But then, the truth was never really the point. Thin women don’t tell their fat friends ‘You’re not fat’ because they’re confused about the dictionary definition of the word, or their eyes are broken, or they were raised on planets where size 24 is the average for women. They don’t say it because it’s the truth. They say it because fat does not mean just fat in this culture. It can also mean any or all of the following:
Just plain icky
So when they say ‘You’re not fat,’ what they really mean is ‘You’re not a dozen nasty things I associate with the word fat.’ The size of your body is not what’s in question; a tape measure or a mirror could solve that dispute. What’s in question is your goodness, your lovability, your intelligence, your kindness, your attractiveness. And your friends, not surprisingly, are inclined to believe you get high marks in all those categories. Ergo, you couldn’t possibly be fat.
-Kate Harding, Blogger and Fat Activist.
This quote really spoke to me. I could never figure out why people would tell me I’m not fat when clearly, I was (at one point I was pushing 335lbs). A lot of the time, it’s not your size. It’s the association society puts on your size. Your friends, family, and other loved ones see through the barrier society has created for people of size. I had a talk with a few of my kids from work, and I experienced the exact same thing from them (ages 9-11) as I did from my friends (ages 18-25).
We have to remember that beauty comes from all place, all shapes, and all sizes. Society and the media can tell us what we think we want and think we feel, but it is up to us to show what we do want and how we do feel. We have to work to remove the negative association with the word fat. It’s going to be hard as hell considering there is now an entire market of fear and a war based on fat, but we can do it if we continue showing our strength and solidarity :)