Spread the love

If I called you Fat to your face you’d be offended right? And equally so if I called you it behind your back. What if I used it as a non judgemental, unloaded form of description? Is it ok then? I just want to get things clear in my mind about what is acceptable and what isn’t these days.

I don’t like it when other people call me Fat, because its normally used to add weight (no pun intended) to an insult but it’s ok for me to call myself Fat when I feel like it, cos that’s my choice…as Bobby Brown so clearly put it “it’s my prerogative”. It’s my body, my Fat, and it’s ultimately up to me to describe myself as I see fit.

The thing is…the wonderful thing about the word fat is that there is never any doubt about its meaning, its one of those “does what it says on the tin” words, which I suppose is why it is so easily used as an insult both to others and in our own pity party moments when we are intent on beating ourselves up about our appearance. There is no other word which works quite as well as Fat, I mean you never hear “get out the road your overweight cow” do you? Or “gosh I look so plump in that photo”

Fat is our go to word, so my thinking is why bother to replace it with a less effective one? Plus sized, voluptuous, fluffy, plump, large, big boned? No Fat will do me just fine. I apologise to anyone who is offended by this term and I acknowledge that many women feel uncomfortable with its use. But why is this?

I suppose its because of our prior experiences of it. Anyone who has ever been branded with the fat brush knows how crippling it can be, even if it was as a child or in their teens, many adults long after they lose the pounds are still haunted by the power of the word and its potential to be used once again as an insult. It was most definitely the weapon of choice in my house growing up, I got called it so often as a child it’s surprising I remembered my real name.

Maybe it’s because of the negative associations with the word Fat, oh if you are Fat then you must also be lazy, sad, lonely, unhealthy, unorganised, out of control, a freak…. I could go on!!!

For the purposes of this blog though I didn’t want to skirt around the word or the issues, but I didn’t realise how divisive it would be. Without a doubt it is my excess fat which has driven this journey of self discovery, my fat which has helped me ultimately to find running and brought me together with so many amazing other plus sized women under this “fat girls run too” banner. I can’t tell other people with weight issues how to think or feel about themselves or their bodies, but I can say that from my perspective I have found it rather empowering to accept the state of my current fatness and just get on with achieving my weightloss and fitness goals.

You know that expression “just call a spade a spade” well before it gained an association with being a racial slur, it actually started out as a phrase that encourages us to simply say it as we see it. I often wonder if health professionals used the word Fat more often would we all be so sensitive, would so many of us waste time in denial, basically would the world be so collectively overweight? “the reason your knees hurt madam is because you have about 4 stone of non essential fat around your midsection”, or “the reason you have type 2 diabetes sir is because you are simply too fat for your 5ft frame” I can’t see the NHS in the UK going for it somehow.

So come on peeps what is your view on the F word, how comfortable are you with its use? Or are there other words you feel more comfortable with?

  1. I agree that “fat” doesn’t have to be a bad word; it’s an adjective to describe someone’s body type. It’s the stigma of the word that needs to change. It’s important to see body positive role models in society, to show that people come in all different sizes, and how they are treated shouldn’t be determined by their size.

  2. Fat isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself…or anyone else really. If we’re talking semantics, I usually will say over-weight. Because, really, that could encompass a great number of folks and shapes. I just have never been a fan of the word fat due to it’s cousin ‘fatty’ and the way that people like to use the terms as derogatory. Tearing down a person’s esteem is no way to build them up. Fat to me is a word that people use, just like b*tch or f*ggot when they have nothing better to say and want to really cut at you with their words. No thanks.

  3. August 15, 2013

    Fat does just fine for me. You’re right too about not being able to get away from those feelings even when the weight is gone. I’ve been maintaining (more or less) for a couple of years now but in my head and on my blog I’m still Fat Girl, even though I am now acceptably slim and in a normal healthy weight range for my height. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I still see at fat girl looking back at me strange eh?

    • August 15, 2013

      I fear I will always be a fat girl even when the weight is gone. I recently found a picture of me running in a race just before the London Marathon, I was a size 16 but edging towards a 14, the smallest I’d ever been as an adult…but at the time I couldn’t see how great I looked, and I still felt really FAT

  4. August 15, 2013

    If you are going to use Fat as a word to wound me, then I hate it. I know I have excess fat, I’m not in denial about it, but shouting ‘fatty’ at me whilst I’m running and you drive past is not going to make it come off any quicker.
    I am also more than my fat. I’m more than a number on the scale. Call me stupid or ugly, shallow or horrid, nothing hurts me quite so much as being called fat.

    • August 15, 2013

      Thanks for your comments ladies, I’m trying to collate views on this sensitive issue.

      You are so right, having random people shout fatty at you is not helpful in the slightest, and it happens so often. Well it does to me!!

    • August 15, 2013

      Anyone who runs has my admiration. No matter what their size or ago. All those people shouting fat probably never ran in their lives!

      • August 15, 2013

        So true. I actually feel sorry for them, cos firstly they don’t know the joy that running brings and secondly how sad that they take the time and energy to abuse people in such a way… I always ask myself I wonder what is so wrong in that persons life that they have to abuse me for no reason!

    • YOU are amazing. Don’t let those losers tell you any different. Most folks don;t have the guts to even try to run, which is why I LOVE seeing other plus sized runners out there on the road.

  5. August 15, 2013

    What I really hate is when people stammer and stutter to say what they mean or say it like I am clueless to the situation.like the Doctor who was telling me why he didn’t think my rotator cuff was badly damaged but that perhaps he didn’t get it in the correct spot because ” well you know, you are kind of a big girl.” No kidding! I thought the number on the tag of my pants meant they made me LOOK 20! Arrrggghhhhh! Fat does not equal stupid or lazy or unmotivated.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Why FAT is such a swear word? (thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com) […]

  2. […] Why is Fat such a swear word these days? (thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com) […]

  3. […] Why is Fat such a swear word these days? (thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com) […]

Write a comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2019 - The Fat Girls Guide To Running. Registered in England & Wales 656480.
Designed by Marcomedia.
Navigate to