When Did “Fat” Become the Real F Word?

Why do we force words to live exclusively from one another?
Why can fat not mean beautiful?

I recently remembered something from when I was in the sixth grade. There was a girl in my class who was a bit bigger than most of the other students in our class. I remember hearing the way that the other students spoke about her, the mean jokes they would make behind her back, and the almost as cruel things they would say to her face. I remember noticing that she was being treated differently and in a negative way because of her size.

I decided then that I would never let myself look a way that would give other people an opportunity to treat me poorly. I wish I had taken this experience in a different way, as an example of people I never wanted to be like. I never would want to be treated like this classmate, but the lesson I learned was not to be kind to people, it was to never become fat enough to allow people be cruel to me.

I used to be so scared of the word fat because we live in a society that equates fat to ugly, or less than. I was scared of the idea of gaining weight because I thought that if I did then I would also become ugly or less than. We live in a society that puts limits on what words can be. I was more scared of being fat than I was of being a bad person, of being considered rude or mean, and I was scared of being fat more than I was worried about getting bad grades.

I was eleven when I learned that our world says that being fat is bad. I was eleven when I became afraid of gaining weight. I remember it like it was yesterday, and one day I hope to not be afraid. But for now, I will remember to be kind, and to stand up for those who are mistreated. I do not view gaining weight as the end all and be all of my life, and there are now many things I consider to worse things than ganging weight, but I am still somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of it. So until the day I am not afraid, I will choose to be kind and to reject cruelness.

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