So I’ve been thinking recently about the words that we use to describe the corpulent among us. The term generally accepted as most-politically-correct in mainstream U.S. culture seems to be “overweight,” but I’d like question this moniker. “Overweight” makes it sound as though there is some sort of “weight” that you are supposed to be at, but you have now exceeded your hypothetical weight limits and have crossed the boundary into the OVERweight (oh noes!!!). As a member of the FA movement, I fundamentally disagree with and eschew any term that defines a point at which someone has become unacceptable due to their size, so “overweight” bothers me. I hate the BMI for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is that it creates these stupid little boxes labeled “normal” and “overweight” that make implicit judgments about the people crammed into said boxes. Any way you cut it, “overweight” means that there is some category of just “weight” that you should be in (if you weren’t such a damned lazy, ignorant, stupid fatty of course).
On the other hand, I’ve come to really like the simple word FAT to describe large people. Now I know a lot of people see “fat” as a pejorative and shaming word, but I’m reclaiming it. I want to reclaim FAT and make it into a purely descriptive word for someone who has a lot of adipose tissue on their body. For instance, if you have a body composition analysis done, and the result is that you have a high percent of body fat, then you are, literally, fat. Now that fat may or may not having any affect on your overall health (in fact, it probably doesn’t), but at least the term fat accurately characterizes your body. My point is that the term fat is both descriptive and also does not attach any value judgment about size the way that “overweight” (or “underweight” for that matter) does. So, I say we start using plain ol’ FAT again. FAT FAT FAT.
Lovely readers, what do you say? What are your favorite words for teh fatties?