Is the word 'fat' offensive?
Technically, no. But the meaning we, as a society, have attached to that little three letter word has made it synonymous with shame and self-hatred.
Bethany Rutter, fashion blogger and writer for Red Online, has spoken out about the issue. In an article posted on the website, Bethany poses the question ‘’why would you be offended when someone considers you plus size?’’
She argues that phrases like ‘curvy’ or ‘plus-sized’ have become the ‘socially-accepted euphemism of choice’ when describing fat bodies and is rejecting the idea that these terms should be seen as polite or non-offensive.
She wrote, ‘’Describing myself as ‘fat’ is not an act of self-hatred, but an act of self-love. It took a long time for me to own it, but I got there, and remain there with defiance and aplomb.’’
Bethany admits that she never hated being fat, in fact she always liked the way she looked, but other people were not convinced that she could actually feel confident about her body.
‘’The problem was everyone else. It was films, magazines, books, my parents, PE lessons at school that made me wonder if I had got it all wrong.’’
It took a while, but Bethany was eventually able to take back control of the word that so many people had used in attempt to hurt or shame her and now uses the word with pride when talking about her body.
‘’I say it with respect and a refusal to participate in a hierarchy where thinness is aspirational, and fat is shameful.’’
‘’I say it to describe a body, to celebrate a body for what it is, not to wound it or treat it with shame.’’
Bethany signed off by asking readers to drop the politeness and simply call her body what it is, fat.
She’s okay with it and you should be too.
Photo credit: archedeyebrow.com