I use the word fat on my blog. I use it a lot. It is not a bad word. It simply describes me. The word has been embraced by the fat acceptance community. By using it, we have liberated the word. Broken it away from its negative meaning so it can no longer be hurled as an insult. I have a hard time using the words curvy, chubby, heavy set, large boned, obese and every other word out there used to either lighten the blow or file us away as unhealthy. The word curvy reminds me of Jessica Rabbit or a woman with a big boobs and a smaller waist. That is definitely not me. Heavy set sounds strange and old fashioned. Large boned is a fucking lie. Obese is a word used way too often in the medical world, and by Michelle Obama, to imply that health is based on weight and that we should wage a war on it. We all know that isn’t true. Really it isn't.
I am considered morbidly obese which is stamped all over my medical records, usually making it very difficult for me to get appropriate medical treatment. It took me 3 years to hear something other than “lose weight” when I went to the doctor about an injured back. I have been refused tests and treatments. I don’t always fit into theater seats, plane seats and sometimes have to use the handicap stall when the toilet paper roll is installed too close to the toilet. I have to nudge the table at a booth a couple inches to the other side before I can sit down. I am accused of bad eating habits and eating Big Macs by strangers whom have never seen me eat. I receive unsolicited opinions on why I am fat and what I am doing wrong. I am not in as many family photos. I think it is because they are worried that I will look fat or be embarrassed to have my photo taken or maybe they felt that way once.
But here is the deal. I know I am fat and I know that I am going to look fat in photos. The only problem I have with fat is that other people have a problem with it. I appreciate when I get compliments but sometimes I think people assume I am degrading myself by saying I’m fat and they are trying to make me feel better. They assure me that I am not fat or whatever. I am not “pretty even though I am fat”. I am not “pretty and not really that fat” or “don’t look that fat”. I am fat and pretty. I don’t see it as an obstruction blocking my goals and I am not seeking resolution or approval. I realize that using the word fat can make people uncomfortable but I refuse to sugar coat the truth and hide behind a more appeasable adjective.
I am not sure I know where I am going with this except to assure my readers that I am okay with the word fat. Fat simply describes my size and I identify with it. It isn’t a bad thing and I am not self-deprecating or making a joke at my own expense. I am secure in who I am and fat is an empowering word!