The Blog

What's Wrong With Being Fat?

I want to see a fair representation of realistic bodies forwomen so girls and women all over the country can see someone who looks like them and make them feel not only more normal but possibly beautiful as well.

Since writing about low self-esteem and trying to come to terms with body confidence - a phrase which still terrifies me - I've been thinking how I want to address another issue.

Big boned, curvy, large, plump, voluptuous - sugar coat it however you like (pardon the food pun) - I want to talk about being fat.

Just writing the word fat instantly makes my insides tighten, those three letters have such a horrible impact.

If I say to a friend: "I'm fat" they will look grief-stricken and instantly reply: "No you're not." However, if I was 5 foot and said: "I'm short" my friend wouldn't think to rebuff this comment.

Or say if I lost a noticeable amount of weight - I would receive compliments for that - whereas if I had gained weight no-one would dare say a thing.

Being called fat is a hurtful insult - but why do we think of fat as such a bad thing when it's just an adjective for describing your body?

I understand health plays an important part in this - eating right and exercising doesn't tend to lead to being fat and if you want to lose weight for the sake of your health then great - but what about fat people who are comfortable in their own skin? Can they go about their business without feeling pressure to change?

Ever since I was 10-years-old I've been bigger than my friends and hated my body. It has taken 12 years for me to even begin to start accepting myself. The world we live in doesn't make this easy. No-one really talks about what it feels like to be fat as it remains almost taboo in our society.

Eating in public is terrible. If you're eating something healthy, you feel like people will be judging you and thinking you're a lost cause. Or if you're indulging in something high in calories people will think of feeding time at the zoo.

Trust me, there is more to fat than food.

Shopping for clothes can quickly become traumatic - trying to find something flattering that fits properly whilst being surrounded by skimpy clothes fitted on size 8 mannequins and nearly crying every time you're in a changing room.

There is no plus to the plus-sized section - you just feel like you're not normal enough to shop for regular clothes.

Women shouldn't be made to feel that beauty is a shape sorter - if you're fat or the wrong size you can't fit in to it.

In social or romantic situations, being fat makes you feel huge and invisible all at the same time. You feel like you take up too much space but at the same time you feel like no one will be taking interest in you.

You look at pictures of yourself and can spot 10 flaws almost immediately - mainly how much bigger you look than everyone else.

Now we're getting closer to the reason why being fat is thought to be such a bad thing - the bigger picture - the media, which has played a huge part in creating the negative implications of being fat in day to day life.

It makes me wildly furious and sad at the same time that I never see girls like me in the media. It could do so much good.

Show me a film where a fat girl is the romantic lead and not the comic relief.

Show me a magazine with a fat woman on the cover and doesn't have a comment about her size.

Show me plus sized models without feeling the need to add "plus sized." (For more on this read about model Ajay Rochester.)

Yet the hypocritical media tells us to love our curves and provides style for "curvy" girls.

I have hesitation about using the word curvy because you might be thinking of something like this:

(At the time of writing the first Google result for curvy)

I want to see more curves like this:

(From the new I'm No Angel campaign by Lane Bryant)

When I see women like this, I think they look great, which gives me hope for myself.

I want to be clear with this: I am not saying fat is better than skinny. I just think it's important to stop using fat as an insult and stop making women feel bad for being fat.

I want to see a fair representation of realistic bodies for all women so girls and women all over the country can see someone who looks like them and make them feel not only more normal but possibly beautiful as well.