I used to be like a walking thesaurus when it came to using any word other than “fat” when describing myself.
Just to name a few.
That dreaded little three letter word held so much power over how I felt about myself.
Even worse, that three letter word allowed others to have far more power over me than they ever should.
I’ve been called fat many times in my life, too many even to remember. But there was a period of time, not too long ago actually, that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I was called fat on four separate occasions, by four different people, four weeks in a row.
Some of you probably just gasped, knowing the severity of the shame and humiliation that accompanies that word when it is used against you.
Some of you may not be able to relate, and that’s okay too, as long as you take away the lesson of how much impact a simple little word can have on a person.
The first instance was a fight with a family member. Now, I’m not trying to drag this person here, but the word was said in the midst of a blow up. Two people fighting, trying to find the nastiest of comments to say to one another in order to “win” the argument.
To be honest, it wouldn’t have even affected me much past that argument. That is, if I hadn’t been called fat three more times by three more people in the following weeks.
The next was a man on the street. To be fair, I don’t know what state of mind he was in, as he looked a little rough around the edges. Nonetheless, as my friends and I walked past him on the street and he mumbled god knows what at us as we quickly scurried past, the one thing he did say loud and clear was “I want the fat one.”
Next was a different week, at club, for a friend’s birthday. As I was with one of my friends and she was texting her boyfriend at the time asking if he could give me a ride home in the very small backseat of his truck, I oversaw his simple reply of, “No, she’s fat.”
In the final situation, the word “fat” was actually never spoken, but it may as well have been. I was at another club, for another friend’s birthday, when a drunk girl stumbled out of the bathroom and basically fell into my arms.
She started talking about how beautiful I was and she hasn’t been able to take her eyes off me all night; that she loves my confidence and loves watching me dance. She then proceeded to tell me that we “big girls” need to stick together and we shouldn’t be scared to live life just because society tells us we don’t have the ideal body type.
In theory I agree with this statement, but after the three situations I had just previously experienced, it was really the cherry on top of my self-hatred cake.
It’s a wild experience being called fat to your face. The word seems to come out of the perpetrators mouth in slow motion, and your world stops spinning for a second. It’s like a blow to the gut, and you’re grasping at straws to try and find words to say back.
I cried for weeks after this all happened. I hadn’t felt this much hatred towards my fat body since high school, and all the acceptance and self-love that I had worked so hard to achieve felt like it flew out the window.
To be honest, I didn’t really do anything to feel better. I felt bad. I felt bad for a reeeeeeally long time. I couldn’t stand to look at myself, I couldn’t stand to think of how I appeared to others. But, time went on, I was still the same size, and eventually I started to patch up the holes that the word “fat” punctured deep within me.
Then, something even crazier happened. I stopped giving a fuck.
Fat | adj.
(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh.
Yup. Sounds about right.
I had lived all of my life up until only months ago bracing for the impact this word had if used against me; like it was a bullet and I was a target that could not be missed.
That little three letter word dictated my entire life for so long.
But I finally became exhausted running from it, and I was fed up with such an insignificant word controlling my happiness.
So, I started seeing it for what it was; a word, an adjective.
I am fat, that is a fact, and that is totally okay.