The use of the word ‘fatshionista’ in a post earlier this week started a really interesting discussion on the Evans facebook page about the right words to use when describing a woman who fits into the ‘plus size’ bracket.
It seems everyone has different views on what is acceptable. I’ve heard or used plenty of words over the years. Large, big, plus size, fuller-figured, heavy-set, husky, chubby, pudgy, plump…the big problem is that most of them have negative connotations. Who, in their right mind, wants to be called ‘husky’?!
Off the top of my head, I can only think of two words that paint larger women in a positive light; voluptuous and rubenesque. Then there’s curvy, but that’s as often applied to a slim celebrity like Kylie as it is to a woman who’s a size 16+.
‘Fat’, of course, is the most controversial of the lot. In its essence, it’s just a descriptive term, like short, tall or thin. But it’s used so often in a negative, damaging way (particularly by the media) that many of us now resent the word far more than we should.
The truth is, the more it’s used, the less it has the ability to hurt. Fat is just a word.
On this note, I turn to our Facebook friend Naomi Griffiths, who has a refreshing attitude towards the word. “Im a fat woman, and I’m not ashamed of it, nor of the word. It’s descriptive, because in essence thats exactly what I am.”
She’s not the only woman who feels that way. The phrase ‘Fatshion’ is something of an online phenomenon at the moment, and has been adopted by loads of strong, positive plus-size role models. From the members of the huge livejournal community Fatshionista to bloggers like Fatshionista , Fatshionable, Musings of a Fatshionista and Forays in Fatshion, if you’re involved in the plus size world online, you’ll have encountered ‘fatshion’ somewhere.
And I think this is no bad thing. These women are taking a word that’s traditionally negative and turning it into something empowering. They’re saying “I’m here, I’m plus size, and I look great whatever you call me!”
And that is brilliant..whether they’re fat, curvy, fuller-figured, voluptuous or even ‘husky’!