler and damper and muddier. Down there, the camps are known more for silliness and for parties. Hardcore parties. Bonfires with drums and dancers. And the nude swimming hole.
I was camped right down near that nude swimming hole. (To be more accurate, it was a shallow creek as opposed to anywhere you’d actually swim. Wading… thing, maybe.)
So I sat all day long, a few days, and watched people walk by. I was camped with a lot of thirtysomething men on vacation. We were all bound and determined, above all else, to have a good time.
Inevitably, we girl-watched.
Whenever a “hot chick” walked by, the men would grunt at one another, for the benefit of those not paying attention, to let them know that they shouldn’t miss the current scenery.

The men outright admitted that they were grunting at girls with body types they wouldn’t normally find attractive. But in “garb”, or in just a towel, or in that fur bikini or gypsy dancer costume… well, certain features of the body not normally considered desireable in modern “mundane” clothing became a great deal more alluring. Properly done pre-modern clothing does not necessarily use “nude” to mean “sexy”; the girls that got grunted at were not always the least clothed.

I got grunted at a couple of times. It was nicer than you’d think.

The really wonderful thing, you see, was that behavior that in “mundania” would be considered creepy somehow didn’t feel quite so unnerving or threatening there. I was shamelessly and sometimes persistently hit on, sometimes by characters I found rather unsavory, but the atmosphere and circumstances were such that I never found it as unpleasant as I do in the real world. The vast, vast majority of the people there were extremely determined to have a good time; anyone detracting from that (say, for example, by creeping out one of your attractive new friends) was subject to more or less subtle censure. And if worst came to worst, you were never alone.

So on the whole it was a body-positive, mind-positive, and just in general positive experience.
I’ll definitely be back.

I could go on about why it was quite so nice– it being a closed group, of people who had voluntarily chosen to be there based on an ideal of something unusual, and many of them who had come year after year and had created a consistent community, and so on and so forth. But I am rather happier to simply bask in the memory of it.

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