I am going to get personal and I am going to say a word that will make some of you uncomfortable. It is not a 4 letter
word, but a simple 3 letter word.
That word is Fat
Now you might be asking yourself: "Hey what did she say?" Or "Did she say what I think she said?"
This is a word more often whispered in public, not spoken out loud, not discussed in "polite" company.
Of course, There are other words you can use obese, rotund
Which one of these words lingers in your ear?
And do you feel the same way when I say Tall Short Skinny
Does it bother you to hear "I want to buy a big fat pumpkin" or "I just got a big fat raise"?
Recently, I was driving with my 5 year old nephew and he asked me "Do you know any fat people?" I said, "Well Anthony,
I'm fat." To which he replied "Oh no, you're not" (God love him!). He then proceeded to tell me that "Fat is a bad word."
I explained to him that fat isn't a bad word, it's just a way to describe people or things, like short, tall, etc.
So, what does it mean to someone like me when fat has become a bad word?
I have been heavy all my life. And the idea that fat is a bad word has been part of my consciousness. So somewhere, I internalized
this and felt that I, too, must be bad, that I was less than another human being because I was fat. They might be a smoker,
or a drinker or a shop-aholic, but my problem was visible, I wore it around with me. And this made me feel like I was less
of a person.
I carried this feeling throughout my adolescence and into my 20s, finding it hard to make friends and nearly impossible
to establish any kind of intimate relationship. My life was focused on one phrase-- "When I lose weight, I will". When I turned
30, I suddenly took a long look at my life, and realized I wasnt really living. I said to myself, "I am fat, I have always
been fat, I might always be fat, but I need to start living my life." At that point, my attitude really changed, I made a
list of things I wanted to do and started getting out and doing things. I began subscribing to Mode magazine, and found some
resources for BBW dating. I began to date and realize that some men like bigger women. I began enjoying life for the first
time. I even became comfortable with the word "Fat".
Now, when children say Im fat, I just smile and say, yep, thats right, I am.