Is it an insult to call someone fat? I’ve been thinking about this lately. You can say someone is tall or short or skinny but call them fat and them’s fighin’ words. It doesn’t help that the word fat is often paired with ‘cow’ or ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’.

Why has fat become so emotionally charged? It’s like the most cardinal of sins in this world is to be overweight. You hear it all the time – I might be a selfish, puppy-dog-hating, klepto crack whore, but at least I’m not fat.

Personally I’d rather be called fat than any of the other eupherisms – heavy, big, pleasant plump — arrgghh, spare me!

Bitching about fat seems to go in direct proportion to actual fat. At a size 26, I thought I could ignore my size and no one else would notice. Now I’m happy to proclaim to the world that I’m having a fat day. If I were ever to become a size 6, I’d never shut up about how fat I am. Some people think this is because women are never happy with their bodies, but I think it’s because you can’t admit to being fat unless you aren’t.

At a size 26, the most traumatic event in my life was someone commenting on my size. Even if it was totally justified. I remember going skiing and not being about to get a ski suit to fit. If I’d been too tall for them, no drama. But I was just too fat. I hated the people in the shop, because they insulted me!

Another time I was checking the clothing sizes for a giveaway in a magazine and the largest was XL (14-16). They insulted me.

If I tried to squeeze into a booth in a cafe and couldn’t fit, it was an insult to me. Not to mention airline seatbelts and dodgem car rides and anyone who randomly mentioned my weight.

I’d get that prickly eye feeling and that prickly throat. I’d feel like my innards had turned into a black hole trying to suck the rest of me through.

But it’s not personal. It’s not something someone has purposely set up to humiliate me. I’m sure if i were 4 foot nothing, I’d have similar problems in a world where one size doesn’t fit all.

I have all manner of problems getting hats to fit because I have a bizarrely small head but I don’t take that as an insult.

Fat, is it wrong? Really?

8 responses to “Fat

  1. I have the opposite problem of an abnormally large head and so hats sort of just park on top and look desperately STUPID on me.

    I hate being called fat. I can call myself fat but no one else should make that reference despite it being true. I hate that I know when people describe me it would be “You know the big girl”

    I hate it because it’s true.

    I hate the other stuff too. But I can take puppy-hater with a smile cause it’s all false. But when it comes to it the truth hurts sometimes.

  2. great post! & so true!

  3. I don’t mind the word fat. I AM fat. It’s a fact. I react to the word fat as I react to the word blond, no difference. It took me time to get to this point, though. There was a time when I was not able to even say it aloud. Not any more. It’s part of accepting myself the way I am, I guess.

  4. killer post 🙂 i just love how your mind works and then the thoughts get out and down on ‘paper’ for us to read 🙂

  5. I always think it’s weird that people can tell you to your face that they, *in their expert opinion*, think you are too thin. “Don’t lose any more weight”, “I think you looked better with a bit more meat on you” and so on. I also find it strange that I’m often asked how much I weigh (WTF?). No one would have dared do that when I was a size 18!

    I feel insulted at being called skinny (I’m SO not… do skinny gals have biceps like these?), but somehow it seems that if you’re not overweight, it’s OK for everyone in the universe to endlessly discuss your size…

    Why the hell IS that?

    By the way, I hated the “F” word too, when I was you know, F.A.T.

  6. You know, I don’t mind people calling me fat. It’s when people are being falsely polite that gets up my nose. “Larger lady” or “extra cuddly”. Or my mother – “you know you really should dress for your size”. Aaaarrrgggghhhhhh.

    So what is the politically correct term for a fat person? Weight challenged?

  7. I’ve always thought the hurt behind being called “fat” was the intention behind it, just like anything else.

    It’s funny how we are like a “race”; we can call ourselves fat but if anyone else does it? WATCH OUT!@

  8. I think it’s the connotation of the word “fat” that makes it insulting. Plus the tone in which the word is used. When someone comments that you’re fat they’re not saying it as a fact (ie You’re tall) it’s the inferrence that you’re less than person (how’s that for irony) because of your size.

    My Uncle who I saw maybe 3-4 times between my childhood and starting to lose weight 2 years ago (he lives in NSW) commented a few weeks ago that I was a “completely different person” now that I’ve lost weight and that I was basically a horrible fat person and now I’m a cheerful not so fat person (I’m paraphrasing there but you get the drift).

    I was totally offended mostly because he didn’t know me before anyway so who was he to judge! Then I thought, geez if he felt that way I’m willing to bet there are others who do too!

    Anyway, the world is a flawed place!

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