Thick. Husky. Big-boned. Curvy. Fluffy. We have lots of ways to avoid the word “fat”.
However, if you’re fat you’ve probably heard it before. Sure, we’ve all had someone drive by or point and shout “fat” just to make us uncomfortable. In that context the fatphobia is obvious, but what about the more insidious ways that fatphobia sneaks into our language? To most fat people this situation sounds familiar: you’re hanging out with a friend, and hear someone use the word “fat”, only to see your friend checking on you with that concerned look on their face. While your friend’s heart may be in the right place, the implication is that there is something wrong with being fat, and that hearing it should be somehow painful.
Well, I have news for you: it doesn’t have to be.
Accepting the title of “fat” can be hard. In a world that vilifies and attacks fatness, it’s no wonder. We have all, at some point, felt shamed or less-than for not fitting into society’s narrow idea of acceptable, but for fat people, that experience is magnified into almost every action throughout our day. Our media is filled with examples of how fatness can turn you into an outsider, or even a monster, most public spaces and furniture are not made with us in mind, and even a basic human need like access to healthcare can be dramatically impacted if you are fat.
In this context it’s no wonder that being called fat can be scary, but fat is just a body type, and no body type deserves to be ashamed. It is the stigma we need to fight, not the word.
This is why we at Chub Rub are on a mission to reclaim the word “fat” and squash its stigma. By using the word “fat” in neutral or positive contexts you are telling yourself and those around you that it’s ok to be fat. This actively challenges fat bias and works towards an end to systemic discrimination against fat people.
So let’s turn fat into just another word!