For years, I have been terrified that people would discover my little secret… That I am fat. Being thought of, looking or being called it was my worst nightmare. I was scared of that word being associated with me. The times that people have called me fat, have always been used as an insult.
One instance has stayed with me for over three years. A typical night at uni: we got glammed up, played drinking games and went to dance the night away. But, during the night, two guys would not leave us alone. Just acting generally creepy. We moved away, they followed. None of us were interested. And it was getting annoying. So I, politely, said for them to leave us alone. The response…?
‘Maybe you should lose some weight, you fat b***h.’
That one simple word stung me to my core. It stuck with me. I’d spent at least two hours getting ready. I felt great and I looked it, apart from some dodgy hair. I was having fun. Then someone said that. They reminded me that of the thing I was terrified of… I wasn’t skinny like my friends. They used my body as an insult. (On a side note, my friends were incredible. They stood up for me, tried to throw drinks at them and got them kicked out of the club…haha!)
But why? I don’t care if people call me short, because I am. In fact, I’ve always embraced and celebrated being a little bit vertically challenged. So why do I worry about having the word fat attached to me?
Everywhere, this society presents being fat as the worst thing in the world. We are drowning in messages and ideas that smaller is better. Diet culture overwhelms us with it’s thin-obsessed images. All in the attempt to make money through our self-loathing. Constantly, we hear that obesity is the biggest threat to health. Being fat is feared because its ‘unhealthy’, a disease, a health crisis. These ideas are suffocating in their consistency. Fatness is the worst thing in the world, apparently.
I’ve been so terrified that people would attach that word to me. Because with that tiny word, comes those thoughts of being disgusting, unhealthy and lazy. There is so much negativity placed upon a three letter word! Negative thoughts that I didn’t want attached to my body. I didn’t want people to judge my body like that.
Do you know what though? I’ve had enough of worrying. I just don’t bloody care anymore. It is just an adjective! There shouldn’t be so much power on a word. So yes, I’m fat.
This is me, taking a step towards fighting the judgement attached to a simple word. I don’t want to be scared of being fat. I’m wanting to embrace it, just like I do with the other words to describe me. I shouldn’t be ashamed of my body and the word used to describe it. My body isn’t slim, I have round parts and wobbly bits. I don’t care though because my body is way more than just what it looks like.
I am in a much better place with my body. My relationship with my body is generally more positive. I know that I’m not scared of my body and what it is. So why should I be scared of being considered fat? I don’t want to be, not anymore. Rather than being completely petrified of it, I’m going to try to embrace it.1