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Why Is It So Hard to Accept the Word ‘Fat’?

Why Is It So Hard to Accept the Word ‘Fat’?

At Buffalo Wild Wings, I ordered lots of food. Hey, I was super hungry. Plus, I have a tendency to order too much, then complain about being too full halfway in. Yes, annoying. I know.
I’m working on my indecisiveness.
Anyhow, after the waiter left, I said to my guy friend playfully, “OMG. I’ve ordered half the menu. I’m soooo fat.”
His eyes swelled with fear — then shock. If he had pearls, he probably would’ve clutched them.
At first, I thought I had lipstick on my teeth. “What?” I croaked.
“You. Are. Not. FAT!”
I rolled my eyes. “Boy, bye. I am fat.”
“No.” He shook his head. “You are curvy. Trust me, I know fat. You’re just thick.”
“I’m fat. I’m obese. I’m overweight. It’s fine.”
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What was interesting was that the “F” word for him was so negative, so vile that he couldn’t possibly equate that nasty attribute to me. He got an A for effort though.
But like him, so many other men and women avoid the word “fat” — or if they do use it, it’s become one of the main cuss words when trying to break someone’s spirit.

Why do we glorify thinness but bash fatness?

I’m not even going to lie. In my adolescence and early 20’s, I was once one of those people whom if someone called fat, I’d melt and dissolve into the wind.
There would be absolutely no coming back from it. I’d go over it a million times in my head. Fat. Fattie. You’re FAT! Why the fuck are you still fat? Be skinny. Skinny is better. Skinny is acceptable. You will be great when you are skinny.
Funny thing is, when I did have an eating disorder and got “skinny,” I was the unhappiest I’d ever been in life. But, everyone else seemed to dote on the fact that I’d lost so much weight so fast and blah, blah, blah.
Why do we glorify thinness but bash fatness? And I know the internet trolls with their Google degrees are going to come out of their lairs with the following argument: Fat acceptance glorifies obesity and health problems.
First, I welcome them with the real “F” word. After that, my rebuttal consists of: Fat people are not the only ones with health issues.

I have fat and skinny friends with health issues. Good or bad health doesn’t discriminate like we do.

I’ve been fat mostly all of my life, and I’ve had no major health problems. I have fat and skinny friends with health issues. Good or bad health doesn’t discriminate like we do. And if I did have bad health from being fat, that still has nothing to do with you — because you aren’t me, nor do you pay my medical bills.
Back to our scheduled program…
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So why am I talking about this? In an interview I was asked about the word “fat.” Why is it such a negative word? Why do most girls and women cringe and melt when they are called it? And most importantly, when I decided to reclaim it.
I reclaimed the word when I started having open conversations about body acceptance with other body positive activists in the community. The conversations were real and enlightening.
These women (and men) were not only fat, they were other things, too. They were fat and business savvy. They were fat and confident. They were fat and stylish. They were fat and athletic. They were fat and sexual. They smashed the fat stereotypes in half and I set out to do the same.
Let’s say this at least eight times: Fat isn’t a bad word. Stop making it that way. It starts with you. It’s an adjective, people. Just like any other adjective.
Sometimes, we’ve got to take a real look at ourselves. So what if your boyfriend calls you fat? Do what I do and say, “Yes, I know. Anything else you want to point out, Captain Obvious?”
If you are obese, overweight, curvy, or thick, nine times out of 10, you are probably fat — and that’s okay.
Let’s not wallow in the fact that our bodies are shaped differently, or the scale gives us a number that isn’t “acceptable” to society’s standards.

See Also

Fat isn’t a bad word. Stop making it that way. It’s starts with you. It’s an adjective, people. Just like any other adjective.

Why not start living right now? Don’t let a couple pounds deter you from enjoying what life has to offer. Your body is good, so be good to your body.
You’ve only got one.
XOXOXO,

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