I like the word fat. It’s short. Easy to write. Requires no thought once so ever. When you say it people know what you mean. Sure I could use other words. Obese is a nice medical term but I’m not a doctor. Pudgy is an OK term but it reminds me of something my grandmother use to say when she poked me. Plus-size? Well, ya but that hyphen is a real pain when typing and with all the negativity around super-sizing etc. I just don’t want any confusion. Plus-size/Super-size: there’s only a couple letters difference.
Why can’t we just use the word Fat? What’s wrong with the word? Just because we use it doesn’t mean we are giving up on whatever goals we may or may not have. The word fat doesn’t define who we are. There are seven definitions in Merriam-Webster for the word fat some of which surprised me:
1 : notable for having an unusual amount of fat: a : PLUMP b : OBESE c of a meat animal : fattened for market d of food : OILY, GREASY
2 a : well filled out : THICK, BIG (a fat book) b : full in tone and quality : RICH (a gorgeous fat bass voice — Irish Digest) c : well stocked (a fat larder) d : PROSPEROUS, WEALTHY (grew fat on the war — Time) e : being substantial and impressive (a fat bank account)
3 a : richly rewarding or profitable (a fat part in a movie) (a fat contract) b : practically nonexistent (a fat chance)
4 : PRODUCTIVE, FERTILE (a fat year for crops)
5 : STUPID, FOOLISH
6 : being swollen (got a fat lip from the fight)
7 of a baseball pitch : easy to hit
Fat means stupid or foolish? Yikes. Who’s heard of that one? Besides those, there are some pretty good words there. “Well filled out” isn’t bad, either is “well stocked” or “productive” and “fertile” but it’s no wonder we are offended when we see the word.
It’s time we reclaim the word. Redefine it. You might be thinking. I don’t want ‘fat’ to be positive. I don’t want to call myself ‘fat’. To do so means I’m giving up on trying to improve myself and become healthy. No darlin’, it doesn’t. It means you’re taking control. When was the last time something negative someone said made you do something positive? We have the tendency to do the opposite. (example – “Clean your room!” And magically more stuff appears on the floor. Ok, maybe that was a bad example but you get my meaning.)
I’m a FAT woman and I’m proud of it. Does it mean I stop exercising? No. Does it mean I stop trying to eat better? No. Does it mean I’m going to screw up sometimes? You betcha. It just means I’m not going to let someone take me down a notch with a tiny, little three letter word.
I’m a F-abulous A-ttractive T-alented Woman! One of the best ways to redefine a word is with an acronym. I’ve found mine and now it’s time to find yours. So the next time you see the word fat used derogatorily then you can turn it around with YOUR positive acronym.
Need help with some words? Here a few:
F – Fabulous, Fun, Friendly, Fortified, Funny, Fun-loving, Fashionable, Forthright, Feminine, Feisty, Faithful, Freespirited, Fervent, Fearless.
A – Attractive, Astute, Assertive, Able, Analytical, Alluring, Aware, Adamant, Affectionate, Active, Amiable, Amorous, Attentive, Astounding, Amazing, Akamai (Hawaiian)*, Adept, Astonishing, Audacious, Assertive, Ardent.
T – Talented, Trustworthy, Tireless, Trendy, Tasteful, Tempting, Tempestuous, Terrific, Tender, Tough, Triumphant, Tactful, Tenacious, Tolerant, Tremendous, Thriving, Thoughtful.
F-abulous A-ttractive T-alented Women! Would that help? We need to change the negative connotation around the word ‘fat’ and ‘fat’ people. Let’s face it, there are fat people out there who have happy, fulfilling lives. We aren’t all depressed slugs that sit on the couch all day whining about our body image. And for those who are, it’s probably only a temporary setback. Women have reclaimed the words “Woman” and “Vagina” now it’s time for us to reclaim the word “Fat”. We are FAT women. Fabulous, Attractive and Talented!
Ok. So, I still haven’t gotten through to you. You still don’t want to use the word. IT IS OK. I won’t hold it against you but please don’t hold it against me because I want to use it. When you’re reading substitute whatever word makes you feel better. For everyone it’s time to get busy making your acronym. Don’t forget to post it or stick it on a slip of paper in your wallet.
Originally published 9/25/2004 at Large & Lovely, BellaOnline.