Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fat the Other Four Letter Word

As I write you will see that I regularly use the word Fat. I recognize that it is considered insensitive to some and downright cruel and totally inappropriate to others but I'm going to use it anyway and here's why:

1. It's not pleasant. We (Black women) have devised so many ways to describe our weight problem (big boned, full figured, thick) that it makes it sound like there is no problem at all. Sometimes you have to call something what it is if you really want to get to the meat of things.

2. When I was putting on weight my mother said:

"You're getting fat."

She didn't say,

"You're getting overweight."

She didn't say,

"You're getting thick."

She said,

"You're getting Fat"


That hurt. I didn't like it. And I decided to do something about it. So yes, I recognize it can be offensive. And no I am not completely insensitive to that fact. And yes I will be using the terms overweight and obese because they are clinical terms and there are times when they are appropriate. But sometimes you gotta call it what it is. As my mama likes to say,

"Sometimes you just need to call a spade a spade."


Heavenly Zeta said...

Great idea for a blog, my sista...I will be adding a link to it on my blog!
As for the word fat, I have no problem using it to describe very overweight people-it is what it is.

torchsong said...

I had just the opposite thing happen with my mother back when I was younger. I am 5'7" and and worked really hard to lose weight through diet and exercise. I got down to 125-130 lbs. and she said I was getting too skinny!!! I felt the best I had ever felt in my life and was in good health, no crazy dieting, just plenty of exercise, fresh fruits and veggies, no fried or fast foods and this was the response I got. Of course I was humiliated and fell in to a rut and gained weight again. I continue to work on my weight and health. I've never had high blood pressure or high blood sugar etc... and meanwhile my mom is very overweight, has adult onset diabetes, high blood pressure and a myriad of minor health problems that could all be contolled if she would take care of herself.

t.s. johnson said...

As a kid my mother used to tell she wasn't going to raise any fat kids. That she wan't going to buy any fat kid clothes.

And like your mother my mom is an easy 70lbs. overweight. But while she did give me a complex about my wieght I definitely didn't want to gain nay weight because I didn't want to hear her calling me fat.