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Are you fat or *fat euphemism*?

2nd February 2009

Are you fat or *fat euphemism*?

Kudos to French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier for casting 51-year-old former French supermodel Inès de la Fressange at this week’s Paris couture shows. Gaultier, it seems, regularly likes to step outside rigidly-drawn fashion lines — he caused a storm two years ago by sending plus-size New York model Velvet down the runway in a revealing black corset.

There was some talk then if Gaultier’s choice of Velvet was more satirical than an altruistic attempt to show the diversity of beauty, but I think his choice of Fressange reaffirms his stated desire to “show that beauty can be universal.” My only sticking point is in the media coverage of Fressange. Read the description below of Fressange on the runway and then look at a shot of her taken during the show. Do the descriptions of her (emphasized by me) match the reality shown?

As the voluptuous 51-year-old strutted down the runway, the crowd cheered this one-time French queen of the catwalk.

Fashion models “are not just 14-year-olds,” Mr. Gaultier said later. “There are no [age] barriers to beauty.” The French designer explained that the curvy Ms. de la Fressange embodied the sexuality demanded his raunchy Spanish themed show, which also featured high-waisted pinstripe pants for women, suspenders and elbow-length gloves.

Ines de la Fressange - Gaultier runway show

“Voluptuous” and “curvy” are subjective descriptors, sure, and by neutral definition, they indicate a full and well-proportioned figure — not a fat figure, mind you, but a proportioned one. But in the mainstream media and especially the insane alternate reality known as fashion, such terms are usually used as euphemisms for the dreaded F-word… FAT. Case in point: The same media outlets that ran the story on the “curvy” Fressange above are the same venues abuzz with talk of a “curvy” Jessica Simpson.

The inanity of the media and the skewering of our perceptions on reality aside… I’d like to talk about fat euphemisms in general. Camryn Manheim culled a list of fat euphemisms described of her in reviews in her memoir, “Wake Up, I’m Fat!“:

Rotund Heavy Colossal
No Slenderella Plump Ample
Heroically Proportioned Overweight Stout
Couch Potato Hefty Matronly
Oversized Robust Big
Full bodied Zaftig Large
Wide-ish Large Immense
Generously Proportioned Enormous Grand
Heavyweight talent Corpulent Plentiful
Gravitationally challenged    

To this, I’d add other popular terms: fluffy, plush, plus-sized, juicy, chubby, big-boned, queen-sized, as well as the aforementioned curvy and voluptuous (Feel free to add any terms I’ve missed to this list).

Fat euphemisms really dig at the heart of the overall theme here — the demonization of fat is, in fact, the primary reason why I titled the site as such. Food and feminism, also dreaded F-words for many, just conveniently happened to also begin with “F” — alas, the-F-Word was born. Fat euphemisms do not exist because fat people do not know they’re fat and are thus deluded into using cutesy terms to describe themselves. Fat euphemisms exist because people do not want to label themselves (or others) as “fat” — and ergo, all the negative implications associated with the three-letter adjective. Even some self-described fat admirers admit to struggling with using the term fat.

Dictionary definitions for fat as a physical attribute include “plump; having too much flabby tissue; plentiful; abundant” etc… However in common usage, the word fat has been bastardized to also mean, to name just a few, “sloth; greed; laziness; character flaw; shortcoming; dirty; unattractive; embarrassing; lack of willpower, control; unhealthy.” For many people, especially those outside the size acceptance community, fat is a derisive, mocking term usually wielded as a verbal weapon of inner mass destruction — fat-ass, fat whale, fat bitch, fatty — so the natural inclination is to shy away from it much as anyone would any other horrible expletive. The media uses fat euphemisms to avoid coming off as attacking or insulting while still yet conveying its message that OMG, CELEBRITY X HAS GAINED WEIGHT! to image-obsessed readers. Kate Harding has written an excellent article summing up these points — read her story, originally published in Harriet Brown’s new anthology “Feed Me!” here on Salon.com.

I’m fat. Two short words, and yet it’s taken me nearly a lifetime to be able to utter them. I’m not big-boned, I’m not zaftig, and I’m certainly not fluffy. I’m fat. I also wear glasses, sport short hair I pay good money to have colored red, am short, have brown eyes and tend to dress like the before footage of guests on “What Not to Wear.” I’m fat. So what?

I prefer the term “fat” to describe myself in lieu of what I think to be silly fat euphemisms and synonyms, but I recognize that not everyone is so thick-skinned (no pun intended). I now use the word regularly even in conversations with others, but even I have to admit, hearing “You’ve got beautiful curves” still sounds much nicer than “You’re so fat.” In my academic research, there’s no getting around the use of clinical terms like “overweight” and “obese,” although I inwardly cringe each time I type them out (overweight? over whose weight?). In my personal parlance, I also like the word fat because fat is an equalizer, lumping all of us who are not of weights socially deemed to be “normal” into one big fat group of cultural deviants. It removes the barriers we construct between ourselves and forces us into the realization of just how narrow(ing) social constructions of weight and beauty harm us all, fat and thin.

For me, each time I use the word fat neutrally or better yet, positively, it chips away at the ugliness that has come to be associated with the word. How about you? Have you reclaimed the word “fat”? If so, how? And if not, what are some of the reasons why?

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2009 at 1:28 pm and is filed under Body Politic, Eating Disorders, Family Issues, Fat Acceptance, Fat Bias, Feminist Topics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 32 responses to “Are you fat or *fat euphemism*?”

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  1. 1 On February 2nd, 2009, dareva said:

    I am working on reclaiming “fat,” but it is tedious at times to contend with people who think that the only legitimate use of the word is as an insult.

    My avoid-at-all-costs word for myself is “curvy,” as I am not that.

  2. 2 On February 2nd, 2009, Lori said:

    I think the word fat is fine. I’m just not convinced it’s really any less euphemistic or subjective than words like curvy or voluptuous. After all, nearly everybody has body fat; at what point does a person have enough body fat to qualify them as “fat”? I think any term we use is to some extent a euphemism, because we’re trying to fit a huge diversity of bodies into unnatural categories.

    I’ve been described as curvy or voluptuous way many more times in my life than I’ve been described as fat. And, given that my waist is 14 inches smaller than my hips, and 12 inches smaller than my bust, I’m not really comfortable assuming people were being euphemistic, because I’m just as curvy or voluptuous as I am fat. In fact I’d say that to most people I’m not remarkably fat (I’m about a size 16/18, so pretty close to the norm) but I am significantly more hourglass-shaped than average. So the curvy-ness of my body may be more notable than the fatness of it.

    I don’t even know what to say about Fressange, because I can’t imagine a less descriptive word for her body than “fat.” I’d definitely say “curvy” is a more accurate descriptor for her than “fat,” but “extremely slim” seems most accurate. I’m way out of the loop of who is modeling these days and what they look like, but is she actually larger than most models? That’s pretty shocking, because she looks extremely thin to me.

    BTW, I also dress like a “before” on What Not to Wear. In fact, more than once an item of clothing that I have hanging in my closest has been thrown into the trash on the show as something you should not wear. Those are proud moments.

  3. 3 On February 2nd, 2009, Loaf said:

    I’m trying to reclaim the word, first as simple adjective, then as positive word. But whenever I refer to myself as fat (which I am, objectively speaking), my skinny friends say, “NO! You’re not FAT!” and I have to insist, “Yes, I am. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but I’m fat.”

    I find it way more offensive when I hear the same people describe other fatties as “Very large” or “she’s a heavy girl.” By avoiding the word, they’re insinuating that it IS bad, and I try to call them on it to their face. Of course it bothers me even more when they say, “Well, it’s okay for you to be fat; you’re a lesbian.” Grr.

  4. 4 On February 2nd, 2009, AngryGrayRainbows said:

    Oh gosh, reclaiming the word “fat” is one of the best things I ever did. I was so tired of cringing every time I heard that word. Now it is just a neutral descriptor to me and nothing else.
    It has also helped for me to adopt a very fat cat. I find myself adulating… “omg… you are so fat…. look at how beautiful you are! look at those beautiful fat paws! i love them so much!!! no kitty is more beautiful than you!” And… I mean it as I say it. I’m saying fat as a good thing even and that’s how I’d like to keep seeing it.
    I never though I’d grow past the lifetime of hearing “fat” as code for lazy, undisciplined, greedy, etc. I am so happy that I got to this place.

  5. 5 On February 2nd, 2009, hera said:

    Here’s my issue with the word ‘fat:’ it’s not accurate. All humans have fat on their bodies. To call someone ‘fat’ is equivalent to calling them ’tissue.’ It’s nonsensical. At what point does a person become ‘fat?’ Can you tell by looking at someone whether her body fat percentage is above and beyond the corporate-mandated maximum? No, you can’t.

    Now, obviously, in usage, the word has come to mean something else, but that ‘something else’ is, and almost always has been, pejorative. Because of this, it’s used to mean, unattractive, undesirable, and a host of other ugly things. Who wouldn’t have a problem with accepting that word to describe themselves?

    I’m aware of the strategy of adopting biased terminology to ‘normalize’ them, as has been done with words like ‘queer’ and ‘nigger,’ so I do use the word ‘fat,’ as a way to desensitize myself to it, but it’s never felt like a useful way to describe myself.

  6. 6 On February 2nd, 2009, Rachel said:

    Lori — Yeah, if I hadn’t known the “curvy” Fressange was a deviation, I wouldn’t have been able to really tell her apart from the other models. I don’t see much of a difference weight-wise between them.

    Loaf — I love the title of your blog :)

    AGR — I also have a fat cat whom we call, not so creatively, our big fat orange cat (his real name is Teddy). I also have a very thin cat, so thin you can count her vertebrae and I have to say that I like cuddling the fat cat far more than I do my thin cat. I always feel like I’m going to break her (there’s nothing medically wrong with her, btw, she’s just a very small cat).

  7. 7 On February 2nd, 2009, Rachel said:

    Hera wrote, “At what point does a person become ‘fat?’”

    It depends. For the average woman, it’s generally considered to be anything above a size 8. For a celebrity, it’s anything above a size 2. All kidding aside, you raise a good point, especially considering that different cultures view fat differently. It’s the same reason why I don’t like to use the clinical terms average-weight, overweight and obese.

    But I don’t see the personal use of fat as simply “adopting biased terminology.” Historically, fat has had positive associations to it for far longer than it has negative. I see a big difference between adopting a word and reclaiming a word.

  8. 8 On February 2nd, 2009, Lori said:

    I think the “when does a person become ‘fat’” question also depends on who’s doing the naming. To the media, it seems like anything about a 6/8 is fat, for a regular, non-famous woman. But, in a lot of settings I’ve been in, people can be a lot larger than that and not considered “fat.” My Italian family will tell you you’re too thin and start bringing you plates of lasagna if you’re a size 10. (And, in my family, that would be quite thin, and any of us who were a size 10 probably wouldn’t be eating as much as we needed. It’s not always the case with any thin friend who happened to join us at a holiday meal, though…) I live in Detroit, which is a predominantly black and predominantly poor city, and I’d say I’m considered pretty average around here, and most people wouldn’t describe me as fat. But if I go to one of the whiter, wealthier suburbs, then I definitely feel fat.

    The standards change so much depending on where you are and who you’re with.

  9. 9 On February 2nd, 2009, Rachel said:

    Lori, I think those class differences are exactly one of the reasons why fat has become such a pejorative.

  10. 10 On February 2nd, 2009, Eve said:

    I think the word “fat” is relative like any other descriptor. If a person is shorter than the average, she or he is called “short.” However, that person may be tall, compared to someone shorter. By the same token, someone can be fatter than the average fashion model, but thinner than the average woman. Thus, the descriptor “fat” can be something generally ascribed to those who are fatter than average, and/or something that a person can claim.

  11. 11 On February 2nd, 2009, AngryGrayRainbows said:

    LOL Rachel. I have to agree. I have a very skinny cat as well. I think he was just the run of the litter and has nothing medically wrong with him either…

    But there is something just so comforting about snuggling up with our fat cat (who I have nicknamed Princess Snorklepotamus – because she has horrible sinus issues, is dainty like a princess and kinda walks like a hippo). Snuggling our dear princess is more like snuggling a teddy bear. It just feels so right. And, I don’t know how anyone could not love her big, fluffly, perfectly white belly!

    Yay for fat cats!

    I can also relate to what Lori said. When I go back to the very rural town I grew up in, I am considered normal to chunky depending on the crowd I’m with. But, in the Chicago Loop (where I work), I feel much “fatter”. It’s weird how that works.

  12. 12 On February 2nd, 2009, sleepless said:

    “I’m fat. So what?” — exactly.

    I think you missed “solid”. That one I don’t mind as much as most of the others, because it has a definiteness about it, a “I’m HERE” and real and you can’t ignore me. It has echoes of strength, not whimpiness.

    It’s still fat though.

    And, WOW, she is one gorgeous woman. But she doesn’t seem that curvy from the photos but that might just be the angle. She’s still quite thin to me.

  13. 13 On February 2nd, 2009, Fantine said:

    I am most definitely fat, and like most people, it’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I really feel “fat” is a descriptor and not an insult. I have been trying to use the word “obese” in the same way when necessary, but I can’t quite get there with “morbidly obese”, because that has a moral judgment built right into it. It’s teh DEATH FAT!!! Oh noes!!! I’m gonna DIE!!! (Yeah, so is everyone else. But there’s still a moral judgment attached to that–like I’m gonna die and it’s all my fault…)

  14. 14 On February 2nd, 2009, vesta44 said:

    I’ve been saying I’m fat for quite a while now. I used to say BBW, or plus-sized, but really, according to my height and weight, I’m more on the super-BBW or super-plus-sized side of things (which makes me think I need tights and a cape). When people tell me I’m not fat, and even at my weight, I get told that, mainly because I think they think being fat is a bad thing, I tell them that being fat isn’t bad, it’s just one part of who I am, and not the main, or most important, part.

  15. 15 On February 3rd, 2009, sarah said:

    I am still learning to embrace the word “fat.” I am comfortable saying “Fat Acceptance” (mostly; sometimes I’ll modify to Body/Size Acceptance, depending on the audience), but when it comes to describing specific individuals, I find myself still using adjectives like “heavy” or “bigger.” I think it has less to do with my own feelings about fat–I do think I consider it to be value-neutral–than with what other people would think if I said something like, “Oh, the girl in the blue shirt. You know, the fat one.” I would certainly not mean anything negative by describing someone as “fat,” but we all know that most folks in our society would probably thinking I was being critical and even rude.
    And about the relativity of fatness: I think it’s a pretty subjective line. I have a BMI that classifies me as “overweight,” and I wear a size 14/16. But I’m also 5’10,” so I think that my weight would probably look pretty different on a woman of average height. Do most people look at me and think “fat?” I honestly don’t know. The interesting and wonderful thing about FA is that it’s helped me have a much less skewed perception of my own body; when I weighed 50 or 60lbs less than I do currently, I still thought I was far from thin, and that I could probably stand to lose more weight. Now, I think I see myself both more realistically *and* more positively.

  16. 16 On February 3rd, 2009, Misty said:

    QUOTE: “Historically, fat has had positive associations to it for far longer than it has negative. I see a big difference between adopting a word and reclaiming a word.”

    This is false. Female FIGURES that the modern media would class as “fat” had positive associations, but the word itself has always been pejorative. To try to turn it into a positive is to give it a meaning it has never had.

    The attempts to “reclaim” the word are ludicrous, and in fact do more harm than good. A young girl slapped with the word “fat” will always be hurt by it, so this campaign is basically giving people who will use the word as an insult the license to use that word.

    I also consider it ridiculous to use because it’s arbitrary. Anyone can put a marker anywhere and call it “fat.” Far better to help people realize that above a size 2 is NOT fat, above a size 8 is not fat, and with 14 being the average women’s size, that’s not “fat” either. Instead of trying to teach people that they’re abnormal (which is what the term is being defined here as, “above ‘normal’ weights”), better to point out that the STANDARDS are abnormal, and that women at all of these size are in fact normal themselves.

    To adopt the word “fat” for these sizes is to accept THEIR categorization.

    Just about any so-called euphemism is preferable to “fat,” because none are so hurtful and insulting — and, as I’ve said, also false.

  17. 17 On February 3rd, 2009, Rachel said:

    Misty — Sure, fat gets a bad rap in Christian attacks on gluttony and moderation, but throughout history, it was both admirable and enviable for both women and men to be corpulent. It’s interesting to note here that the Bible largely ignores fat or when it is mentioned, equates it approvingly with prosperity (the fat of the land). Quickly and off the top of my head: Romanticism had its own ideals of slender beauty, but even Byron, who praised waif-like figures, also liked his women to be voluptuous. In the early- to mid-1800s, fatness was viewed to be, for women, a sign of successful motherhood, and in both men and women, prosperity. Between the 1860s and 1880s, fat became particularly fashionable for men. S. Weir Mitchell, the doctor most famously captured in Perkins Gilmore’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” claimed that skinny figures correlated with nervous, discontented personalities. The Fat Men’s Club of Connecticut, opened in 1866, didn’t close until 1903.

    So, your argument that it was only somehow admirable for women’s bodies to be fat isn’t supported by the evidence. Can you make a historical case for it?

  18. 18 On February 3rd, 2009, AngryGrayRainbows said:

    I have always found the Christian talk about how the body is fickle and evil and how gluttony is a “deadly” sin to be quite ironic. During the times I worked the hardest to be gluttonous (during my orthoarexic/exercise bulimic days), I had nothing to give to anyone. Starvation and neglecting myself wasn’t pious. I became more and more self-centered, in fact, due to not having the energy for anything by trying to neglect myself and hardly having any energy to be pleasant to people in the least, let alone actually be thoughtful. I had no compassion for anyone except for the little I had for myself – and boy did I need that little bit just to survive.

    Regarding historical precedent for non-thinness being good – read “Emma” by Jane Austen. One of the characters is praised over and over for her “plumpness”. Then, in “Mansfield Park” (also by Austen), the reason another woman is considered a less attractive option is because she is too “small”.

    Views on fat also differ from culture to culture. Some cultures are more likely to see fat as simply a neutral body trait (for example, Turkey) rather than seeing fat as a moral problem.

    I remember back when I was dating this subcontinental guy who shocked I was when he would say with delight, “OMG! He/she/it is SOOOOO FAT!!!” He didn’t mean this in any kind of derogatory way. He thought certain displays of fat were just wonderful to look at and had no problem with chub at all – even though he was a very skinny and very fit guy.

  19. 19 On February 3rd, 2009, Jodith said:

    I use the word fat all the time. Changing what I call myself isn’t going to change what people think about me. I’m fat and that’s all there is to it.

    I have people who object to me calling one of my dogs by the nickname “fatboy”. I tell them there’s nothing wrong with the nickname because 1) he is fat and 2) there’s nothing wrong with being fat. My MIL started calling him “diche junge” when she first met him, and it just stuck. My husband and I just Americanized the name.

    As long as we insist on not using the label “fat”, how can we fight against fat hatred? How can we love ourselves as fat people if we cannot even bring ourselves to call ourselves fat?

  20. 20 On February 3rd, 2009, Melissa said:

    I always say I’m fat, no matter.
    In fact I find people I know who are thinner than me are the ones who always say, Oh you’re not fat, you’re just this or that *fill it in*.
    I’ve also heard thinner people when talking about their children being bigger, when they come to the word fat or obese, they whisper it like they were about to say something hideously taboo- like my childs a murderer or something. It’s so strange to get hung up on a word.
    I would say alot of my current attitude is in thanks to sites like this one! Because I’d say 3 years ago I would have hated to use the word as well.

  21. 21 On February 3rd, 2009, Jackie said:

    Jodith, I agree with you. I think people are upset by us confronting them with using the word fat to describe ourselves, because it reminds them of all the times they may have used that word against someone negatively, and then they have to face that there is nothing wrong with fat people, the problem is how they choose to perceive them.

  22. 22 On February 3rd, 2009, Natalie said:

    I was just talking about this with a friend the other day, in relation to the post… somewhere else of the Chubby girls clothes in the Sears catalogue, in particular because I *really* like the word chubby, since it has some positive and some negative associations which makes it neutral-er, like, no one would call a baby fat and mean something good, but they do call babies chubby and mean something good.

    However, in thinking about the words I like to hear to describe myself: chubby, voluptuous, curvy, chunkster I realized that basically it’s just a way for me to say “fat but not THAT fat.” Which, while accurate in my case (I’m about a size 16) is not helpful for anyone. It’s a still a way for me to buy into the idea that being TOO fat is bad and that there exists something that is TOO fat.

    Which is probably par for the course, I’m only about 8 months into know Fat Acceptance exists, but I really look forward to the day when I don’t give a shit what people say about how I look.

  23. 23 On February 4th, 2009, Angela said:

    I use the word fat to describe myself, and it doesn’t bother me. However, I tend to shy away from using it to describe other people. I’ve pissed off more then one person doing that. To be honest though, it’s usually not the fat person that gets offended. But I’m always kind of worried that if I do describe a fat person as fat in front of them, even if they don’t say anything, they’re going to think I’m insulting them. It’s kind of like when I describe a person as a “nerd”. For me, that’s totally not an insult; everyone in my family and most of my friends are total nerds. I heart nerds, and I heart fatties.

    I was talking to one of my customers a few months ago about how hard it is sometimes for me to find cloths that fit and don’t look like crap, because *drum roll* I’m fat. I kept talking, and suddenly she interrupted me by saying “Girl! You gotta stop saying that about yourself!” I was genuinely confused, asking what she meant. She leaned in real close and whispered “You have to stop say you’re fat!” Whuuuuut? “But I *am* fat…” “Well, that’s not a very nice thing so say about yourself.”

    Uh huh. So, yeah. She and I are pretty tight, so I’m gonna have to work on her.

  24. 24 On February 4th, 2009, Mickey said:

    You see, I think when using euphemisms, you should use the most over-the-top PC-inspired ones. That’s why I prefer “adiposity-enhanced”.

  25. 25 On February 4th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Jodith wrote, “Changing what I call myself isn’t going to change what people think about me.”

    Exactly. For me, changing what I call myself mostly changes how I think of me.

  26. 26 On February 4th, 2009, twincats said:

    I generally use fat to describe myself; my friends have gotten used to it and tolerate it.

    Some days, usually at work, I just don’t have the wherewithal to watch my co-workers wince when I use the fat-word, so I’ll substitute “generous” instead. Generous is my default second choice because it reminds me to try to be more so in my attitude as well as descrbing my size.

  27. 27 On February 4th, 2009, Melanthios said:

    I don’t use the word ‘fat’ most of the time. When I am describing my ladywyfe, for example, I use ‘zaftig’ (or skip the Yiddish altogether and use ‘juicy’)–this is not really euphemistic, but a word-choice based on 1) the sexual innuendo of a rakehell and 2) the fact that I see fat as a sign of fertility (‘zaftig’ directly references ‘fat = fertility’*).

    My ladywyfe, however, uses the word ‘fat’ to describe herself, sometimes in conjunction with ‘moggie’.

    When I use ‘curvy’, it is an indirect and–yes, rather nasty–fleer to skinnier people who so rarely HAVE curves of any kind; and ‘curvy’ doesn’t always mean the person in question is fat. Often we both use ‘curvy’ to describe anyone of any gender who has bodacious hips.

    ‘Fluffy’, to me, is doubly endearing since it references my mother directly, in my mind. Freudian? Definitely, but it is what it is.

    Speaking of, does anyone else always remember the lyric from ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ that goes: ‘And I see my wife as a rich man’s wife, with a proper double-chin’? That lyric just stuck in my mind the first time I heard it, and always makes me smile.

    I’m starting to use ‘fat’ positively, but usually I skip the connotations and opinions of others and just outright say ‘fertile’, which seems to give people pause–because after all, it’s been a long time since ‘fertile’ was used in a list of ‘things I think are attractive physically’. And I like to force people into thinking.

  28. 28 On February 10th, 2009, Marie Denee said:

    LOL… I love your post! I find myself to fall to many of those substitutes for being fat… I love the words form Sir- Mix-A- Lot “Thick Soul Sista” and of course continue to reference the word curvy as you can see its in the title of my blog…

    Sometimes I find that a lot of times its not the fat girl who has a problem with saying fat, its those around her who hush her as if the word was a curse… you tell someone you are fat, and they quickly and promptly hush you up… maybe I am on to something here… lol…

    Thank you for your insight into this. I would also add “healthy” as I have had one guy call me that… what an interesting word- healthy.

  29. 29 On February 17th, 2009, Jodith said:

    I have to admit, I like the word healthy *laughs*. I remember my grandmother would always say that about a baby or child who was fat. “He’s a healthy boy.”. Once upon a time, being thin was considered a sign of poor health and undernutrition. It’s only in the last half of the 20th century that we started seeing the really extreme thinness being considered attractive.

    I was watching an old movie one night, and Cyd Cherrise was dancing in it. She was wearing a very formfitting outfit, and I realized just how hefty she was. The woman had a really nice pair of hips on her, and her thighs would be considered huge today. And you could, in no way, say she was unhealthy. Look at how active she was and the kinds of things she could do when dancing. She was absolutely gorgeous, but I’m willing to bet she’d at the very least be in the overweight category today on the BMI. But she was difinitely “healthy” *laughs*.

  30. 30 On July 3rd, 2009, Leah said:

    I like to say “I’m fat,” because it’s like a slap in the face to all the two-faced, tip-toeing “polite” people who are really thinking “she’s really fat” and worse. When I claim that word, I take the power out of it. You cannot degrade me, because I understand and accept how fat I am and how society condemns me for it. I challenge the fat-bias by overcoming my personal shame and highlight the implicit scorn behind the f-word by breaking the silence. People often respond with wide eyes, outraged gasps, and scolding denials: “No, YOU’RE not Fat!” Yes. Yes, I am.

  31. 31 On March 13th, 2010, The chick from ‘Precious,’ black folks, obesity and diet - WriteBlack said:

    [...] And did I mention that I hate the word “thick” when used as a euphemism for “fat”? [...]

  32. 32 On March 30th, 2011, Label Maker — « Fierce, Freethinking Fatties said:

    [...] is simply a way of making harsh words sound less harsh, so it has become commonly accepted that euphemisms for fat are anathema to Fat Acceptance. But I [...]

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