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"Fat" is Not a Four-Letter Word

Few things irritate me more than when someone cajoles to me, "Oh, but you're not faaaaaat!"

This is usually in response to my saying a matter-of-fact statement like, "I have trouble finding clothes that fit because I am fat." If there is a complaint in such a statement, it would be along the lines of having trouble finding clothes, not along the lines of being fat. I want shopping sympathy, but instead, I get someone raise their eyebrows in mock horror as if I could say such an awful thing and insist, forcefully and whiningly, that this is not the case.

Now, if I were a teenybopper teenager with a wasp-waist who ran around saying this, I could understand the protest. But me? I am 5'4'' and weigh 190 pounds. I am, as a matter of fact, obese by medical standards. The excess flesh one sees on my belly, thighs, and rear end is not an illusion. The numbers on the scale are not an illusion. There is over-needed number of fat cells underneath my skin. I. AM. FAT.

Therefore a person looking at me and protesting that I am not fat is either

  1. Lying to flatter me. As if somehow I wouldn't notice.
  2. Blind.
  3. Delusional.
  4. Lacking in the understanding of what "fat" means.
  5. Or are lying to flatter me.

I hate lying and flattery. Especially when it's uncalled for. Because here, you see, is the ultimate insult:

Upon noting–because we were discussing body size, if I recall to do with one's ability to handle oneself in a fight–my state of moderate corpulence, a friend of mine tells me, "No you're not! I think you're a very attractive person."

Fuck YEAH, I am attractive. But since when the hell did "fat" become an antonym for "attractive"? (I realize the answer to that is ever since Twiggy and even far before that, but still.) I didn't say I was UGLY, you moron, I said I was fat. And if YOU think "fat" means "unattractive," and I am obviously overweight, therefore you actually believe I am unattractive because the fact of my being fat is indisputable. And you are therefore lying to me, trying to console me over something I have no need to be consoled over. Or you are denying the reality of my existence to make yourself more comfortable around me.

Why can't I be fat AND attractive? You know, I don't think my body's the be all and end all of beauty either. I am trying to be realistic here after all; I'm not exactly an ideal candidate for nude modeling. But you know, hey–I've got a discernable waist in here somewhere, I have nice eyes, and hey, the extra weight means extra cleavage, ya know? That stuff comes in useful. The fact that I can outweigh you (and that I've got a good amount of muscle underneath this excess flesh) just means I can kick your ass too. Fun for everyone!

I just want to make it clear that when I say something about my body, I am being matter-of-fact and realistic about it. I want to make it clear that, while perhaps looking for shopping sympathy, I do not need your false affirmations about my appearance. Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Decreased risk of heart disease and cancer is a good thing. I'm not going to do it because I feel inadequate as I am, however. What's the point of that stupid misery?

Bottom line: I accept myself for who I am. All I ask is that you do the same.

So let's get back to the important issues at hand, like finding stores with adequate numbers of size 16 racks, and properly cut trousers and blouses.


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All original materials © 2003 R. Pickard