This is a cross-post I wrote at WeAretheRealDeal. Click here to read it, or check it out after the jump. Forgive me for sounding naïve here (and I realize I might get flamed for my “naïveté”) but why is the term “fat acceptance” an established and regarded expression, but yet the word “overweight” upsets so many in the movement?
There are very few words in the English language that rile me up as much as “fat”; I hate it. It just sounds cruel and judgmental and downright mean.
I believe no one should be discriminated against for their weight (or race, religion, sexuality, etc).
I also understand that those in the Fat Acceptance (FA) movement want to take the stigma out of the word, so that “fat” isn’t a bad word … but it makes no sense to me.
Granted, I come at this quizzically, from the disordered eating recovery/Weight Watcher paradigm (full disclosure: I honestly only learned about the fat acceptance movement from blogging here with Kate Harding) …
But still … I just don’t see the appeal of the word “fat” — in any situation.
How is that word supposed to make someone feel good about themselves? I admit, I just don’t get it.
To me, “overweight” (while not exactly pleasant, either) is far less harsh than “fat,” which is part of the name of the movement.That said, I also understand Fat’NSassy’s comment in my “Tackling ‘Triggers’ in the Blogosphere” post, where she said:
“Overweight?” Over what weight????? Many of us in the size acceptance movement really hate that term because it implies there is one correct weight for everyone. I am 220lbs but would never call myself overweight because I am at the weight Mother Nature intended me to be. There is no one acceptable weight and if there was, the CDC who is in the back pocket of pharma would be the last to find it!”
Well said, Fat’NSassy. I respect her words, and I also noted that she used the words “size acceptance movement,” which sounds more to me like the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement, which I can understand much more easily. I think most of us can understand/relate to that; not everyone is meant to be a certain size. We’re all built differently, and that’s OK.
Truthfully, I really wish Kate Harding was still blogging with us, because I’d love some of her insight … insight from her, or any of our readers in the fat acceptance movement, as to why “overweight” is so irksome … but keeping the word “fat” in the name of the movement is OK.
I’m asking these questions because I really want to know; I think it’s important–if we’re going to talk about triggers and triggering words, I think it’s only appropriate to ask.
Because really, shouldn’t the movement only be called the Size Acceptance movement? Why does the word “fat” have to come into play at all? Why make the distinction at all?
I look forward to reading all the comments tonight!