Proud2Bme | My Body Type is Not an Insult: On Identifying as Fat

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My Body Type is Not an Insult: On Identifying as Fat

By Rachel Taylor--There are a lot of things that people can call me that impact me in a negative way: selfish, lazy, a liar, ignorant. The list can go on for days, but one word that has no power over me is the word fat. Because I am just that – fat – and I’ve come to accept and embrace it.

Some of my loved ones don’t like it when I refer to myself as fat but I continue to do so with the belief that society needs to normalize the term instead of make it taboo. When people used to call me fat in school, I would go into myself and shut out the world because I saw it as a negative. I equated being fat with being unattractive, worthless, and unlovable. However, now when someone tells me that I’m fat I agree with them. Yes, I am fat and that’s okay because that does not mean I’m a horrible person. As J.K. Rowling once said, “Is fat really the worst thing a person can be?”

I’ve seen many women online who are involved in the fat acceptance movement confidently call themselves fat. In fact, many prefer it over the word curvy – myself included. While yes, my body does have curves, I personally do not feel as though I have enough to use such a word to describe myself. 

Besides, why should a person not be able to refer to them themselves as fat while it’s acceptable for others to call themselves skinny? Yes, both can be used negatively. Ever heard of the term “skinny b*tch?” But more commonly, the words thin, small, tiny, and skinny are considered compliments while big, fat, overweight, and obese are hurled as insults.

For myself, it has been a long journey to come to terms with the word fat. Growing up, I ran from the word and the bullies. It was the worst thing that I could be called. But 105 days in treatment later, lots of therapy, prayer, and a good amount of soul searching, I’ve taken that term back from the bullies.

Especially now with the recent fat-shaming video produced by a famous YouTuber, it is more important than ever to embrace the word fat and be proud. Fat is my body type and I am comfortable with that, something that I have never been in my life.

And since I have taken that word back from the bullies, the fat shamers, and the trolls online I have a new sense of freedom because they can’t hurt me. When they comment on my outer appearance, I now realize it is a lie that they are trying to feed me.

They want me to believe that fat is a bad thing but it’s not. It’s a body type and should be treated as a neutral descriptor along with terms like thin, brunette, tall, and strong. No body should be better than another – and when society as a whole decides to embrace this idea, we’ll be well on our way to a more positive existence for all.

About the blogger: Rachel Taylor is a 21-year-old from Tacoma, a city not far off from Seattle, Washington. In the fall, she will be attending college for her degree in creative writing. Her goal is to be a writer and public speaker and to break the stigmas with eating disorders, mental illness, and fat acceptance. You can follow her YouTube channel.

For more by Rachel Taylor, check out:

Strength in Numbers: A Personal Story on Overcoming Cyberbullying

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