Good For You?

I remember the first time I was publicly fat shamed. I was a 16 years old and on a class trip to the Jewish Heritage Museum in Manhattan for leadership training.  We were having lunch in the museum’s cafeteria; honestly I don’t remember if I actually ate anything since this was during the time I would skip meals with the goal of getting thin. I do remember that at one point my friend got up to get a second helping of food at which time I asked him to get me a can of soda. He came back with a can of Diet Coke, I looked at the can and then up at him in confusion. He then said, very loudly I might add, “You could stand to lose a couple of pounds.” The entire table and those next to it laughed. I left the soda right in his hand and walked away. No one stood up for me and he never apologized. He claimed that it was a joke. I wasn’t laughing.

Such occurrences only got worse once I got older. In fact,one of my mother’s oldest friends no longer greets me with a, “Hi, how have you been?,” like the average person would, but with a, “You’re fatter.”

comic of double standards with food

“Healthy” does not equal a specific physical appearance.

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My Two Cents: “Curvy” or “Plus Size”?

The hashtag droptheplus has bought widespread attention as to whether or not women larger than a size 10 should be called/considered plus size as well as whether or not the term “plus size” should be dropped entirely. Personally, I have made my peace with being considered “plus- size” and really the only negative stigma I associate with the term are some of the fashions that are reminiscent of animal print, bedazzled maternity-inspired wear pushed to plus-size consumers with the lie, “Look we tried and you didn’t bite.”

Though created to simply describe clothing bigger than the acceptable straight size ideals, the term still holds incredibly negative associations regardless of how far the body positive movement has gone in the past decade. Our culture vilifies fat and fatness due to being linked to allusions of laziness, and ugliness. It leads to assumptions of one’s personality and behaviors as such a woman with fat* is one who clearly does not care about their appearance or attracting potential partners. They are the ones that have (supposedly) given up, and are responsible for making obesity an epidemic. Thus, plus-size is not a celebratory term, but rather a derogatory one that has lead to an increased fear of being recognized as such. Continue reading