First, let me start by saying, I unapologetically identify as a fat person. I personally like the word fat (because it’s provocative and it gets the people going). Whenever I refer to myself as a fat person, people start to get uncomfortable.
It’s almost like they are upset they cannot punish me with the word that I fearlessly say.
I recognized that because fatness is associated with being “unhealthy,” “glutenous,” “lazy,” and “unclean,” that when I call myself fat, people think that’s what I’m saying. But, I’m saying the total opposite.
I call myself fat as an individual identifier, but I also understand the power of group identity. Our identities have an impact on society, politics, and economics.
How Do I Identify?
I’m a Woman.
Fatphobia is real, but I’m not going to allow it to control how I identify. “Aren’t you worried that calling yourself fat is going to make people think you’re glorifying obesity”? This is a question someone asked me after stating that I am a fat activist.
How did I respond? I simply told them no.
I wish I had the care at the time to explain that I’m a Black fat woman; merely existing is glorifying “obesity.”
If you ask any fat Black woman or fat person in general, there is no politic for them that does not center their body and size. The way we live and move through the world is informed by how we look, how we’re perceived, and our fullness.Toni Wilson
The most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else’s oppressionCombahee River Collective
Where Would Fat Liberation Be Without The Labor Of Black Feminists?
To reclaim this word or any word is to lean into an identity as a form of revolution against fatphobia, racism, and so much more.Hunter Shackelford
We have a thousand words to describe fat people. It’s just another way to get around calling fat people; you know…fat.
I don’t know what else to call myself…
Big boned? The last time I checked my bones were pretty normal.
Plus size? To me, that’s forever changing, no thanks to fast fashion and terrible sizing. Not to mention not all plus sized people are fat. That’s a different conversation for a different day.
Plus size is a fashion term used to describe a group of people that wear a similar size. In my opinion, this term should be limited to conversations about fashion.
BBW? I don’t relate to that term. To me, it’s a term that sexualizes me at all times. Also, fat is already a three-letter word. In Tokyo‘s words, are thin women being referred to as “LSW, a ‘Lil Small Woman.”?
Fluffy? Oh no! I’m not a pillow. I’ve just never been called fluffy.
All that being said, there is no shame in identifying with other terms besides fatness.
Admittedly, some of the terms that I use to describe this community are People Of Size and Big People. I actually love the term BIG. Sometimes, I call fat people Higher Weight People when speaking to medical professionals.
Being A Fat Person Is Hard And It Can Be Even Harder To Boldly Call Yourself Fat
I don’t expect all fat people to call themselves fat.
But it’s definitely a term that I hope we all can learn to be okay with. It’s okay to be fat, and it’s okay to identify as fat, too!