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 among 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 Perelandra. I am Fat, Curvy, Plus size and Fabulous.

   

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