Just Three Letters…


…but such a complicated word. There’s nothing simple about fat. I’ve been thinking about the fat identity lately, and how exactly we define fat, and what the implications are for how we think about it.


That’s probably because recently there have been so many thoughtful posts tackling the fat identity from different angles in the “fatblogosphere” (or the  “flogosphere,” or my favorite: the “fatosphere”).

  • Who gets to be fat? asks Fatshadow in a post which deftly raises a slew of provocative questions like “how fat is fat?” and pretty fat versus ugly fat.
  • What does it mean to “reject” the fat identity, The Rotund asks in a painful but important piece about a fat-hating ex-fatty. (Extra credit reading Big Fat Deal’s post on Former Fat People from last week which had some wide-ranging comments from all sides on the attitudes of the formerly fat).  
  • Not only is our body size not fixed. Our relationship with our body size isn’t fixed either. Nudemuse wrote a lyrical exploration of her changing understanding of her changing body, thin and fat.

  • What about the medicalization of the fat identity? Can fat be reduced to a “brain disorder?” To my immense enjoyment, Kate Harding savages the muddled thinking that lead some psychiatrists to conflate fat with compulsive eating. 

  • Is fatness or thinness the “real” you? My favorite loser, Pastaqueen, wrote an article a few weeks ago about fat and thin as costumes.
  • Can you be thin and fat at the same time? Now my brain is hurting. The F-Word discusses a recent article suggesting that “even thin people can be fat on the inside.”

6 Responses to “Just Three Letters…”

  1. Prettywendylady Says:

    Ya know, most of the time, even when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the fat. I don’t always FEEL fat. Does that make sense. Like seriously, I don’t remember I’m fat sometimes, until, of course, some dumbass, shallowminded skinny person points it out to me. Don’t get me wrong, everytime I go to try on clothes (even in stores like Lane Bryant), it reminds me, painfully, how incrediblly fat I am. I love me for me. I use my fat as sort of a gimmick, but I don’t do that so much anymore. So yeah, I think you can be thin and fat at the same time. I’ve been fat my whole life–since birth practically–but there are days that I don’t even think about it anymore.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Fat, three letters but such a meaning-laden word. There was a study released last year – Sally Squire’s at the Washington Post reported on it – that asked parents whether they’d rather they children lose an arm or be fat. The majority would rather their children be amputees than be fat.

  3. Meowzer Says:

    That’s absolutely whacked. I don’t have kids, but hell if I’m going to wish on them the inability to play the drums so they can be thin.

  4. fatfu Says:

    Wendy – yeah and just hte opposite too – there were times growing up when I’ve been close to normal weight and felt omg so huge and so uncomfortable with my body.

    Rachel – well with all the messages about fat being the scourge destroying society and a certain death sentence, you can almost understand why parents would be TERRIFIED that their kid would be fat.

  5. Nudemuse Says:

    Thanks for the mention there. I squee’d. I also squee’d the first time I saw the name of yer blog here. It makes me want to yell and probably do a dorky kind of dance. And hi 🙂

  6. fatfu Says:

    Nudmuse: I squee’d when I read your post 🙂 HI.

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