Nick

Fat – don’t just throw it about willy nilly

One of the aims of the Fat Acceptance movement is to reclaim the word “Fat”. That doesn’t mean we should throw it around willy nilly though.

For years, the word “Fat” has been used as a pejorative. Cries of “Get off your FAT ass”, “FAT prick”, “Look at the FAT f#@ker”, “Oh look, another FATTY!” have been used to beat down and belittle fat people. So it’s right that we go out and try and reclaim this word.(It’s strange though that fat has also moved into other areas, such as “Fat beats” and “Fat wheels”.)

Fat should be in the same class of adjective as tall, short, slim, etc. It is merely a word describing a physical characteristic. It makes me uncomfortable to think that people have to mince words to try and describe my physical shape. “Big boy”, “Bulky”, “Well Build” are all just covers for the word “Fat” because people are scared of being offensive. Hey, I’m FAT.

However we need to remember that not everyone is up to the same stage of self-acceptance as the next person. A lot of people would still be offended by being labelled as fat.

So what do we do? Talk.

I think it is important to talk to our friends and family, fat or not, about how we are happy to be labelled as fat and WHY we think it is important to reclaim the word that has been held to be so offensive for so long. The more that we educate others around us, the less impact the word is going to have and less times are we going to hear it being used in an offensive manner.

I actually think I’ll be long past my prime before the word fat loses all offensive undertones, but the small steps that we make today mean that fat people in the future don’t have to be offended by using an adjective that aptly describes them. Fat.

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  • http://randomette.blogspot.com ErinAree

    Hey – can someone point Lane Bryant to this blog post?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XPZCXJBY6QAMTZYYT5QHEYZJQU kands85741

    I guess that I don’t necessarily feel it’s my job to be educating people, adults especially, on how to behave civilly and appropriately with people, and how to treat others with basic dignity and consideration, which is really what we’re talking about with FA, or any other kind of acceptance of something different from people’s ingrained expectations. If people are shocked by my using the word “fat” in reference to myself, I’ll leave it to their own powers of reflection to figure out why that bothers them so much. If they want to own their discomfort and ask me questions, I’ll answer happily. But beyond that, I don’t feel compelled to do their thinking for them, and, frankly, unless they ask me, I don’t know that they’d appreciate my doing so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XPZCXJBY6QAMTZYYT5QHEYZJQU kands85741

    I guess that I don’t necessarily feel it’s my job to be educating people, adults especially, on how to behave civilly and appropriately with people, and how to treat others with basic dignity and consideration, which is really what we’re talking about with FA, or any other kind of acceptance of something different from people’s ingrained expectations. If people are shocked by my using the word “fat” in reference to myself, I’ll leave it to their own powers of reflection to figure out why that bothers them so much. If they want to own their discomfort and ask me questions, I’ll answer happily. But beyond that, I don’t feel compelled to do their thinking for them, and, frankly, unless they ask me, I don’t know that they’d appreciate my doing so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XPZCXJBY6QAMTZYYT5QHEYZJQU kands85741

    I guess that I don't necessarily feel it's my job to be educating people, adults especially, on how to behave civilly and appropriately with people, and how to treat others with basic dignity and consideration, which is really what we're talking about with FA, or any other kind of acceptance of something different from people's ingrained expectations. If people are shocked by my using the word “fat” in reference to myself, I'll leave it to their own powers of reflection to figure out why that bothers them so much. If they want to own their discomfort and ask me questions, I'll answer happily. But beyond that, I don't feel compelled to do their thinking for them, and, frankly, unless they ask me, I don't know that they'd appreciate my doing so.

  • http://twitter.com/BloggerTalk Rose DesRochers

    If I call myself fat is one thing, but if I use it to describe others who may find the word offensive it is another.

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