Why Fat Is Not A Four-Letter Word

    Fat   adjective  \’fat\ 


I just got to interview two amazing photographers for the NUDE issue of
Volup 2 magazine, which will be out this summer.  I can’t reveal much, except to say that I am so lucky that I get to do what I do.  The “F” word came up a lot during my interviews. Fuck. Fuckery. Fucktastic.  They were used in good-hearted fun and they are all words I absolutely love.  But the one that I am learning to love, or at least like, is FatThose three letters carry more weight than a barrel of “fuck you’s” and bitch slaps. It incites fear into the souls of impressionable teenage girls, and is the insult of choice for drunk frat boys. Fat is a word that has been used to insult and torture the corpulent for decades.  Fat has been equated with  ugly, lazy, stupid and incapable of control.  It has been used by the media incessantly to create a culture in which diet companies are making billions of dollars off of the insecurities of people–mostly women. But how did we let this happen?  And what can we do about it?

FAT IS NOT A 4-LETTER WORD

Photo by Substantia Jones

Personally, I still struggle with the word because it has been used against me in the cruelest of ways.  But when I break it down, it’s really just a descriptive word, like blonde or short.  It only has power if I allow it to. It says nothing about a person that is of any positive or negative value. It just is. Fat is fat.  That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.  So, the next time I’m feeling fat (and by the way, fat is not a feeling), I will also remember that I’m a tall brunette.  And none of that affects how I feel about myself.  So, why should my fat?  I propose a challenge to you: the next time someone complains that they’re fat, or calls you fat, just look at them, say “yup,” and smile.


HAS THE PLUS SIZE CONTINGENCY GONE ROGUE?

I’m a plus size woman, and I celebrate my body to the best of my ability.  I also encourage other plus size women to embrace themselves.  What I don’t understand is why there seems to be so much anger and hatred toward our thin counterparts.  I see posts on

Facebook dogging thin women and describing them as less than women because they don’t have “curves.”  The term “real women” has been misused and I’m guilty of it too.  How did we get here?  Didn’t we start this revolution with the intention of feeling better about ourselves?  When did we decide that tearing down others was a good way to do it?  I’m publicly declaring that I disagree with this tactic.  I’m sure the media is eating up this bullshit.  I can see the headline now: “Fat Women Destroy Thin Women in Hateful Display of Rivalry.” 


I understand the struggle that plus size women have gone through to be recognized as

beauty equals in the media.  It’s real and it’s valid.    But what I also see happening is a case of oppressing the oppressor—a dangerous game in which victims use the same sickening tactics their intimidators used against them to feel better about themselves.  Do we not see the sheer insanity in this twisted charade?  I would challenge you to think about what you choose to share on social media.  I think it’s great to see examples of diverse women in media who don’t represent traditional standards of beauty.  We are trying to change the landscape of what is available to us, and we’ve done a good job, and there is much further to go.  But in the meantime I pose the following to you:

  1. Many thin women we see in the media suffer from poor body image, even if we don’t hear about it. We don’t need to make things more painful for them by being hateful.  That’s just stupid. 
  2. Thin does not equal the enemy.
  3. Some women are naturally thin.  Get over it.
  4. The term “Real Woman” should be extinguished.  Unless of course we use it to describe women who are doing good in the world, lifting up others and making useful contributions.  
  5. Breed positivity and be an example of love and acceptance in the world.  Your daughters, sisters, mothers and aunts will thank you for it.

I hope this article stirs up lots of discussion.   Let’s talk about it.  Share your thoughts and remember not to tear down others in the process. 

Peace and blessings,
Pia