So about two months ago I was heavily into a reality show on Lifetime called “Big Women, Big Love.” I was fascinated by it and many of you who follow my work know my interest in alternative reality shows. This show examined the plight of plus sized women which the world would label “fat.” The show follows these women through their dating life to examine how a woman’s size affects the quality of men she encounters. As a matter of fact many of us would label these ladies fat. One thing that I learned from this show was that many big women are offended by the word fat. To them it’s the equivalent to a little person being called a midget.
Now of course we all can surmise that it’s much easier to call a little person a midget or a big person fat. It’s just easier on our lips isn’t it? But then and still, some people are offended by it. And to be honest we should do our best to be cognizant of how those words could hurt people. This whole idea has pretty much shaped today’s post. This is the third and final part of the She Got Body series (Check out part two here). It’s today that I wanted to discuss if there was a line between thick and fat. If there is, then why do some people ignore it?
I have my own theory and I guess that’s why we’re all reading this today; hear me out.
On Big Women Big Love was a woman named Jessica. As a matter of fact she’s the woman above on the right hand side. Jessica at her heaviest once tipped the scales at over 400 pounds. She began to change her lifestyle. With her diligence and commitment, Jessica lost 110 pounds. It was at this point that Jessica got what we would call in the hood…”gassed.” That means her head got big and all in a sudden she didn’t think she needed to lose any more weight. On top of this she became very condescending to other women on the show. She viewed herself as much smaller than she really was. At this point Jessica is still way over 300 pounds yet she carries herself as if she wasn’t as big as her counterparts on the show.
She often referred to herself as thick.
To me personally thick is a term reserved for women who are a step above slim but still maintain a figure that isn’t seen as sloppy. That can come in many variations. But since Jessica referred to herself in this light I began to wonder if big women often find themselves in denial of their size.
This brings us to a sweet yet very self-conscious woman named Mar on the show. In the show’s opening episode Jessica tell Mar that they are all fat. Mar responds to this in vehement denial that she isn’t. She does so because she found it hurtful more than anything. Throughout the season Mar reacts the same way every time. She refers to the word fat as the “F” word as little people refer to the word midget as the “M” word.
There are a couple alarming things that interested me enough to write this post.
I really wanted to start a conversation. Hear me out again and see if I’m on to something. I pretty much figure that big women use the word thick to describe themselves in a more flattering way. If that is the case then carry on, no doubt. What I’m always worried about are adverse effects of that. Because while the pressure to conform to societal standards is prevalent and wrong, you still owe it to yourself to live healthier.
Throughout this show the women aren’t living healthy.
So as much as the world wanting someone to be a size two is wrong. Not taking care of yourself may be even worse. Through what lens do we even look at size? Does it even matter? I actually do think there’s a line between thick and “fat.” Just as there is a line between large and extra-large. But what I worry about is calling yourself one thing and thinking you can neglect your own health. As long as you understand that your weight, whatever it may be is a reality, then call yourself what you like. It’s not mentally healthy though to ever convince yourself of things that really aren’t accurate. That’s true for any walk of life. Do you all draw the line somewhere? What do you think? Hope you enjoyed the series, and I hope if nothing else thought was provoked. Till next week…
Also catch me on season 2 of Ask A Black Man on Madame Noire on April 13th! Subscribe and watch on Youtube. Check out the trailer below:
These are my words and I make no apologies.
Also, check out my friend Ayanna’s new clothing line “Mei Smith” with fashion for plus sized women. The site drops today! check it out here!
DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS