“I was such a fat girl yesterday,” my college roommate said.
I had just returned from a weekend trip and from what I could tell, her dancer’s body had not changed in the 48 hours that I was gone. Understandably, I had no idea what she was talking about…and then she started listing all of the things she’d eaten the day before.
Being a “fat girl” means eating Skittles, pizza, and soda while watching movies? No — not okay. That's not what it means at all.
As a plus-size lady, I’ve never had an “us” vs. “them” mentality when it came to smaller women. I’ve never called someone a “skinny b*tch.” I’ve never hated someone for their fast metabolism and, in general, the body I’m most concerned about is my own. (Fitness and healthy living at any size is very important to me.)
Now, as I constantly hear men and women referencing themselves as “fat guy/girl” when they eat poorly, I can’t help but feel annoyed. When did things go from “I’m having a cheat day” — which is another essay altogether — to, “I’m being a fat girl today”?
To prove how ubiquitous this self-imposed label has become, I decided to type #FatGirl or #FatGirlProblems into Instagram, and I was dismayed to find photo after photo of fast food items, donuts, and other unhealthy things.
When people label plates of chocolate cake #FatGirl, I can’t help but think that they’re secretly looking at me and thinking, ‘There’s someone who knows how to have her cake and eat it, too.’ Don’t they know that size is not a definitive indicator of a person's lifestyle or health?
I guess if I’m being up front and honest, everyday has been a fat girl day since around the time I was 12 years old. But, I don’t mean that I sat around eating cheeseburgers and cupcakes. My weight isn’t what it is because I'm lazy and put bad things in my mouth. For me, being overweight is a complicated mix of genetics and the way that my body processes things differently. It’s a very emotional thing for me — to put it mildly.
Eventually, I learned that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This means, in a nutshell, that my body could care less about the amount I exercise or the good food choices I make, and that every pound I lose and keep off is an extraordinary feat.
When I started the #PSPfit: Plus-Size Princess Fitness online workout community, my desire was to showcase that big girls do work out and eat healthy foods. I might be a fat girl, but I’m concerned about what I eat. I’m doing my best with the (genetic) cards I’ve been dealt. I’m a fat girl, and I refuse to hate myself; instead, I’m making the conscious choice to love myself despite what the scale says.
And, this is why, as someone who has been a big girl all of her life and suffered through relentless judgment, slick remarks, and unsolicited diet advice, I’m beyond peeved at the trend of thin girls and dudes calling themselves fat.
I don’t mean to be dramatic; I get that your self-insult won’t ruin me, but I do think it’s rude and thoughtless when you eye a greasy plate of fries and call yourself a fat girl when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Please stop.