I have heard a lot about fat shaming lately. It seems to be the new buzz word that people bring up whenever someone says anything even remotely related to their size or weight. Not all of these things are fat shaming though. Let’s talk about it, let’s come up with responses that can help encourage change of thought and come together in a big ooey gooey mess of body positivity:)
This is NOT fat shaming
I have been seeing something going around lately when someone comments they don’t like the fit of something and they get a response of “have you tried going up a size?” Or, if a shirt or bottom rips, “hey, before you blame the product, maybe you got the wrong size.” That is not fat shaming people. That is someone who noticed that maybe the shirt was pulling super tight across your chest and though maybe it would be more comfortable a size larger. Or, someone notices the arms are super tight, or that the neckline is tight or something. Observations about how something is fitting you is not fat shaming, especially if the person is helping you with an issue you are having or helping you find an outfit or item you feel comfortable wearing. This can easily turn into fat shaming though by commenting something like “if you ate fewer cupcakes you might fit into this size.”
Another thing to keep in mind… sizes are just a number. They help us find a starting point when looking for clothing, but should not be the end all be all. Especially because every designer uses a slightly different sizing chart (at least it feels this way). For example — I wear anywhere from an XL to a 3Xl in Thrift Store, a size 20 pant in Seven Jeans, a size 22 in Lane Bryant Pants, a size 22/24/3x in shirts at Lane Bryant, a size 2 from Target’s Ava and Viv line, a size 2 in most Torrid lines, except for swimsuits, I need a 3. The list goes on and on and on. Just remember that your body is special and cannot be labeled with one number or letter🙂
THIS is fat shaming
If you are triggered by fat shaming comments, don’t read this section! k? I have been fat my entire life and there are some very overt things people say that are fat shaming, and there are some things that are less overt that can cause a whole bunch of hurt in a fat person.
I am so fat
Why is this fat shaming?? Well, when I am a size 22 and someone smaller than me says “I am so fat” in response to their own body in a way that is negative and self-shaming, it makes me wonder what they see when they look at me, someone who is obviously double their weight. This comment can send people into a spiral of self-loathing. Also, who cares if you are fat… fat is NOT a bad thing!
You should stop eating….
Hey, we talked about this on my Unicorn Frappuccino review — what I put in my body is my business. And just because I am fat does not mean you get to tell me what I eat. Body autonomy means that I have the power to put in my body what makes me feel good, strong or whatever. I will never tell you that you should or should not eat something and I expect the same in return. Things I have heard in my life are “shouldn’t you order a salad instead of the burger,” “you should stop eating that because it has some much sugar/fat/calories” and “that will give you a heart attack/diabetes/some other disease.”
Plus Size People Should NEVER wear…
This has been improving as plus size bloggers show the world we can wear whatever we want.. but we still hear from people like Tim Gunn who say things like box pleats and plus size are not good combos (my favorite dress has box pleats in it and I look sexy in that dress so…).
In essence, fat or skinny or average, we can wear what we want, eat what we want and it is none of your business:)
This one is difficult. I am one of those people who comes up with the best ever come back at 2 am, 3 days later. Well beyond the appropriate time to say it:/ What that usually means is that I need some snappy comebacks ready to go. Thank you, Love and Logic parenting classes! Some of my favorites are:
- I eat what I love, so yes, I will keep eating cupcakes/donuts/carbs/broccoli!
- Do you think I am fat? (in response to the I am so fat comment people make about themselves).
- This actually opens up some pretty fun dialogue about self-loathing and how to talk to ourselves about our bodies and that fat is not bad, etc. etc.
- Well, I think I look bangin’ in this dress, thanks!
- And sometimes… “Really? I think its none of your business”
I really hope some of this was helpful! I am all up for some great dialogue on this subject — I am pretty open minded and will change my mind based on a logical argument — but let’s keep it classy and kind people:)