The Rotund writes about reclaiming the word fat.
That’s why I object to “overweight” as a descriptor. Over what weight? The weight other people think I should be even though they have no experience with my body composition beyond looking at me? The weight a BMI chart says I should be? The weight a fashion magazine thinks I should be? The only thing I’m over is all the effort to Other my body.
This sent me looking back at one of the earliest BFD posts, about this very topic. (Although I called “overweight” a term that is “as neutral as it gets.” Which, see above.)
Interestingly, many of the terms used to describe overweight men could be considered positive. Like “beefy” or “burly” or “brawny” or “stocky,” these words imply physical strength and substance and are only applied to women when we want to say “big and butch,” whereupon they become negative again.
Although many of my ideas have evolved, and I no longer hesitate to use the word fat, it was an interesting entry to revisit. I was curious to see how the terminology has evolved, so I typed “fat” into the search box at Urban Dictionary. And, wow, I do not suggest doing that. Especially not when the synonyms include words like “bitch,” “stupid,” “whore,” “vagina,” “woman,” “smelly,” and “girl.” The number one definition is this:
According to Hollywood, What you are if you are a female weighing over 100 lbs. Nicole Richie apparently thought she was fat, now she looks like a nine-year old boy.
Ugh. Clearly a dude who thinks he’s being progressive, but really is just body-shaming in a different direction—and of course, focusing only on women and their bodies. Of course.
For “overweight,” the terms that come up include “nail the whale,” “buffet queen,” “fat chick,” and “fattractive”—again, none of which I suggest you look up. I mean, just yesterday, Urban Dictionary was very helpful in explaining to me what the new “double rainbow” meme meant. But that is some ugly, fatphobic, misogynistic stuff.
Hey, the new “related posts” feature just found another post where I looked up fat on Urban Dictionary! Plus some interesting comments, with people objecting to the word “fat” and “fatty” as well as making some observations on race.
Okay, enough going down the rabbit hole of my own previous posts. It’s been two years, which means I think it’s time to ask again: what euphemisms do you love, and which do you hate? What’s your favorite word to describe your body? If you’re thin, do you get tired of being called “scrawny” or “skinny” and told to eat a sandwich? If you’re fat, do you call yourself that? And what do you think of the word “fat” in general?
Posted by mo pie