What word or words do you think can and should be used to describe people physically?
Fat is What?
For a while now it’s been bugging me to hear when someone says ‘She’s fat.’ or ‘Wow, that guy is really fat.’ It’s been bugging me because, even though it’s common usage to say it, fat is actually a substance, not a person. I understand that when someone says that they aren’t really saying the whole person is made up of the substance called fat. They are saying the person has a lot of fat on him or her. They are saying the person is overweight. But my issue comes from how that verbalization leads to a one dimensional judgment of the person. If you say ‘that person is overweight’ then yes, by inference you are saying they have extra fat on them. But you are not saying they ARE fat.
Using that definition has long been in the mainstream, so much so that an overweight person will very likely call themselves fat. They know they aren’t all fat, but they still say it. And what does that mindset do? It focuses and defines the person as being one thing, and a thing is supposedly not good.
But the truth is fat is good. We can’t live without it. We need to eat it, it protects us, nourishes us, gives us many essential elements to our survival. What is at issue is a body out of balance, with too much fat and not enough of other substances, like muscle, bone, blood, etc. It needs to be in some balance so the person, who is a combination of all of those substances, can be healthy and productive in life. A person with too much fat on them is in danger of being out of balance. Then again so is a person with not enough fat on them.
So for me, I continue to make an effort to not use that word when describing someone. Overweight, fine. heavy, fine. But Fat? Fat is a substance, not a person.
What do you think?
Drawing and quote by Marty Coleman