Monday, 23 June 2014

Reclaiming The F Word: why it's okay to call me fat

Fat And Fabulous

Today I would like to talk about the word "Fat"

Unless you were reared by wolves in the deepest darkest jungle you will know that its a word that's generally used in a negative sense. To describe someone as fat is usually done so as an insult, a criticism or a put down. 
"Fat and ugly" "Big fat loser" "stupid fat bitch" 
sometimes its just hurled abuse shouted from a car or its TV pundits looking earnest whilst discussing the moral incontinence of anyone above the preferred bmi. Whatever the platform the message is clear. Fat is disgusting, undesirable unhealthy, maybe even deadly.


Summing it up beautifully-everyone can be beautiful except fat girls

Over my lifetime I have chosen different ways to deal with the deeply entrenched  societal view that my weight and shape are unacceptable. 
For a while I felt shame, would flinch when someone made fat jokes or feel mild panic when talk of weight and diets came up at work.Its never easy to feel stigmatised and lets make no bones about it that's exactly what we are taking about. To be fat is to be considered lazy, unintelligent and worthless.If somebody subjected their spouse or child to this sort of treatment it would be called emotional abuse and yet its just day to day life for anyone over a dress size 16.
God forbid fat women have an opinion-quickest way to shut her up? call her a fat bitch. Well this fat bitch wont be silenced.

Somewhere along the line however I stopped feeling embarrassed about my weight and I started to feel angry. 
Who had the right to make me feel bad about myself? I didn't feel I fitted into any of the stereotypes I was presented with on an hourly basis by the media, patronising strangers, ill educated friends. I did exercise, I make good food choices, I was never ill  and actually even if this hadn't been the case  who had the right to make me answerable in this way.The answer is no one. I am answerable to no one and the word "Fat" can only hurt me if I allow it.
So began a process of decompression (this blog played a huge part) piece by piece I rebuilt my self confidence, threw off the shackles of prejudice and realised that to steal from Xtina I am beautiful, regardless of what I may get told. 
Amen

Style and grace are not simply the preserve of people of a specific weight. 
Fat is just a description, it only holds power over me if I let it. I've now reclaimed it and am very comfortable referring to myself as fat Why? well because I have stopped swallowing the line that to be fat is to be a failure. 
I realise that for some people,so emotionally scarred by their treatment at the hands of others about their weight its just one step too far to ever hear the word come from their own lips but believe me once you grab it, strip it of its potency and see it for what it is, just a word you will never go back.

I have filmed a vlog on this subject as well which I include here. I would love to hear how the word fat makes you feel and if seeing other overweight women being unafraid to use the term has reduced its ability to hurt or offend you.





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10 comments:

  1. As a manager of an off-licence a few years ago I regularly got abuse from those I turned down for alcohol. I got so tired of it I turned Cyrano de Bergerac on them and ask was that the best they can do. That they lacked so little imagination that they could only call me a fat bitch ?? Or I'd reply " yes I am and don't you forget it"

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    1. Yes Ive suffered most when working in customer services jobs. Love your response x

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  2. I think that reclaiming the word fat for me was one of the most empowering and freeing things that I have ever done. Taking back the power of the word so that it can no long make me feel bad (and why the hell should I) is such an important step.

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    1. Its a life changer isnt it Vicky-once that fat genie is out of the bottle there is no going back x

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  3. Go Betty. Diane from www.plussize.co.uk

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  4. Great post hun! I know exactly what you mean and I feel the same way. A year and a half ago if I would have described myself as fat it most likely would have been to get an insult in before someone else could! Now I'm at a place where despite my size I know I look good and it's not stopping me from doing anything.

    P.S You always look fabulous! xx

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    1. Its a great feeling isnt it Mayah-and yes you always looks amazing x

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  5. Betty you have summed it up so well. The word fat really is just a word and while you can't change the negative way someone attepts to use it with I have and I am learning to not accept it in that way. I have more power within me then any potrayed negative word and technically it can only be negative if I allow it to be that way. Thanks for writing this. I know exactly where you are coming. Over the last year my journey has been an epic one that all comes from thoughts like these. Thanks. x :) x

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  6. This is really an amazing post and exactly what I needed to hear right now (bathing suit season, yikes). I am 25 and have been fat my whole life, and even though I am not at your confidence level yet, I am still trying. Thanks again!

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