There’s been a lot of talk on some of the plus size blogs about whether the words ‘fat’ or ‘plus size’ are offensive.
Personally, I couldn’t give a damn whether someone calls me fat; it’s just a description, not an insult. It’s like describing me as ‘tall’ or ‘blonde’. Yes, I can hold my hands up to both of those. As I can fat.
But according to JK Rowling, and you know what, I’d also have to agree with her on this one; Fat is the first insult that we, as women, learn to use against each other.
She added, “is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being
judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…”
Body positivity campaigners are on a mission to reclaim the word ‘fat’ so that it loses its power. Damn good idea, I think. As Betty Pamper also says, “(the word) Fat can only hurt me if I allow it!”
So, armed with my ‘reclaiming the F word badge’ I was very annoyed to hear from the lovely folks at FatPhrocks that when they tried to promote a popular Facebook post to get some good debate going, Facebook told them that Fat was a disallowed word. Really? Now there are some words I think have no place on a Facebook page, but ….fat?
The exact reason that the post was disallowed was;
"Your Post wasn't boosted because it violates Facebook's ad guidelines by including profanity or language that refers to a person's age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual orientation."
So fat is ‘language that refers to a person’s physical condition.”
Fair enough. But so is ‘tall’. Or ‘disabled’. Or ‘ill’.
Where do you draw the line? Are we not allowed to use the word ‘fat’ because so many idiots have used it as an insult and shouted it at people who were happily minding their own business in the street? Or because the media hurls it around as a bitchy comment aimed at any celebrity that dares to be over a size ten. What Facebook is saying is that bigots, idiots and people with no social skills who troll websites looking for places to leave comments about people they don’t know …are right!?
One woman who’s tried to redress the balance is author Sarah Clark, who wrote ‘Gorgeously Full Fat’ about her struggle with diets and weight loss, and this year released her first novel, Viva Voluptuous, which features a sassy, fat heroine who wants to change the way fat is represented in the media – as well as getting laid and drinking lots of vino along the way!
Reviews have said, “There is a real message in here about self-acceptance and not being afraid to show the world who you are, such a refreshing, uplifting and intelligent change from anything else I've read. I was strutting off the train with my head held high after reading, highly, highly recommended.”
If you’re still looking for that perfect holiday read, we have two signed copies of the book to give away. Just leave your name on the blog in the comments section with a sentence about where you want to read Viva Voluptuous (in the garden, in bed, on the plane…) and the winner will be announced on 1st August!