No not that one, the other one, F-A-T.
Why do we allow this word to have so much power over how we feel about ourselves? As a woman, you could be having the most amazing day ever, got a promotion, got that winged liner just right, eyebrows seriously on fleek, or just won $100 million dollars in the lottery but some asshole calls us fat and we instantly feel like the most worthless person to have ever walked the earth and we forget what happiness feels life. We dwell on it, pick ourselves apart in the mirror, reminisce about when we weren’t so…fat. All because of ONE word. One.Fucking.Word.
The power this word has is amazing. From as young as five years old it’s something women are terrified of being viewed as. Today while I was picking my five year old daughter up from school a couple of kids were who couldn’t have been older than eight, were throwing verbal jabs at each other and being silly. Nothing serious. Until of course, the little boy said, “well I think you’re stupid AND FAT”. The little girl, wasn’t fat. She was actually quite thin, tall and lanky. She immediately started crying. When he called her dumb, told her she had weird teeth, told her that he thought her backpack was ugly, it was all giggles and witty retorts but the moment he dropped the F-bomb, it broke her. You could see the exact second her heart broke. It was really kind of eye opening and soul crushing. What was most jarring is how the little girl immediately became quiet and backed down. She felt like less of a person. Even at such a young age, one word has such a colossal impact on a female. Even at that young of an age, as a female we know that society doesn’t value you if you aren’t the accepted societal idea of beauty. At such a young age, males know exactly what they need to say in order to shut a female down, they know that even if she isn’t fat the insult will do enough damage to claim some kind of victory.
I thought about that scene the entire drive home. I began to go through instances in my head where I had been called the dreaded “F” word. I recalled a time when I was in 1st grade and an 8th grader called me fat, totally cried and wanted nothing to do with anyone the rest of the day. Another time when a boyfriend called me fat, completely destroyed me and at the time I was in the best shape of my life but his perception of me being fat was enough to do me in, was enough to let me know that he viewed me as less. Also a time when a complete stranger called me fat. I didn’t snap back, I had no clever comeback, just silence and self doubt. I felt the same way each time. Ashamed and humiliated and I reacted the same way in each situation. I retreated, became almost submissive. As adults, we react to that word in the same manner as that little girl. We instantly retreat and become hypercritical of ourselves. Why do we question our worth as a human being based upon what a number on a scale says or how some asshole views you.
I wanted to grab that little girl and tell her that our physical appearance does not define who we are as human beings. Being fat doesn’t automatically qualify someone as worthless and being skinny or fit doesn’t automatically mean someone is a shining beacon of worth. Our daughters need to react to being called “fat”, the same way they react to being called dumb or weird. With apathy. Our daughters should not donate one single fuck to what anyone thinks about their physical appearance (and neither should you!). Our daughters should be raised to care about how they feel about themselves and if they’re truly happy with who they are and how they look, fuck what everyone else thinks. If they aren’t happy with something about themselves, we should show them the importance in changing for our selves and not because of the way someone perceives us. This goes for all you adult women, too. If you aren’t happy, make a change for YOU, not for anyone else. If you do something for the wrong reasons, you will never be happy with yourself.
FOR THE LOVE OF DARWIN, STOP GIVING THE WORD SO MUCH FUCKING POWER. A single word should not make or break anyone! It’s a word. A simple three letter word. The word no longer bothers me. I AM fat, so what?! I’m still pretty, I’m still smart, I’m still funny, I’m still awesome, I’m still a great mom, I’m still a good person, I’m strong and I’m worthy of love and kindness. Being fat doesn’t change any of that.
If someone wants to strip me down to just my weight, that’s on them, NOT ME. I will not apologize or feel badly about myself any longer because I’m not what society says I should be. *I* know what I am, I’m amazing and I just happen to be fat, too. 😉