I am fat. I am also 30, I have long hair and I like dancing. There are all describing words for who I am, but only one of those words would make quite a lot of other people’s skin crawl. What is it about the three lettered F word that makes people feel like they’ve just been kicked in the chest?
Now we all know that it isn’t the word itself. Fat is by definition, the word given to describe “A natural oily substance occuring in animal and human bodies, especially when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs”. Nothing offensive there is there really? The offense occurs when fat is used as an adjective to describe someone who has an excess of fat – all of a sudden, that unsuspecting, three letter word becomes a swear word. It becomes offensive, hurtful and frivolously used to cause hurt to the person on the receiving end. Well, fuck that. I am claiming that word back.
So how can you join in and reclaim the word and start to fight back against fatphobia? Well my lover, its easier than you might think. All you need to do is have a slice of CAKE:
Challenge – Whenever you hear fatphobia, challenge the person using it. Why are they using fat as a negative? What are they trying to achieve by doing so? By challenging those that use the word in a negative fashion, we are changing minds and challenging society to stop putting one body’s worthiness up against the other.
Amplify – Share the stories of fat influencers that continually push the boundaries of fat acceptance. Some great fat influencers are Bethany Rutter from Arched Eyebrow, Jes Baker from The Militant Baker and Ariel and KC from Bad Fat Broads. Immerse yourself in their content and get yourself some fat posi power!
Be Kind – In order to take the power away from the word fat, you’re going to have to change the way you use words in relation to your own body. If you constantly refer to your fat body in a negative way, you are going to have to change that mindset and become kinder to yourself. Kindness for your own body starts with describing it in a positive way, and the word fat can work into that. My fat body is brilliant, and so is yours.
Educate – Let those around you know that you refuse to use fat as an insult. Educate those close to you why you are doing this by sharing how that negativity has made you feel and why the word Fat is just that – just a word.
I am using this year to be the year that my unapologeticness goes up a whole 25 notches. I have been really heavily involved with the body positivity movement for a while and, although it is very much needed and provides a safe space for people of all genders, ages, shapes, sizes, weights, races, orientations and abilities, it has made me quieter about fat positivity in favour of being more inclusive. And I’m not cool with that any more. It’s time for me to be louder for my fat sisters and amplify our fat stories of triumph, love, strength and awesomeness!