Here we go, part three. To be continued in part 4 since this post is getting too long.
This is just my personal opinion on things so if you're disagree you're welcome to, but I wish you'd still take the time to think about the issue.
This one is going to be about how we as a community treat others and ourselves.
First of all, the majority of people in this community consider their attraction to bigger figures or sinful excessive gorging or whatever to be quite simply... shameful. And the reason is obvious, it's because society generally frowns upon anything that is out of the norm. But what is considered to be the norm is a very fickle thing in the end. A good example is the BDSM community. Fifty shades of grey has made bondage and related fetishes so mainstream that it's almost considered vanilla to be into choking and whipping or whatever. If you mention that you're into that most people are going to think you're cool and kinky, not so much if you say you enjoy girls flaunt their muffintops in bright daylight. But what if a really popular book-movie made chub-chasing mainstream?
I know, it might sound far fetched right now because of the negativity towards anything fat related, mostly because of the health issues associated with it, but it isn't completely out of question. Weight gain is likely one of the least accepted forms of fetish in the whole spectrum of bbw-belly-fats and other fetishes. It's okay to like a fat girl, but it's NOT okay to like them getting fatter, for obvious reasons. Society thinks you're part of the problem by making it worse and potentially making another person's life worse.
All that said, it's understandable why we view ourselves as degenerates and constantly joke about it. And being able to laugh at your own expense is very important, but I think we tend to grossly over exaggerate how 'weird' and sinful we actually are. Fetishes are actually a very commonplace thing, and a good majority of people are into some fucked up shit themselves. (Generally people who go outside sometimes are aware of this) but often people create these unrealistic ideas of how everyone is going to view them as a freak when in real life, no one actually cares.
To add to this problem, it seems very commonplace in the fats community to shame on other fetishes that do or do not border on our own preferences. And sure, like some people already commented, having a form of friendly banter is important and I agree, we shouldn't take ourselves TOO seriously. But when you call others 'degenerates' for fapping to ballooned up women, you have to be always aware of your own 'degeneracy' which means you can never get comfortable with the idea that people might not consider you as weird as you think. Because your behavior reflects how you expect others to behave around you. If you judge others for their likes or dislikes you always offer your own personal preferences up for criticism. I know some people make some kind of weird mental gymnastics in their head making lists of how high up in the list of acceptable some fetish is more than others, but such lists are arbitrary and often only reflect their own world view and others might not view them in the same manner at all. If you think that inflating someone into a balloon is weird and sinful, someone else might find your potato-sack shaped woman to be far more so.
A good enough example is Axel's diaper fetish thing, which he gets a lot of shit for(lol) ( and to be fair he deserves it because his business practise was the worst I can think of, it's like if I suddenly started drawing mostly eyeball licking porn and expected everyone to just stick with me and buy my shit. If he's into it he's into it and that's completely fine and he can draw all the diapers he wants, just shouldn't expect people to buy them and stop shoving them in art packs etc. but that's a different issue) But the fetish itself shouldn't be criticized. Some normie might think that diapers are actually less harmful and innocent than jacking it off to obese women. But mostly everyone in the community loudly points out how diapers are weird while simultaneously whipping ourselves in the back for having a weird fetish of our own. Loathing yourself for being into weird shit is not any kind of justification to give others a hard time. I don't care how much you hate yourself, let others do what they enjoy.
Now, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to dislike things. Not liking diapers is completely okay. Being disgusted by diaper art is okay, just like it's okay to be disgusted by fat art. The important thing is how you handle it. There are people who loathe fat people with all of their being, but they don't openly flaunt their opinion in my face or on fat fandom sites. Then there are those that click on thumbnails they don't like and scream "WTF THIS IS SICK KILL YOU'RE SELVE". Now, if you do that as someone who is into something out of the norm yourself, that would make you a massive hypocrite. Now I'm not a saint myself, I personally have a really strong dislike for furries, I cannot stand furry art and I avoid everything that has furries in it on purpose. But I never ever write slander on furry artist's profiles or make condescending posts about how they should be removed from DA or how they are sick for having that fetish etc. If furries show up on my watch I just click that little x in the corner and that's it. There is no reason to make a huge deal out of it. Everyone has a right to whatever fetish they have and if I dislike it, that's my problem. But I'm still allowed to have my opinion on it, as long as I am respectful towards others and keep my hurtful comments to myself.
All of this is contributing to this idea we have of ourselves that we are not something to be taken seriously and that we are practically ashamed of something that's a very important part of ourselves. Sure it's important to be self aware, but there's a difference between anal-vore-coming-out-party and just being confident in yourself and knowing that your fetish doesn't define you but is also a really important thing for you. Doesn't mean you have to flaunt your likes in public, but also doesn't mean you have to constantly remind yourself and others how weird and degenerate you are. Because no one actually cares.
This ties up into our next issue about "will drawing porn ruin my non-existing career as an illustrator-animator-memedesigner?"