Fat has become the F word. Fat has become an insult to mean the opposite of attractive; the opposite of pretty. Fat has become a synonym to ugly, or a term used to demean others. Fat has evolved into a word which implies inferiority and lack of control. It’s a word that the media tells us we should never be. It’s a word that we tell our selves we should never be.
But all of these messages? All of these negative associations?
These are all lies.
Because here’s the thing: fat is not a bad word. Let me say that again. Actually, better yet, let me shout it: FAT IS NOT A BAD WORD. Fat is by no means the F word. Fat is not a word to be afraid of. It’s not a word we need to avoid. Fat is not an insult, and fat does not imply inferiority. Fat is not mean. Fat is not scary. Fat is not ugly. Fat is simply a word, with no inherent goodness or badness. Fat is a characteristic; an adjective. It’s nothing more.
Some of us are tall, some of us are short. Some of us are skinny, some of us are fat. The amount of fat we have on our bodies is just another characteristic of our appearance. It’s no different than our hair color or our height. It’s simply a part of how we look.
We don’t shame people for their height or eye color. So why do we shame people for their bodies?
Society has done a great disservice to all of us all by teaching us that fatness implies inferiority. By turning the word fat from a neutral adjective into a shameful insult, millions of beautiful people battle with unnecessary low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Society has infiltrated our minds with the belief that thin people are more beautiful, and that thin people have more of a right to feel pretty.
It has led us to believe that we can only feel confident if we are a certain size or a certain weight. Society has taught young children that the worst thing they can be is fat. This is not only embarrassing, this is also heartbreaking. It leaves children to think that their bodies are a problem, or tricks them into thinking that they are not worthy of feeling loved or feeling confident.
We constantly compare ourselves to the thin ideal that popular culture throws in our faces. We believe that if we are different from this idealized image of beauty, we are not good enough. Everywhere we see and hear the same message- the message that thin is pretty, and that fat is not. But this very obviously is not true. This is clearly discriminatory.
You see, some of us are born fat. Some of us are born heavier, or have more curves. And this is where society keeps messing up. Society deems fat people as lazy, or as having no self-control around food. Society sees fatness as a flaw that is avoidable. This is an ignorant and uneducated view, because it neglects to realize that our bodies are intelligent, and that we all have weight set points, or weights in which our bodies are the healthiest.
Those of us who have larger bodies are born into these bodies for a reason. Our bodies are built this way because this is how they should be – this is how our genetics and our environments have shaped us. Our bodies and minds function optimally at a heavier weight. Our body systems and our metabolism function ideally when we are at this weight. In other words, this is our natural set point. This is the weight in which we are the healthiest and the happiest.
While some of us are naturally fat, others of us are naturally thin. For those of us who have thinner bodies, we too have healthy weight set points. We reach our best psychological and physiological wellbeing at a lower weight. This is where our bodies work more fluidly – this is where we are supposed to be. This is where we function optimally.
In other words, weight is rarely an indication of health.
When you think about it, why would we have a weight in which our body functions at equilibrium if it didn’t serve a purpose? If we were all supposed to be thin, we would be thin. But we are supposed to be all different weights. And when we try to diet when we are already at our own healthy weight, our bodies protest. They fight back. They do this for a purpose. The binge urges that spike when we diet? The mood swings? The cravings? These are all emergency alerts telling us that we aren’t satisfied; that something is wrong. These occur because we are depleting ourselves of what we fundamentally need.
You see, our bodies are smarter than we think. Just as we would not try to squeeze our feet into shoes that are four sizes too small, we shouldn’t try to decrease the size of our bodies to reach unrealistic weigh expectations. We all have a set point – and whether we are heavy or light, we are the healthiest when we relax and let ourselves be at this set point.
Fat is just a characteristic. Fat is an adjective. Fat is a description. Fat is beautiful. Fat is healthy. Fat is fat. We don’t need to change our weights. What do we need to do? We need to open our eyes to beauty and health at every size. We need to rebel against society’s lies by accepting our own bodies and the bodies of others. Our bodies do not need to change. Society needs to change.
Fat is a description. Fat is an adjective. Fat is a physical characteristic.
Fat is not the F word.