Image © Lauren French (Model: Big Fat Betty) | Hello and welcome to Homework #2 of The Nearsighted Owl's How to Be a Fat Bitch E-Course! I'm a tad behind with this weekly e-course, considering that I posted Homework #1 on 6th February, and there are now 4 updates from Rachele - oops!
This week (or that week, as I said I'm behind!) our homework is to "reclaim the word fat and do something amazing with it. Make art, take photos of yourself with fat written on you, bake a cake with fat written in frosting, etc." As I'm so behind I didn't want to spend forever doing this (though I may come back to it) and, considering as a model I have a 'bank' of images, I thought why not do something like...this (left). There's a word for it, I'm sure! Of course, you need the photographers permission to edit images, but seeing as Lauren is my bestie I'm sure she won't mind ;)
I've wanted to do these 'whatever they're called' images for a while now, where you add some sort of meaningful text, but considering I only have MS Paint at the moment it's kinda on the back burner. Still, for a quick bodge, I think this one turned out alright!
Our discussion question this week is: "What do you love most about the word fat? How has the word fat evolved for you?" I love the word fat because it is mine, in that I can own it and I am empowered to use it. It is not a word that is forced on me or that is used to make me feel negative in any way. I am not sure how long I have been using the word fat for, but I've certainly been using it a lot more since I started blogging and joined the 'fatosphere' (or the #psbloggers crew, hehe).
I've not been in this 'world' very long so I can only presume that the word fat has evolved due to the fat/size acceptance movement in its various forms - after all, nobody is going to call themselves fat without first accepting that they are fat and that it's OK, right? For me, the word is still evolving. I may be part of a group of women (and men?) that have reclaimed this word, but wider society (no pun intended) still shy away from it.
To this day I still have friends who think that they need to tell me that I'm not fat - it frustrates me, but I try to be patient with them and explain that I'm happy with it. It still confuses me how anyone could not see me as fat, considering I weigh over 20st and have a backside the size of a small country, so I can only presume that they think it will make me feel better...but it doesn't, it actually makes me feel like they are not seeing and accepting me. I'm not sure if either this is starting to change or if my perception has altered because I've accepted myself.
I'm digressing a little but I just wanted to touch on something semi-related which is fat shaming, and that some of my friends still inadvertantly do this. For example, one of my friends recently changed his profile photo on Facebook to an image from one of those apps that makes you look fat - clearly he and other people think it's funny, but I don't, no more than I would think it funny if you made a fat person's face look slim (slimapp? Not likely). Another group of friends, probably whilst drunk, decided it was funny to use another friends Facebook account to post a picture of a fat woman pouting on my timeline (along with other silly comments, but this was the only part that I found really offensive). Part of me reads this and wonders why these people are my friends, but they're not doing it to be malicious towards me - they're just ignorant of the fact that they're fat shaming is not acceptable, especially to their fat friend.
Phew...sorry, that was a bit of a depressing end! Over and out.