Every fat person has heard this statement before. It is meant as a compliment and meant to make a fat person feel better about themselves.
Because being fat is bad, right? The word fat is a bad word, that seems to be a fact. And even Grammarly would rather have me use the word ‘overweight’.
Many people live with this often unconscious idea that fat is bad. So when their friends and family say they are fat, they feel the need to tell them they are not. Because they associate fatness with only bad things. People often mean well when saying this, but it’s not a compliment.
Public Service Announcement: people can be fat AND beautiful—these are not opposites.
Fat is an adjective. It’s a simple statement. My body takes up more space than the body of others. That’s it.
Beautiful is an adjective, too. It means pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.
Two adjectives, super simple.
But while these adjectives are neutral, the way they are used is not.
“Researchers from Arizona State University surveyed people in nine diverse locations around the world and found negative attitudes toward fat bodies in every one. The results suggest a rapid “globalization of fat stigma” in which overweight people are increasingly viewed as ugly, undesirable, lazy, or lacking in self control, the researchers say.”
So the fat itself really isn’t negative, but the other things people associate with it. Fat is not the problem, but all the other associated adjectives are. This, however, is not true. People cannot simply project every negative thing they can come up with on any fat body just because they want to. Me being fat telly you nothing about me apart from the fact that my body is large. You know nothing about me.
We need to normalize the word fat. Yes, I am fat. So what? Am I beautiful? Yes. Am I beautiful although I am fat? No. I am beautiful with all the fat on my body. Thank you very much.