“Because I’m fully aware what the word fat means – what it really means, when you say it, or think of it. It’s not just a simple descriptive word like ‘brunette’ or ’34’. It’s a swearword. It’s a weapon. It’s a sociological sub-species. It’s an accusation, dismissal and rejection” Caitlin Moran – How To Be A Woman
Why is fat such a negative word? Why is it a word filled with so much poison and venom? Why is a word used so vindictively and cruelly in our society, used to vilify women?
It’s a word that induces fear, panic and sadness. The dreaded word that is less spoken than the actual f word. Why do we let 3 letters have so much power?
So many questions. I’m starting to get answers and I want to place the majority of the blame for the ruin of this word on diet culture, on each and every diet company and media outlet that profits on your insecurities by keeping you trapped in a diet cycle.
In a number of posts, I use the words ‘fat’ and ‘skinny’ and people found that offensive and believed I should be using more socially sensitive words like ‘curvy’ and ‘small’. I understand why you think these words are offensive, both have associations and connotations that are less than positive – skinny bitches and fat cows to name a few but I want to challenge this.
In an interview with People magazine, I said to them that “If fat is the worst word you can use to describe me, then I must be a pretty decent person.” and I still stand by that.
Both of these words are just adjectives, and it is within your control, how much power you choose to give them. I’m fat, it’s a fact, it doesn’t matter which word you use to label it, the fact will remain the same but how has that become one of the worst insults you can give a woman.
When someone tells me I’m fat – in the comments everyday, my reply is ‘Great, I’m fat and…?’. It doesn’t mean anything to me because I don’t let it. Calling me fat, literally just describes my physical shape, and it’s accurate – what I don’t do is add all that mental drama of ‘oh she thinks I’m lazy or unhealthy’, you don’t know that! You don’t know what they are thinking so until they come right out and say it, don’t be a mind reader!
When a tall person says they are tall, you don’t try to make them feel better by saying ‘no darling! You aren’t tall’ so why do we assume I am degrading myself when I merely state that I am fat.
Fat is not a bad word… Unless you choose to make it one!