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8/29/12

Fat is Not an Insult


When I wrote Being the Fat Blogger, somebody asked me why I use the word fat. I think they felt the word was too harsh and that there were better adjectives - like curvy, plus sized, thick, shapely, chubby, etc. I like the word fat better. It isn't washed down or putting it nicely. It doesn't make me feel objectified, fetishized or sympathized. The word fat is straight to the point and has power in the fat acceptance community. It is political. We are fat and visible. We have claimed the word and use it to describe our fashion, events, blogs and everything else. There is fat summer, fat yoga, fatshionistas, fat sex, fuck yeah fat tumblrs, fatties, fat hair, fatkinis and so on. So when somebody tries to call me out and say I am fat, I can respond with, "Yes, I am fat. I am fat and fucking awesome."

I am not trying to beat them to the punch. I am not degrading myself so that when someone else does it doesn't sting as much. Fat is simply a word that describes me. Google defines fat as "Having a large amount of excess flesh" or "The presence of an excessive amount of such a substance in a person or animal, causing them to appear corpulent". Both true. So rather than be in denial and avoid mirrors, showering or fucking with the lights on, I have a healthy awareness of my body. I know that I am fat. I make a decision every day to go against what is shoved down my throat by wearing colorful or tight clothes, ordering dessert, being in love and feeling good about myself.

But I also have to deal with shit like doctors prescribing weight loss for everything from a car accident to acid reflux. Instead of being offered surgery for a trapped nerve, I am offered a nutritionalist. I have to report my weight and waist measurement to my employer and forced to take online classes about how my size is killing me. Commercials show my body as the before photo like it is the end of the world to look like me. Movies and TV shows tell me I should be an easy lay and grateful to be raped. I have been accused of being a glutton and undeserving of happiness and a partner. I have been treated rudely in public and judged by people that are supposed to love me. All based on the fact that I am fat. Without knowing anything else about me, just based on what I look like. Sometimes I confront the situation and sometimes I ignore it, walk out of the doctors office and go home and cry. People can shout at me, insult me, shame me and guilt me but I will still be fat. You can't change fat with hate. I don't let that hate make me feel differently about myself. I still want to take care of this body and make choices that are best for me.

That is why I won't stop using the word fat. I identify with fat. It gives me strength and courage to love who I am. To be visible and fucking awesome.
- Rachele
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