Whether or not you are a part of the plus size community (which, by store standards, means being a UK size 14 or above) I am almost certain that many of you will have been called fat at one time or another in your life. Sometimes it isn’t true, and maybe sometimes it is. But a question i’ve been asking myself for sometime now is, why does it even matter?
I learnt to embrace the word fat a while ago, and use it frequently in conversation to describe myself, and I realised the other day that some people feel uncomfortable when I do. I don’t know whether they’re shocked, or embarrassed, but it’s as if they feel they need to tell me I’m not fat. To reassure me. I found it so strange that a word used by some people to make me feel uncomfortable about myself, has the same affect on others when I appropriated it into my own vocabulary. Do we still think being fat is such a bad thing, that it is considered shameful to even say the word?
The idea of body positivity is something which we are all coming to terms with, some more easily than others. The term means different things to different people, but in it’s essence it is about coming to terms with who we are as individuals, and loving ourselves for who we are (not about ‘promoting obesity’, or any such nonsense). Only if we cannot accept ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin, can a word like ‘fat’ hurt our feelings. Because what is so wrong with being called fat? It is just a word. Made up vocabulary to categorise people over a certain size and BMI. So what?
As a society, we make assumptions about other people every single day, and put them into categories, stereotype them, because it helps us to get an idea of who they are. Embrace these stereotypes, and make them your own. It can be hard to learn to love yourself, but the first step is acceptance. Accept every aspect of yourself: your flaws, your past mistakes, the size of your body and that one spot on your chin that keeps coming back. Learn to embrace these things, and one day you will realise that you love them. Because they are what make you, you.
So don’t shy away from the fat; embrace it. Insert it into your every day life. Show the world you are not ashamed of who you are. And one day, hopefully, everyone else will learn to embrace it too.