How Do You Feel About the Word Fat? Fear and Loathing of Fat

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Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat. There I said it.

However, I think Marilyn Wann said it best with her size positive book, Fat!So? It took me a while to sit and ponder about this after reading this weekend’s latest spew of hatred and disdain for those of the fat persuasion. Literally, tears of frustration welled up in my eyes out of anger, disbelief, and frustration.

What am I referencing? The lovely Huffington Post article, inappropriately titled, “Fat is the new ‘N’ word.” As an educated woman of color and a fashionable plus size woman (who finds great pleasure in calling myself Curvy), offenses were taken throughout the entire article.

Actually, she had me at Fat.

Cleverly disguised as a “Girlfriend’s Guide,” giving her a platform to spew her nonsense, Vicki Iovine touts her knowledge supreme when referencing the “real” issue of obesity, our fear of the “F” word, and the true definition of Fat, equating it with murderer. Yes, girl, she goes there! Keep reading!

She starts of this soapbox rant with her ever so keen insights about how unfortunate Kevin Smith’s fight with Southwest, charging this is why people are afraid of the “F” word. So ticked off with the absurdity of the Nightline conversation with “silly women” Marianne Kirby, Crystal Renn, and others, she rants:

The utter ridiculousness of this phobia was played out this week on ABC’s “Nightline,” where a panel of silly people debated whether being fat is, indeed, a bad thing.

One silly panelist was a fat young woman (there, I’ve said it!), another a former model who now wears a size 12 (the average 5’4″ American woman wears a size 16. The model was about 5’10–you do the math), a former fatty who dieted about 100 pounds off her frame and a silly skinny extremist whose mission is to chastise fat people for costing not-fat people countless dollars in health care and accommodations.

Trying to make twisted sense of it all, Ms. Iovine continues to draw conclusions and prescribe her personal analysis and treatment of being fat:
Stop Fat Hate

My personal interpretation of the facts is that our DNA is undermining our best efforts–not personal slovenliness or lack of backbone. We were designed to be hunter/gatherers who did not eat regularly or with any predictability.

On one hand she takes it to our DNA, next she is admonishing parents for the reason why we have fat children:

Not talking about it is cowardly and patronizing and, ultimately cruel because behind almost every fat child is a fat parent who can’t demonstrate the behavior necessary to rescue them from this life sentence.

How does she conclude the end of the article?

Let’s call fat by its proper name: Murderer.

Okay… Ms. Iovine and all others who ignorantly abhor all things Fat and Curvy:

I find it amazingly frustrating on one hand and on another, I feel sorry for you. To ignorantly paint all of America with a broad paintbrush is, well, dumb. Leave the definitions, studies, prescriptions, solutions, and judgments to yourself, I do not need your thoughts impeding upon my happiness, thank you very much.

No, we do not all sit at home on a sofa, stuffing out mouths with bon bons, disheveled, depressed, and poor. Contrary to your beliefs. Step off your soapbox, and with all the free time you have make snap judgments you know nothing about, how about you take the advice of my friend @magickalrealism

“The unresearched, presumptuous stupidity of this post. It burns. Start here: Go slowly. Undoing all these flat out wrong assumptions about fat and how it works might end up putting you in therapy. I’m fat, and fine with it.

Please do not EVER again conflate body judgment with racism. EVER. They are entirely separate ways of being narrow minded, stupid and smug.”

Oh, and maybe from @sparklemonster:

You know what you would’ve done if your article was meant to help? Written about processed foods, marketing, affordability of healthy food, and all other problems consumers face. Instead you’re trying to shame us fatties into skinniness. The way to help an emotional overeater? Not shame. The way to help someone who doesn’t know better, thanks to aggressive marketing since birth? Also NOT SHAME.

Should you be interested in actually informing, I invite you to follow me to the grocery store with my tiny budget and watch me try to buy wisely even though I can only afford junk. But of course you don’t actually want to be helpful. You want flashy and ad-revenue generating. So you’ve made an offensive word comparison and called some people “fatties.”

Congratulations, you alienated the people you claim to want to help. Try actually researching before you write your next suckfest. (And maybe do enough research to discover there are healthy fatties, and sick skinny people, and it’s not what you weigh, it’s what you EAT, and that’s where the availability of healthy food and aggressive marketing becomes the issue, as it should be.)

Since you won’t do that though, a compromise: venture into a public crowd of overweight people and try to “help” them by shaming and not educating. When you’re out from the shield of the internet I’m sure you’ll see how helpful you really are.”

Better yet, step off your soapbox, crawl into your corner, you are now on a permanent timeout.

To understand my utter irritation with this monstrosity, please read the article with caution.

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Written by Marie Denee

I am the Editor in Chic of The Curvy Fashionista. Often goofy. Forever emo. Always a Virgo. You can find me somewhere grooving to 90s R&B.

What do you think?


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  1. I read it. I spotted the muckraking for exactly what it was, and walked away. People like this don’t even deserve the energy it costs to respond. It’s just concern trolling on a bigger level – there is no concern for fat people at all, just disdain and disrespect. People who are truly concerned have compassion and respect.

    • You are very right here, there was just so much that irked, and hit me hard. I have read quite a few ignorances… but for some reason, this hit home. Thank you for your strength and encouragement… I will pull from you!!!! Thank you for your comment!

  2. @Marie Denee – there was so much ignorance in that article. the author is so wrong for writing what she claims to be helpful. i hope she uses her next oppurtunity to share her thoughts as a time of research about the real facts as well as a time of reflection on herself and her choices.

  3. What an outrage! She needs to be educated. Because the things she wrote are narrow-minded and intolerant. She couldn’t even try to be tactful or respectful. She just went on and on and on.

  4. One question: Why is America using fat people as an escapegoat? I do not understand and no we are not responsible for the economy. Anyway, I am not going to read that article because she does not deserve my undivided attention.

    I just want all this fat discrimination to stop; it is really hurting people. Especially, the children and teenagers. America’s opinion about body image and fat is so bad. It is really tiring and frustrating at times but we must continue to move forward in our “movement”. There is a reason why eating disorders exist and you know what…I do not think it will ever go away not as long as people’s horrible perception of the human body exist.

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