Fat - an adjective, not an insult.
If someone was asked to describe me I expect they would say something like:
"She has brown hair, she's an average height and she's the one running after the two boys under 4." I know they would try everything within their power to not say,
They might use words like 'curvy' 'a bit bigger' or the absolutely horrendous 'bubbly' (shudder).
We all seem to have a problem with the word fat. Why? Well because most of us have grown up in society dominated by diet culture where the only messages we get are that slim is good and healthy and that fat is bad and unhealthy. But at the end of the day, it is just a describing word - it isn't an insult!
I am fat.
And I am working hard to not be ashamed of that. I know that I eat a varied diet, that I exercise regularly, that I don't smoke and rarely drink. I know that my body will always be a fat body and that has little to do with my health. So recently I have started describing myself as fat to make the term more neutral to myself and those around me.
I have said things like "I find it quite hard to shop in charity shops as a fat person." At the swimming pool I have pointed out that "as a fat person, I have to go down the steps sideways as they aren't wide enough."
And a lot of the time my friends have responded with "Oh don't say that about yourself!", "Don't be mean about yourself!" But ironically, by saying this they are implying that being fat is a bad thing and so they are in fact being mean to me!
IMPORTANT NOTE - if you are reading this as my friend and have said something along these lines to me please do not feel bad or worry! It is what we have been socialised into saying and I have not taken offence at it - I would have said this to other friends only a few months ago.
Fat is an adjective. It is a descriptive word. I am fat. Just like how I am brunette and how I have bluey green eyes.
In the latest season of Shrill (I will talk about this show so much because it just perfectly shows so many of my life experiences! Watch it on iplayer here or if you are outside of the UK it is on hulu) the main character, Annie, attends a conference to empower women and has the following interaction with the keynote speaker,
it's such a hunt to find cool clothes for fat women*
I love how you say that word, fat, I don't know that I would say that.
I don't mind saying it, I'm fat. It's just true you know, I'm not afraid of it, its just a descriptor.
That is so powerful. I love that.
(I promise I will stop using gifs of Annie soon but I just love her)
YES! Owning who you are and not being afraid of it is powerful. So I am fat, I'm owning it and I am not ashamed of it.
*which by the way I will be writing a blog post on this and the character's amazing wardrobe soon!