Thursday, 28 May 2015

Dropping The F Bomb: I'm fat, not curvy


Fat, Curvy, Plus Size Call me what you want, just call me baby

A while ago a meme floated around my social media feed stating “I’m fat not curvy”
Quite a few body positive writers and bloggers  posted it, reinforcing the fact that they didn't need to be pandered to by a world who considers being called fat to be amongst the worst insult you can give to someone and I loved them for it.
But whilst I basked in the confidence of this great statement it did also trouble me.
You see when it comes to embracing the F word Rome was not built in a day and each person’s journey from self-loathing to air punching acceptance is unique.
I’m lucky that a combination of age, being part of the plus size blogging community and my desire to create a better world for my daughter means the word FAT has absolutely no power over me.
I happily refer to myself as fat and when someone else does even as a negative I do not give a damn. But I haven’t always been like this.
118 Fat Bitch-you called?
Time was that a group of boys in a car shouting “fat bitch” at me had me hiding under the duvet for weeks and I know from running many, many workshops that the word fat still makes a lot of plus size women flinch.
They associate it with abuse, with feeling loathed and shunned and they just cannot bear to hear it or have it used about them.
Often these women are so damaged by the years of body shaming they have endured that the first step to rebuilding themselves is to look at their bodies not as  “fat” (which for them also means ugly and disgusting) but as rubenesque, as soft and abundant and yes "curvy"
11'000 years ago-My body shape was worshipped
Taking an historical perspective is often soothing. Realising that your body shape has  been celebrated since we could carve figures from stone can go some way to put a salve on the constant wounding the modern world can inflict on women over a certain size.
taking a look at how Women used to be revered
Reprogramming your response to something that for so long has been used as stick to metaphorically beat you with takes time and whilst I believe its vitally important that we constantly push further to take back power from the fat haters who are endemic within some parts of society  and  social media feeds I also think we must be gentle with those who for whatever reason are not quite there yet (and might never be)
Word
Referring to yourself as “curvy” is not a cop out. It’s often also true. I’m fat but also quite curvy. My waist to hip ratio means I have a fairly classic hourglass figure, this hourglass may be wearing a size 20 but I do go in and out. My blog name includes the word curves in it because the curves of a woman’s body whether she be a dainty size 6 or a luscious size 30 are to me so beautiful and I have handed the word “curvy” to many a plus size woman as a way for her to talk about her body in a loving joyful way rather than in a hateful abusive way.
So if you are comfortable referring to yourself as fat that’s awesome, if it makes you flinch and you prefer the term “curvy’ or “plus size” that’s fab too.
Its sad that we even have to discuss body size labels but to to totally ignore them unless you live on a deserted island is unrealistic and by confronting the reality of the language we all use daily to define our physical selves chips away at the accepted idea of what is beautiful.
You can be fat And curvy
What’s important is that you never again stand in front of a mirror using words like poison arrows and hating on yourself because its how you were trained.
My name is Betty. I am Fat, Curvy, Plus size and Fabulous.


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10 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. The word curvy appears on the title of my blog too - because I am curvy. Also because I genuinely like that word. I do refer to myself as fat when I'm among friends who know what I mean by it. I don't use that word when I'm with people I don't know too well, because they often (mistakenly) think I'm putting myself down. Yes, the word fat shouldn't have such negative connotations - but neither should curvy, plus size or any other word you feel the most comfortable describing yourself with.

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  2. Personally I don't mind being called fat, at least it's true! I can't bear the insults when people disparage me for something, yet they have never even spoken to me. At least be honest when you attempt to insult someone.
    The word I find odd to use is "thick", at least I'm assuming the Americans use that instead of fat at times, or perhaps they think anyone that's overweight is bit simple? Could someone clarify that for me please, I'd ever so appreciate it :-)

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  3. You are right. It is possible to be fat and curvy, I think I am too. I am top heavy although I'm fat and the widest part of me is my chest. Everywhere I do a find your body shape I get Busty cause my hips aren't that wide, so I feel best if I balance my body out with a flowy skirt. I remember being younger I totally had a break down being called fat, but now I don't mind at all. I find it that people don't know what to do when I talk about myself as fat. They tend to get frantic or don't know what to say or do. Or even worse, they say that "you're not fat". If they say that I say, yes, I am and I'm proud of it!!

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  4. Just another reminder of how much I love you!

    From a young age I was called fat - by members of my own family, by kids at school, by eejits in cars as they sped past me. It used to hurt, until I claimed it for my own. Now, if someone calls me fat, I clutch at my face and say 'Tell me it isn't so! I've lived all 39 years of my life without a mirror and had no idea!' Drown the tossers in sarcasm. Yes I'm fat, fab, funky and fabulous. My arse, heart and brain are all big, as is my enthusiasm for life.

    Anyone who chooses to judge me before getting to know me is a fool, because they're missing out on an awesome person.

    You rock! xx

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  5. What a fantastic post. So positive. So helpful. Thank you!

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  6. I can't say I'm a big fan of the word "Fat" as it makes me hate what I see in the mirror. On the other hand though I did spend 26 years of my life with the surname FATkin.

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  7. It is funny that you posted this on Thursday, because Thursday was also the day I realised that the word held no power over me any more. Fat is just a description, not an insult. Yes I am fat, but that is ok.

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  8. Fabulous you absolutely are! I'm still on my journey to loving my body and it's a difficult journey, but reading your blog really helps me.

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  9. Another fat and totally fine with it person here! It's just an adjective and should be no more offensive than the words 'tall' or 'short'. I used to get called 'fat bitch' and would always respond with "Well done on your correct use of adjectives!" Which always threw them. Lol.

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    Replies
    1. Love how sassy your responses are-bravo xx

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