“You’re fat, honey.”
The words hit my ears like bird shit on a car window. My dad had no problem telling it like it was when I was younger. “Maybe we should have you start walking the dog more,” he would reason aloud, “or we could stop buying potato chips. And candy. And soda. And –“
“ENOUGH,” mom would shout. “She is not fat, she’s just growing.”
But you see, therein lies the problem: I wasn’t growing. I was genuinely just fat.
On any given day after school you could catch me shoveling fistfuls of Lay’s from a family-sized bag into my mouth, drinking Pepsi like it was being discontinued, or picking out all the M&M’s from a jar of trail mix because – at the end of the day – I was (and still am) a total asshole as well as a fat little shit. But no one ever called me out on it – instead I got disapproving glances from family members at the dinner table, tsk-tsks from my grandmother as I hopped out of the car after a six-hour ride to see her for the first time in months, and of course the kids at school always made sure I was “It” first when we played tag; I don’t think I managed to catch anyone. Ever.
Yet no one came right out and said it except for my dad, and sometimes I wonder if that was the problem – if everyone had sat me down, looked straight into my eyes and said, “Rebecca, you are 20 pounds overweight and need to stop eating like a garbage disposal,” maybe I would have listened and picked up an apple instead of a candy bar the next day.
But I am not the pussies I used to hang out with in school, and I possess the tactfulness of a five-year-old who just spotted his first near-comically overweight person using a grocery store mobility scooter:
Dude if you’re fucking fat, you’re fucking fat.
Since when did it become NOT okay to call people fat? You don’t take heaps of garbage to the “Outdoor Community Donation Center,” you take them to the dump. It’s called a dump because that’s what it is: a dump; a giant hole in the ground filled with trash. It smells like shit, is run by the that kid who dropped out of eighth grade to sell pot, and no one enjoys being there longer than need be.
(That’s not to say that fat people smell like shit or are unenjoyable to be around – quite the contrary. I spend five minutes merely being in the presence of someone who’s got ten pounds of meat stuffed into a five-pound casing and my self-esteem skyrockets; fuck them skinny bitches pretending they actually enjoy that celery they’re chewing on, eat a waffle for god’s sake.)
And I suppose my disconnect comes from a place of insensitivity, because to me, calling someone “fat” isn’t necessarily being mean or nasty, it’s just being accurate. Say you’re 5-foot-5, weigh 400 pounds and possess a vagina: you’re a fat girl. That’s a fact. You can say “overweight” or you can say “chunky,” but at the end of the day no one is being fooled. It’s not like I’m going to go home and say, “There was a heavy woman holding up the check-out line with a box of coupons at the store today,” because you know what most normal, level-headed people would say back?
“You mean a fat person?”
YES that’s what I mean, and yet somehow we’ve gotten to the point where I may as well be tarred, feathered and left out to roast in the sun for pointing out facts. No one is being fooled when you try using words like “curvy,” “voluptuous” or “full-figured;” those words used to have meaning. Now they’ve become euphemisms for “I’m too afraid of offending someone so we’re going to start using a bunch of bullshit terms that don’t actually describe what I’m talking about to avoid hurting people’s feelings.”
Well fuck that, and fuck your feelings too if you’re that sensitive. I’ve referred to myself as an asshole, having the maturity of a five-year-old and I even body shamed elementary school little ol’ me for eating bags of potato fried crap every day after school. You know why? Because it’s true. I’m an asshole. Someone calls me out for being an asshole and the world keeps turning, I keep living my life and I don’t break down into tears and write a fucking Tumblr post about it because 1. it’s true, and 2. who the fuck cares? If I’m going to be an asshole, I’m going to wear it like a goddamn badge of honor. If you’re fat and don’t give a shit about being fat, then who cares if someone calls you fat? YOU’RE FAT. Either lose weight if you’re unhappy, or put on your big boy undies and let the words roll off your back like chocolate dripping down a strawberry (mmmmm, chocolate covered strawberries….).
But you know what you shouldn’t do? Try to start some bullshit social movement, or pick a bunch of words out of the dictionary that you think are more palatable than the word “fat” and try to use those to describe yourself instead. Because at the end of the day, everyone knows what people mean when someone uses “big boned” to describe someone; they mean “fat.”
And there’s nothing wrong with that – only with the people who are too in denial about their self-loathing and choose to bury their heads in the sands rather than confront themselves instead. What a bunch of fat, fuckin’ pussies.
Rebecca Martinson is known throughout the Internet for being very, very good at writing emails and very, very bad at using Twitter. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you say her name three times into a bathroom mirror she’ll appear and start trying to talk about Pokemon with you (though she prefers email.)