The F Word We've All Been Avoiding

The F Word We’ve All Been Avoiding 

On a recent Ted Talk, I watched Lillian Bustle redefine women’s self-image in her presentation titled Stripping Away Negative Body Image. 

She began with “I am fat. The F word, right?” She claims “I happen to use this word as a self-descriptor.”

Lillian shines a new light upon the social stigma that the word “fat” is voluntarily being avoided. The word “fat” in our present society is commonly identified as an insult. Being called “fat” is somehow the worst thing one can be called. But why?

Lillian argues it should only be used as a description word. But how did it change into an insult in the first place?

Lillian, whom is coincidentally a burlesque dancer, is literally stripping away negative body image. 


TedxTalks. “Stripping away negative body image | Lillian Bustle | TEDxJerseyCity.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 30 March 2015. Web. 02 April 2016.

She continues, “I don’t use this word to put myself down and I certainly don’t say it in hopes that someone would say ‘Oh you’re not fat’ BECAUSE THAT’S THE THING…

Lillian points out a great point. She uses tall person as an example as no one would say “Oh you’re not tall!” because “Tall isn’t a dirty word.”

We as women are almost programmed to tell each other that we are not fat because to many people, both men and women, fat is the worst thing you can be. Society as turned the word fat into a synonym for ugly.

“But that is NOT what fat means, FAT just means FAT”

Being fat shouldn’t mean you have something to hide or something ugly to be masked behind unrealistic smiles and oversized clothing. It is beautiful and worth embracing. Fat isn’t the worst thing you can be. The worst thing I have ever done is try to cover that.

The definition of fat should not mean ugly. It should be what it is identified as.

In fact, the actual definition means “the soft flesh on the bodies of people and animals that helps keep the body warm and is used to store energy,” according to Merriam-Webster.

According to, “fat” also can mean having too much flabby tissue, as identified as an overweight person.

It’s true, a fat person is identified as fat. There should not be another made-up social stigma about it.  

Despite your personal experiences or whatever perfectly valid insecurities you might have, it's important to recognize your true self without the social stigma centered around fatphobia. Fat people should be allowed to have an honest time of their lives about their oppression being shunned and without having to PAMPER and WARP their personalities and fatigue every time a person looks at them differently. It’s not about “bashing fat people” or claiming that one body is better than another, it’s about acknowledging the beauty of any body type and the very real discrimination faced for fat people in society.

I encourage you all to watch Lillian Bustle’s Ted Talk. Her presentation made me reflect back on my actions and what I believed to be ugly about myself. I realized: before I could even begin working on changing parts of myself, I would have to love the person I already was and love what I have. That meant learning to love my fat and everything else in between. I learned to open the space between who I am now and who I want to be.

The truth is, I have fat. Everyone has fat. I may dislike features about my body. I may wish I could get rid of them. However, I can not continue bashing on myself and drowning myself in my own insecurities. I have to allow myself to accept my body for what it is, with that, utilize to my advantage on what I need to work on. 

Because of this, I am fat positive. Are you? 

Read more articles about being fat positive or join the Love your Body Campaign at

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