Proud2Bme | Kourtney Kardashian’s Dismissal of the Word “Fat” is a Great Start

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Kourtney Kardashian’s Dismissal of the Word “Fat” is a Great Start

By Kaitlin Irwin--If there was ever a time to applaud a Kardashian, it would be now. Kourtney Kardashian stood out on a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians when she asked her mother, Kris Jenner, not to say “fat” in front of her daughter.

Kourtney was adamant that she didn’t want her 4-year-old, Penelope, to hear this word, especially in the way Kris was using it (she asked if she looked fat in her outfit.) Kourtney also said that her own son has started using this word, especially when he sees the paparazzi, and she doesn’t want her daughter following in his footsteps.

I must say I’m impressed by Kourtney’s attitude and approach. It may seem trivial at first glance, but deciding to eliminate “fat” from one’s vocabulary may be a decent approach. As for me, I would rather have us redefine the word “fat” (as many awesome body-positive people are doing) rather than back away from the word in general. After all, fat is something that we all have on our bodies, so why deny the use of the word? The trick is teaching kids that “fat” isn’t a negative word, and we shouldn’t treat it as some awful ugly term.

Related: In Defense of Kylie Jenner

The sad truth is, the word “fat” has become synonymous with “lazy,” “ugly” or “unworthy.” We see a fat person and assume that they don’t know how to take care of themselves or that they have zero self-control. The reality is being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy or that you don’t practice great self-care. I know people who are “fat” but are some of the healthiest people I know! There are probably plenty of other people who could say the same thing.

It’s obvious that we’re moving towards a shift in body image and diversity. Ads and commercials featuring larger women and men are coming to the forefront, but they are still heavily outnumbered by the petite, slim models crowding the runways. Moreover, I still hear “fat talk,” and I’m not afraid to challenge it. Whenever I hear a friend or family member engaging in fat talk, I try to nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem. We often hear people claiming they “feel fat” or asking if they look fat in a particular piece of clothing. Fat is not a feeling, and even looking fat is a subjective idea that will vary from person to person.

There is also the word “fat” in terms of having fat on your body or eating food that contains fat. The fatphobia in our society is running rampant, but what most people don’t realize is that everyone needs some amount of fat on their bodies, and a healthy diet includes fats - probably more than you think! As a Proud2bme blogger, I can’t just sit around and let people engage in destructive fat talk; rather, I try to calmly point out whenever I can that “fat” has a lot of unnecessary baggage attached to it. That often opens up an intriguing and mind-opening dialogue for everyone involved, myself included.

Related: Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie is Not Enough

Kourtney’s decision to call out her mother for saying “fat” is of the utmost importance because there’s a child in the picture. Children learn mostly from their parents, so practicing self-love, compassion and tolerance for all bodies is so crucial. As unfortunate and distressing as it sounds, I do think that we need to educate school-aged children about eating disorders and body image so that they don’t grow up with a twisted understanding of their own bodies. That’s a topic for another article, but the practice of flipping the coin on the word “fat” is a great place to start.

About the blogger: Kaitlin Irwin is a recovered anorexic who spent her college years struggling to hide her illness. With lots of support, patience and an Intensive Outpatient Program, she embraced herself, flaws and all. In her free time, she enjoys exercise, cooking and art and can usually be found with a good book, a journal or her fiancé. She hopes to use her love of creative expression to spread positivity and love to others.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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