Recently, I watched Pitch Perfect to gear up for the release of it’s sequel. I fell in love with Rebel Wilson’s character ‘Fat Amy’, a nickname she poignantly uses to introduce herself. I had the intention of writing a blog about Fat Amy’s character and what a curvy girl can take from the film, but what I ended up focusing on was the notion of ‘Fat Amy’ calling herself “fat”. It’s a word, you can say it.
There have been many blogs about reclaiming the word “fat”, taking a previously negative association and making it your own. However, a recent disagreement via social media with an acquaintance made me see that even within our community of big women, we have very different views on reclaiming the word “fat”, and the terms we use to identify with.
Essentially, my acquaintance had posted an opinion about how the positive body image movement in a sense is a “masquerade” for those who are fat in a sad attempt to justify their poor health and lifestyle choices. Needless to say, I subsequently made a post myself that it’s sad to see women bring other women down. I continued with the firm affirmation that women can choose to identify with whichever term they want and feel best suits them.
Who gets to be the judge on which term a woman uses to identify herself? At what point are you ‘too fat’ to call yourself plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, etc? And, are we condoning obesity by using these terms?
Here’s my two cents on the subject. First, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, we are not privy to an individual’s medical history, lifestyle choices, and the like. So, how can we appropriately measure a person’s health based on their body shape, weight, or even photographs? And, even if we have all this information at our disposal,what gives us the right to diminish the great strides a person is making by loving their body and accepting themselves no matter the term they use?
Thirty pounds ago, I started calling myself “curvy”. I didn’t use the word “fat” because there was just so much negative association with the term, and I was taking baby steps toward body acceptance. Now, I call myself “fat”. It’s a reality; it’s a word, and I have no fear using it. I reclaimed it because I saw other women reclaim the word for themselves.
But, I call myself many things: model, plus-size, sexy, curvy, diva, strong, and the list goes on. The point I am driving at is that the choice is an individual one, a person’s journey to body acceptance. And, I do not feel I am promoting obesity by using these terms. I’m a size 18, and I am fat and happy. I work out, but I also enjoy eating pizza. I make myself smoothies, but I also have drinks with friends.
I want to open up the dialogue to other women regarding the subject. What’s ‘too fat’? What terms do you use and why? What’s your opinion about the positive body image movement?
XOXO Chica Rosita