Home Advice She Got Body Part 3: Is There A Line Between Thick And “Fat?”

She Got Body Part 3: Is There A Line Between Thick And “Fat?”


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.

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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.

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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!

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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


  1. I would say that the line between “thick” and fat is quite simple, actually; it’s the STOMACH. Thick women are ‘fluffy’ in areas such as their thighs, breasts, and buttocks. However, if a woman has all these IN ADDITION to a large/muffintop stomach, then she would be considered fat. You can’t be “thick” all over– that’s the definition of fat.

  2. I would say that the line between “thick” and fat is quite simple, actually; it’s the STOMACH. Thick women are ‘fluffy’ in areas such as their thighs, breasts, and buttocks. However, if a woman has all these IN ADDITION to a large/muffintop stomach, then she would be considered fat. You can’t be “thick” all over– that’s the definition of fat.

  3. Yes there is a line between thick and fat but as long as you carry it well and don’t look sloppy in your clothes you’re good to go. There are some people who are 5-10 lbs away from being fat.


  4. There is a fine line between thick and fat. This topic isn’t much different than any other topic as people oddly put their spins and “unique” definitions on so many different words. We women oddly enough tend to never be happy with our appearance. The skinniest person can also be unhealthy but will somehow call herself fat, so I guess FAT identifying with thick isn’t far fetched. However it’s just weird for FAT to somehow refuse to recognize with being fat nor do I buy it.

    I’ve met women who don’t like the word fat, nor their size, who have both healthy and poor self esteem. Regardless, failure to openly acknowledge it doesn’t mean they aren’t fat and don’t know it. They know they are fat they just don’t want to hear it, and obviously less than interested in changing their appearance. Curves may confuse some but fat is fat. I think my definition of thick closely resembles DamnPops with the addition of firmness. Pockets of fat bulging together to create a pod/roll of hanging or protruding skin is fat.

    1. That was a pretty good definition. I used to think that people who were big knew it and it was just whatever. I felt that way until watching this show where some of the cast were just like, ehh I’m just a little thick. Or I lost 110lbs I’m a skinny girl now yet someone is still 310. it’s prevalent throughout the season to the point it made me question if they see something others don’t. If not then maybe yeah they’re just trying to use softer words as they see it to describe themselves. I just thought it was an interesting dynamic.

      1. Who knows? They may see themselves as skinny, I guess it’s possible. I know plenty women who won’t openly admit the obvious but will privately. It’s definitely an interesting topic.

  5. Idk because alot of people assume thick women are women who have large behind, thighs, and breasts. However two women can weigh the exact same thing but the other woman’s fat may not be proportioned. Every woman isn’t going to have a coke bottle shape. So the term thick shouldn’t be reserved for women with those shapes. All i know is its somebody for everybody just try to eat healthy and exercise 4-5 times a week and you can call yourself thick if you want too lol

  6. Thickness refers to proportion, whereas fat, refers to fat or simply everything that isn’t muscle that contributes to the size of a woman. A lot of the confusion comes from the fact that “fat” in our time, is considered more an insult than a state of nature.

  7. I agree with your definition of thick and fat. There are politics that sort of govern every social group. For me, size does not matter as long you are two things: healthy and stylish. I say healthy because I know some bigger women who can outrun the slimmest shorty on the block. So as long as your present state is healthy and you are not in danger of any preventable conditions…ok. In addition to physical health, metal and emotional health are also important. Due to the pressures to be slim or video vixen thick, some women may feel like they are falling short. That often leads to them taking drastic measures to fit into whatever size/shape that they think will validate them. Not good. Finally, I mentioned stylish because often times a women looks sloppy or malnutrition when she is not dressed appropriately for her age and size. One of the key factors to draw attention away from size is to make sure that you are dressed appropriately for not only your size but body shape. Do not be in denial. If you are a size 14…don’t be embarrassed. You will look much better in that size, than trying to squeeze into a 10 or draping yourself in an 18 to cover-up. Great conclusion to this series.


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