On the Fat Babe Pool Party (Auckland, NZ, 2020)

Long before CV19 changed the way we lived in Aotearoa New Zealand, there was a pool party. A fat babe pool party. The first of its kind in NZ, as far as I know, the Fat Babe Pool Party was hosted by Lissy Cole and Ema Tavola. It was one of the many #FATFEB events organized by Vunilagi Vou.

Image credit: House of Boom

The Fat Babe Pool Party took place at the Mount Richmond Hotel in Ōtāhuhu and was supported in part by the Auckland Council as part of the Pacific Arts Programme. Lissy and her team did an amazing job with the decorations and gifted some of us with special flower headpieces. I kept mine on all day. And I often tossed it on during the CV19 lockdown to brighten my spirits.

Me & Lissy

In a similar spirit, I thought I would write about the Party for my blog; I am not the first fatty to attend a fat pool party, nor the first to write about a fat pool party experience (check out these pieces about fat pool parties in Los Angeles, Columbus Ohio, Minneapolis Minnesota, Brooklyn, Montreal,  Toronto, New Orleans), but I wanted to share my experience on the day and reflections I’ve had since the event.

Image credit: PATI SOLOMONA TYRELL (used with permission)

The party is itself was a huge success. The tickets sold out, and the Mount Richmond Hotel was a lovely space to hold the party; their pool area is gorgeous.

Mount Richmond Hotel Pool

The outdoor area was a lovely space; it was surrounded by covered patio, where people could take shelter from the sun at comfortable table and chairs. The hosts of the events had secured the use of additional fat friendly sized restrooms across from the pool area. The party area was decorated in bright colours and there were several floaties in the pool before anyone arrived; there were moments I felt I was in a movie.

Image credit: Lissy Cole

For even more about the party, you can watch a cool video about the party here! And read this great piece from Elizabeth Heritage in The Spinoff.

In addition to the pool party, the hosts had organized a panel and a meal. The food was yummy, and there was plenty of it. The panel was three local fat women working in the space of fat activism: I was honored to speak on the panel at the event alongside fatshionista Meagan Kerr and artist Coco Solid. We each answered questions from the hosts and the audience.

Image credit: PATI SOLOMONA TYRELL (used with permission)

Throughout the entire day there was a great energy in the air; everyone knew this was something special and we were all thrilled to be part of it. I have never had the pleasure of being around so many fat people at one time. And all of these fat people were somewhere along the journey of fat liberation; what an amazing thing.

Image credit: PATI SOLOMONA TYRELL (used with permission)


One of the best parts of the day was meeting fellow rad fatties in person, like Jo from House of Boom (come join us at her rad fat camp later this year in WLG!) and connecting with rad fatties friends I rarely get the chance to see in person like Jackie from The Aunties.

I met a lot of new people that afternoon, and I hope I get the chance to spend another sun filled day with them in a post CV19 future.