In the body-positive community, there’s often discussion about what words to use when we describe our bodies. Some say that calling clothing or bodies “plus size” is outdated and othering. Some say that reclaiming and destigmatizing the word “fat” can be empowering. While we are, of course, so much more than our descriptors, they can come in handy when explaining our identities or how to find us in a crowd.
With so many options to choose from—“curvy,” “zaftig,” and “fluffy,” to name a few—no term is universally right or wrong. It’s all about finding what feels the most comfortable to you. So, to help wade through all the possible terms you can use, we asked the Dia Community for their thoughts. Here are just a few of the answers we got…
“I like to use many words. I use ‘plus size’ a lot. I love ‘curvy,’ ‘full-figured,’ and yes, even ‘fat.’ All these words describe my body. I love that I am no longer ashamed to use any of these descriptives and do not see them as an insult, even from the haters. It’s so empowering.”
“If you want to get real fancy, you can use ‘Rubenesque,’ based on the women that the artist Rubens painted. That’s my favorite term.”
“I love to use the word ‘curvy!’ I’m pretty evenly distributed, so I think it’s the best word to describe my body. I also was a gymnast for a lot of my life, so I even use ‘muscular.'”
“I like to use the word ‘fat.’ I do this on purpose because I want to redeem that word. For many of us, ‘fat’ has been used in a derogatory manner to demean and belittle us. I refuse to allow that to be the case for me anymore. ‘Fat’ is a descriptor just like ‘tall’ or ‘short’ or ‘happy’ or ‘sad.’ So, yes, I am fat, and I am also beautiful, and kind, and strong AF—and all of these things are incomplete without the others.”
Want to get in on the conversation? Request to join the Dia&Co National Community Facebook group today!