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Fat is not a bad word

I have said it time and time again on my TikTok videos because TikTok loves to take my stuff down for using the word, but fat is not a bad word. Fat is a description. It is an adjective describing a body. It can even be a noun describing something a body has. Society has made being fat shameful through unhealthy and unsustainable beauty standards. There is power in reclaiming the f-word and taking away it’s shame.


As fat women, we have internalized much of the shame that society has placed on being fat. We use words like plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, BBW (big beautiful women) and many more to put a rose-colored tint on our bodies and make our fatness more palatable. We drape ourselves in these words like a flattering dress, hoping they will conceal the wobbly bits from the rest of the world. But here is the truth… the rest of the world sees through the rosy tint. No one is fooled. They see the truth as plainly as you, and that may be hard to hear. Even as someone who has been on the self love and acceptance journey, the realization that there is just no hiding that I am a fat person, despite my best efforts at camouflage, stung a bit.


We need to change the goal. We need to normalize fatness and fat acceptance. We can not do that by making our fat bodies more palatable to western beauty norms. We must unlearn the convention that there is a correct or acceptable way to be fat, and we must reject attempts to stratify the respectability of fatness. These concepts are products of patriarchy, ableism and fatphobia which fat women have internalized to the extent that we perpetuate the systems of abuse, generation to generation and peer to peer. We internalize the oppression when we try to make ourselves smaller and more palatable in any way we can, and the cost is high.  We surrender our self worth because if the objective is to hide or minimize yourself, any part of yourself, that part will become a source of shame.


When we are constantly trying to change how we look and even how we talk about ourselves, we lose who we are and our intrinsic value in the process. We need to step into the light and reclaim the word that has been hurled at us for so many years. Yes, I am fat. My body is a fat body. That is a description of my body. I am also tall. I also have brown hair… well maybe grey hair, but that’s a post for another day. Those facts do not make me feel worthless, so I will no longer let the word fat hold that power over me.


By destigmatizing the word for ourselves, we are helping to destigmatize the word for future generations, breaking the cycles of abuse and oppression. We are saying, “Yes I have a fat body. That body is not an indicator of my morals, my health or my worth as a human.” Worthiness is intrinsic to the human experience and can not be taken away simply because my body does not meet the current societal beauty norms.


So I will say it again. Fat is not a bad word, and it is time it stopped being used as a weapon against people with fat bodies. There is power in our words. There is power in our voices. It is time we used our voices to reclaim our power.

Teen Vogue agrees!

On a grey marbled background, a ft woman with dark curly hair and glasses is twirling her hait. The Fat Girls in Fiction logo adn the words Fat is not a bad word.