Right! This needs to be addressed and I think some interesting conversation will come of it. Stay with me people.
A few days ago I put an update on my Facebook about a conversation I had with one of the Sprogs. It made me laugh at the time, though on Facebook I delivered it with my usual self-deprecating deadpan. This was the conversation Sprog2 and I had and how I phrased it on Facebook:
Quote Of The Day:
Sprog2: What’s that?
Me: It’s a measuring cup so I can measure my porridge. I always measure it so I don’t get fat.
Sprog2: . . . but you are fat.
And the ‘Tell It Like It Is’ Award goes to . . .
Now . . . I knew it would get a reaction when I posted it. Mostly I thought people would laugh and join me on the ‘Awww, kids say the darndest things!’ path.
Instead I got comments talking about fat. I won’t quote them directly, but the gist was along the lines of ‘You’re not fat’ or ‘You aren’t fat, you have fat.’
Now . . . here’s the thing. I am fat.
I. Am. Fat.
There we go. I’ve said it, you don’t need to feel bad about it.
But . . . why do people feel bad about it?
When I talked to the other half about this, he explained, in his beautifully clear and awesome way, the thoughts I had, but in a way that made sense. *snorts* And I’m the writer . . .
Anyway, he said words to the effect of: “‘Fat’ has become synonymous with ‘ugly’ or ‘undesirable’ or ‘unsexy.’ That’s just the way society is right now. So rather than saying ‘You’re not fat,’ which you are, these people are actually saying ‘You’re not ugly/undesirable/unsexy.’ Which is nice . . . because you’re the most beautiful woman I know.”
Thanks dude. 😉
Oh, and let me just say, for the sake of you people gasping in the back, he never just calls me fat. He takes his cues from things I say which, if I’m honest, is exactly what Sprog2 did. He’s heard me call myself fat time and time again—he’s three, he doesn’t even know what it means to be fat!
So here we are.
I won’t go as far as to say I’m at peace with being fat. I’m not. A lot of this journey is about how I look and how I feel when I see myself in a mirror. I’d be a liar if I said that wasn’t what set me on this path in the first place. But the fact is, ‘being fat’ isn’t a crime or a sin or something to be bad/guilty about. Sure, in my case, it came about because of bad eating habits, a real aversion to exercise and general poor self-maintenance, but for others it just doesn’t work that way. Some people are just bigger, despite all their good eating habits, their exercise and sensible choices. They shouldn’t be looked down on/ridiculed/disrespected because of it.
Fat, fatty, chunky, pig, elephant, beast, whale . . . all insults I’ve heard at some point or another. Not directed at me, might I add, but towards people whose weight is above what the NHS dictates is the expected norm (and even in cases when, to my eyes, they were a perfectly healthy size!). Being fat, in the eyes of some, equates you to an animal, something beneath other human beings. It’s so very, very wrong.
I’m not saying that fat is good or that fat is bad. There are certainly health risks associated with extra weight and plenty of reasons for losing it if you can. But I don’t think that people should shy away from using the word ‘fat’ as exactly what it is: a description.
If I put up a Facebook status saying ‘My hair is black,’ there wouldn’t be a ream of posts denying that fact. Similarly, if I put up a status saying ‘I have eight fingers and two thumbs,’ no one would feel the need to question that either. Fat isn’t an insult or a bad thing, it’s just a (accurate) word to describe my (current) body type. Personally, I’m not happy with that, so I’m taking steps to change it, but I’m less happy with the thought that people feel the need to deny the truth so as not to ‘hurt my feelings’ or whatever else was happening that day.
Guys, I love you, and thank you, but it really isn’t necessary. x