Your Opinion: Fat Terminology

From reading various blogs and communities regarding fat fashion and what not, I've noticed that terminology regarding being fat differs and what is offensive to some isn't to others. I've seen terms such as fat, curvy, plus sized, death fat, chunky, plump, rotund and fluffy used when referring to ones body and I'm curious to know what you think about using such terms to describe yourself.

Personally, I'm indifferent to the majority of these terms. Whilst I won't be calling myself 'fluffy' or 'death fat' any time soon, I've finally come to accept that referring to myself as fat isn't necessarily a bad thing. Although I would still be annoyed to be called fat if the sole intention is to insult.

So, what do you think about the different terms? Which one do you prefer? Do you think that there should be a differentiation between fat and the supposed 'norm'? How do you feel about taking words which have been used to insult and making them descriptive? I'd love to read your views!


  1. i love this post, because it is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I like the idea of re-appropriating the word fat. But its been really hard for me, especially in my academic work, because the word fat is so taboo...but i've been working on it, but its rough...

  2. Personally, I call myself curvy. But I have been called fat and chunky before, both of which didn't go over so well.

    I wouldn't use the word fat, definitely not death fat, when talking about someone else's body shape. In fact, I probably wouldn't say anything about it unless it specifically came up in conversation. In which case I'd use curvy, voluptuous, or full figured.

    Interesting topic, btw.

  3. I'm ok with being called fat but unfortunately, most people I know say "fat" in a derogatory way. For eg, " but she's fat" or "she's pretty even thought she's fat". I really like the label curvy but again kim kardashions are supposedly curvy and anything bigger is fat. I really hate labels but I guess they're just another reality of society :)

  4. It's funny, I finally found a sense of humor with calling myself fat. If someone else even calls me "fat" as an insult, I just laugh. I'm not 12, 16 or even 20, and around those ages you're still coming to grips with your body and accepting who you are.

    I told my boyfriend, "you don't have to worry about me asking 'does this make me look fat?' cause I am fat." He laughed and said, "right babe." I told him, I'm gonna ask instead, "does this make me look skinny?" And we laughed. I wasn't offended when he agreed with me, but I know lots of women who would be offended if their bf called them fat. We can't walk around referring to ourselves as "fatties" if we get offended when someone else uses, whether its intended to be hurtful or not. Just laugh it off, tell them like I tell them, I've had this body for a long time and I know it very well.

    I do call myself "fat" for the most part, and others argue with me, my male and female friends say, "nik you're not fat!" oooh yes I am is usually my response to them. I don't mind it, really. I'm over it. Everyone wants to be "thick" these days, maybe it's a good thing to be "fat" cause everyone wants to be something that years ago people would've teased them for.

  5. Personally I think of myself as fat but that's because i've been called that as long as I can remember. So it is hard for me to associate being fat a good thing, but i've accepted it and i've been looking at it in a different perspective and personally thinking of myself as beautiful as i am. As hard as it is for me, especially since im constantly being called fat by my parents, I've found a lot of inspiration and strength through a lot of the fat fashion blogs.

  6. I think the term "death fat" probably seems most offensive to me. Being too thin could be considered deadly, too, but I don't hear that term.

    The others don't bother me. Fluffy seems a little silly to me, but that is just my

    I'm with you though -- names said out of love are far different than insults.

  7. I don't know, that is so hard, I've always consider myself being bigger, or curvy. But I never really call myself fat, cause even tho I've gotten more use to the word I still get a negative feeling from it when being called it, but when skinny people say "I'm fat" when they look at themself in the mirror I can think to myself, phhff!! No you're not, I AM. silly girl. hate that shit...

  8. I am fat. I am death fat. I don't really care what people call it, bigger, plus, whatever. I am Devon-shaped, no word can truly describe that.

  9. NikStar, your comment here is just plain awesome. A healthy sense of self and confidence in whoever you are is so refreshing.

    Too many times, when I hear "I'm fat", it's coming from girls who are skinny but just want to hear compliments. I like the idea of using "fat" as a positive, so it's not an insult or self-deprecating.

  10. @ DrDavon - I have the same probably, being in an environment with people who are just out of school I find it hard to deflect the criticism and accept the word

    @ Weesha - That is the worst! The backhanded compliments along the lines of 'she has such a pretty face...'

    @ NikStar - I like way you think! I think I'm going to start using 'does this make me look skinny?' and wait for what I imagine to be amusing reactions

    @ Nina - It's always the hardest to take from parents or relatives. I'm glad to hear that you've gained inspiration from blogs as I have too :) and I think you're gorgeous!

    @ The Real Me - Yes, I think I dislike death fat the most because of its implications. I don't know where the term fluffy originated but it reminds me of 'furry' which is never good!

    @ Jennifer - It's so annoying when people who obviously know they're thin fish for compliments, fair enough if they're not happy with their weight but they know they're not fat!

    @ Fat Nurse - 'Devon Shaped' - I like it!

    @ Graciela - Yeah I don't think I'd outright refer to someone face to face as fat even if they referenced it themselves. I think that whilst the connotations of the word are still negative it won't be 'polite' to use it. I used to have a friend like that who'd constantly make reference to herself or other people smaller than I and all I could think was 'what do you think about me then?' thankfully that negativity is out of my life.

  11. Most the time people say words such as fat it's normally in a negative way. So it's hard as some people could find it offensive whereas others won't care.
    Fluffy, never heard that one but I prefer curvy.

  12. I think the problem is that people think of fat always in a negative way, they think of people who just sit infront of the TV watching shitty shoes and eating, eating, eating. Its not just a word like: you are tall or you are short/small. It often happens that people try to insult me calling me: "Fat" or "Disgusting Pig!"...
    Its just abozt how you see to be called fat. If you try to just see it in the way as somebody says: Ow you got blond hair. Or you are very tall or thin or got green eyes. Than its just what I am. I am fat.
    I like the word curvy a lot.

  13. I'm fat and I've been fat for some time. It is what it is. As far as ASOS is concerned you might have to use your own instincts when it comes to picking the best size. I wear a US 18 and a UK 20/22 but the ASOS line did feel a little snug.

  14. Interesting topic... I think we all have moments when we struggle with the size of our bodies, "fat" or otherwise. Still, I think it's important to not dwell on how we compare because none of us are truly the same! Our differences that we bring to the table are the things that make for such cool conversation. I mean, who determines what exactly "fat" is? The average woman is a size 12/14... is that "fat", "curvy" or "thick"???!! We decide for ourselves, no? No one can take your happiness and acceptance of self, unless you let them. I love inspiration from all kinds of blogs and I try to figure out how to take a concept and make it work best for myself. I loved reading the comments above! A great reminder that we are who we are and things are ever changing; you may not have the same body two years from now that you do today but you will still be (insert name here), and I believe if you are okay with you, those who care will fall in line with that! Thanks Stephanie for giving us an opportunity to "weigh in"!

    P.S. Pun totally intended. Lol.

  15. For a very long time, I referred to myself as 'healthy.' That was until I was told by a doctor that I wasn't. Lol. Then I said I was a 'big girl' which I am. But now I stick with curvy. I love this the best. :)