Breaking News: Fat Isn’t a Bad Word!
I can recall one time vaguely where I actually stood up for myself in elementary school, the one girl who had given me hell all through my years in this particular school, was bothering me yet again at the 5th grade lunch table. It was towards the end of the school year, I remember it being warm and the excitement of graduation was upon us. Whatever she was doing to me, I wasn’t having it. I was fed up and finally thought it was time to stand up for myself. I turned to my antagonizer and said something along the lines of: “Why don’t you shut your fat mouth, or better yet, stuff it with some fat free jelly?” (Yeah, there was jelly on the table and I went with it, I wasn’t good at standing up for myself back then, okay?) I remember it shutting the bully up and I remember some of the other kids laughing about it. Why did this stupid quip shut her up? Because being called fat, or worse, actually being fat, were the worst things our small little underdeveloped minds could think of.
It was only recently that I came to terms with the fact that fat, although a state of being, was not a bad word. It was not a cuss, swear, or anything of the sort. Now, I’m not saying that it can’t be used to hurt someone’s feelings. Any word used in a vicious context can seem mean, depending on your state of mind. Looking back on old photos of me from high school, I laugh, because I was nowhere even close to being fat, but I thought I was grotesque and huge.
My question is: when did we, as a society, first start using the word “fat” with negative implications? Even when I talk to people about body positivity, whether it be about cosplays, or ‘muggles’, or the non-cosplaying folk, who are interested in what it is I do as ‘Undiesofwondy’, they seem to dodge the word fat. It seems like they use a plethora of other words to try and avoid “the f-word”. Chubby, pleasantly plump, even plus sized are all codes for “fat”.
Hold onto your seats, because what I say next may shock you: I’m fat. I am a fat person. A fatty. A chubster. Plus Sized. Call me whatever you want, because guess what? It’s the truth. A truth I’m no longer ashamed to admit.
I recently read an article talking about the ’10 Things Fat People Are Sick of Hearing’ and while I can’t remember every single thing on the list or where it even came from, most of it rang true and applied to my own experiences. One thing that resounded with me the most was in relation to people making comments like, “You would be so pretty if you just lost a little weight!” Or assuming I don’t eat healthy or make good life choices because fat suddenly equals lazy.
There’s a huuuugee aversion to fatness in the cosplay community too, I’ve learned. If you don’t look exactly like a certain character, some idiots will come after you. Since there’s such a large portion of supermodel types turned cosplayers (which there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH either! I hate shaming of ANY body type) many “muggles” see that as the norm and cosplayers are exclusively ‘hot chicks in cosplay’ to a mainstream society.
It’s taken me years to realize that even if I lost a shit ton of weight, I would still look weird because I’m naturally curvy and gigantic boobs. Losing weight wouldn’t make me feel better about myself. I needed to feel better about myself in general. And you know what? I’m happier at this weight, my pleasantly plump fatty self, than I ever was when I was younger and despised the way I looked because of the horrible opinions of bullies and cruel kids.
So go ahead, friends, drop the f-bomb, and stop the negativity!.