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View Diary: The War on Fat People: Doctors Enlist (123 comments)

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  •  the F-word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, True North

    Thanks for the consciousness, karmsy! The word "fat" isn't inherently negative unless you put that spin on it. In fat activist community, we reclaim the F-word for two reasons: First, it's the simple word (fat/thin, young/old, short/tall). Second, it's a political act, a way to refuse shame and stigma, akin to queer pride and other communities.

    The other words available seem highly and inherently objectionable to me.

    The O-words...blecch!
    - overweight: Over what weight. The word carries a negative judgment, no matter that it's deemed more polite in current usage than fat. It carries a hope of a world free of fat people, and that's super creepy.
    - obese: This word sounds like a diagnosis. It inaccurately medicalizes weight diversity. Also, the term is used to justify discrimination in all sorts of settings.

    the euphemisms:
    - hefty, chunky, fluffy, zaftig (Yiddish for juicy!), plus-size, full-figured, husky, etc.
    The only reason to use a euphemism is to cover something considered negative. I don't consider weight diversity a negative fact, so no need for fake niceties.

    I don't go around telling people they're fat. It's precisely this top-down naming power that I find unnecessary and harmful. The government, or a doctor, or the fashion industry, draw cutoff lines and people beyond that weight are immediately second-class citizens. Instead, I hope to expand the liveable space for all of us and part of that is being able to claim and name our own bodies. I identify proudly as a fat person. You get to own your body.

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