Fat Kids Club is not about being a chubby child, but about the pure enjoyment of food. Zinn, who has a degree in journalism and seven years' worth of experience working in restaurants, began using the term fat kid when joking around with a friend in her late teens. Over time, it caught on.
Today, Fat Kids Club enjoys nearly 200 members on Facebook and more than 400 followers on Twitter. The #fatkid hashtag makes a daily appearance on Twitter whenever people want to make their followers salivate with culinary envy. A recent Twitter search reveals talk about bacon, cream puffs, spinach dip, blintzes, lobster ravioli, pork sandwiches, broccoli rabe, brownies, and bone marrow soup.
Fat Kids Club is not a real institution. It's just one of many ways that twitterrati in South Florida and beyond create conversations about a particular object or event; in this case, it's all about food. "We don't have meetings and I don't take minutes," Zinn says. "I don't really count 'members' since the 'club' itself is cheeky and playful. I just want people to enjoy it. I don't care how many people there are."
Zinn began using Twitter in February, and Fat Kids Club got its @ baptism in July. Zinn's favorite professional foodies on Twitter are Tyler Florence and Jo Stougarrd, even though they don't use the Fat Kids hashtag. Food tweeters Shervin and Remil use the hashtag and constantly talk about food. "I think it's great to find out what other people are eating," Zinn admits. "I get ideas for the blog but also pass along ideas to followers on where they can eat, or recipes to make, all from people just like them."
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The term fat kids is not meant to be derogatory, though many have misread Zinn's intentions. "When I actually decided to move forward with the blog, I was approached by some people who said it was distasteful, disrespectful, and that it promoted unhealthy eating and obesity," Zinn explains. "But obviously, they didn't actually read the blog. They just didn't like the name."
The Did You Just Call Me a Fat Kid? section of her blog explains it all. Zinn writes that the blog "doesn't promote over-eating, unhealthy lifestyles, or the gross misuse of food. It simply promotes good comfort food from South Florida restaurants and homemade recipes without blowing your life savings."
Where is the Fat Kids Club heading? For now, Zinn is just relishing the experience, one savory tweet at a time, and making new foodie friends along the way. "I always love tips on places I should try, recipes I should make, and pictures," she says. "I love hearing from readers. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org."
And, of course, don't forget to tag your yummy tweets #fatkid if you want to share your food pleasures with Zinn and others. Try a Twitter search next time you log on -- it'll definitely whet your appetite.