The “F” Word: When is it okay to use the word “Fat?”
September 3, 2015
Since I can remember my mother abolished use of the “F” word. The term “fat” was never to be uttered out loud in our household, not even to describe my pregnant guinea pig. In its place I was taught to use sweeter sounding words like “fluffy,” or “soft”. The message, intentional or not, was that fat was like some sort of grotesque disease. It was worse than awful. It was unmentionable. Fast forward to today and I am still unsure about the “F word.” When is it okay to say?
It seems the dictionary definition of the word lacks any sort of derogatory meaning. In fact, “fat” can mean “substantial and impressive” when referring to a bank account. But when it comes to using the word “fat” to describe a person, I always hesitate, as if by saying that someone is fat I am exposing some awful truth about them. The truth is “fat” should not contain judgment or ridicule. It is simply a descriptor. By continuing to whisper the word “fat” we are supporting the notion that fat is bad and wrong. What do you think? When is it okay to use the word fat?