We have been taught our entire lives to fear the word FAT, to be scared of it and most importantly avoid it. Avoid being fat at all costs is what our society tells us. The root of all evil is fatness. All those advertisements telling us how to lose the fat, how to shrink our belly fat, etc…
Society tells us that being fat or being a fat person is bad, society throws the words lazy, ugly, and useless with the word fat. It encompasses all of the slobbish, evil stereotypes our society has hung on this simple three letter word.
We fear the word fat so much, that instead of saying we are fat, we substitute it for words like curvy, “a little more squish”, chunky. Does this make us any less fat though? NO! Fat bodies are capable and are strong, Fat bodies are beautiful and worthy, Fat bodies are different in only really one way.
Fat bodies are FAT.
This word we all hide from, the embedded fear of catching the ‘fat’. This word ‘that shall not be named’ is only doing one thing, feeding the fear. The fear that exists around this often used insult is silly. You don’t get scared of being called a brunette or a kind person, so why is FAT dripping with embarrassment and shame.
Fat the word women utter before swim suit season, the insult we wouldn’t dare breathe to our best friends, the endless cycle of dieting, self hatred and unhappiness all surrounded by the word FAT.
Fat could be a liberating word if we let it, no longer will it serve as an insult or punch line. Being fat is nothing to ashamed of and perhaps facing this “awful” and “uncomfortable” word is what we need to do to regain our power over it. Avoiding this word as if we aren’t fat does nobody any favours, it doesn’t help ourselves, our children or our friends. Pretending as if Curvy is a substitute for this word is insulting. I don’t have cushion for the pushin’ I have fat and fat is what I am.
I used to avoid this word, I wasn’t fat, I was a “big girl” who had no intentions of staying in the fat girls club. Body Positivity and Fat Activism really forced me to look hard at the relationship I have with the word fat. The day I used the word Fat as a descriptor in a neutral tone it felt dirty, my stomach turned and I did indeed feel like a failure. I’m fat, I’m fat – I had to roll it around in my mouth like a sour candy. I moved from disgust to thinking ‘Okay, I am fat’ but never say it. Then I’d say it but never around others. Now it is in my vocabulary as a word I use with gusto. It took associating it with good things, deleting all this brain washed fat phobias and stigmas I had within me. As a fat women, I still had judgments about fat people. As an eating disorder survivor I still absolutely feared the idea of belonging to fat.
It seems highly crazed in a world where fat is always the enemy but what if Fat People and Fat were treated without the disgusting and heinous associations the world has tagged on.
This word fat shouldn’t just be neutral for fat people, but neutral for all. Fearing the word fat and associating this body type with stereotypes is endangering every ones body image. The idea that people, their attractiveness or worth is dependent on their body types regardless of the size is wrong. By fearing the word and fat itself it means that we continue to put bodies in the good and bad pile. We continue to live within the messed up, diet crazed and health obsessed world in which companies profit off of perfection, a perfection unattainable and which does not exist.
If you are scared to call yourself fat, or still fearing being called it yourself I totally understand. It is a big radical and rebellious move to use this word in a world which posts fat in the worst possible light.
If you can’t get your mouth to form the words with confidence, just remember that the word or insult however you want to look at it can only hold merit and pain if you let it. Otherwise it could be just a word, that doesn’t define or hold you back. Simply being fat is not a big deal. You’re still the kick ass amazing warrior queen you were yesterday, as is your body. Fat doesn’t have to be in your vocabulary but if it is please promise me you won’t let it haunt and bully you.
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