I recently posted an image of myself on Instagram and described myself as fat and beautiful. The first comment I got was from a Nutritional Therapist/Fitness Coach saying “You HAVE fat.... You are not fat. You also have fingernails. You are not fingernails.”
Semantics you may say, she was trying to reassure me that I wasn’t ugly and not to use derogatory names like FAT to describe myself.
For me though fat does not equal ugly. Fat is a descriptor, the same way I would say I have green eyes, size 10 feet or wavy hair.
To others though, fat means lazy, unattractive, disgusting, greedy, or slovenly.
Society has told us that being fat is worse than being a kitten killer, worse than being a cruel person, the worst thing a person can be. Being fat is immoral.
So of course people would rush to correct me when I identify as fat.
Thing is, I am reclaiming that word. I reclaim it as meaning soft, adipose, gorgeous, strong, proud.
I reclaim it as a neutral descriptor of myself.
You may say…well that women was right; you aren’t fingernails.
Fingernails are different from fat though. Fingernails aren’t loaded with shame; fingernails don’t need to be reclaimed by body acceptance activists.
So when I describe myself as fat (without shame or apology) it's a statement of empowerment and liberation from oppression.
I invite you to join me in looking at fat differently and the next time you hear a friend describe themselves as fat in an empowered way don’t correct them with “No, you’re not fat, you’re beautiful” because they are fat AND beautiful.
P.S. Pro tip: Don’t refer to someone as fat unless they have claimed that word for themselves, could get awkward.