City Times

Fat is not a synonym for ugly

Jennifer Manalili

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More than the news that she’s having Kanye West’s baby, Kim Kardashian has been dragged through tabloid headlines for something else. What’s that, you ask?

For being fat. For gaining weight because she’s pregnant.

Okay, she’s a bit of a parasite and hardly a fashionista so let’s move onto someone who knows clothes: Mike Jeffries owner and creator of Abercrombie & Fitch.

Jeffries has been quoted saying the reason his stores don’t carry XL or XXL for women is simple: He doesn’t want fat women wearing his clothes.

Robin Lewis, author of “The New Rules of Retail” has spoken about Jeffries’ brand.

“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.'”

Jeffries told “Salon” in 2006 that “A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes) and they can’t belong.”

Why has being skinny —- and not healthy, mind you —- become a lifelong dream in our culture? Some unattainable perfect dream that sits over a hill like a pot of gold. Why do we assume all skinny people are beautiful and all overweight people are ugly?

There’s always a popular diet fad trying to woo you —- the South Beach, the Atkins —- someone always telling you you’re not perfect the way you are.

Glance at a magazine rack next time you’re at the store and I guarantee you’ll find a cover offering you a way to lose five pounds or more.

Many people grow up with a preconceived notion of how people should act or look. We get angry and push our standards on people who are different or who don’t fit our molds.

We alienate people who are overweight.

No one wants to hear they’re happy. As a society, we refuse to believe you can be healthy. We deem them lazy, dirty or worse, unworthy of being loved.

It’s like you’re thought to be lesser than. If you’re overweight and okay, maybe even happy? People think it’s a lie.

“Reclaiming the word ‘fat’ was the most empowering step in my progress. I stopped using it for insult or degradation and instead replaced it with the truth,” said Beth Ditto, the plus size lead singer of The Gossip in an interview with The Guardian. “Because the truth is that I am fat, and that’s ok.”

There’s something to be said about reclaiming the word. If there’s anything you can learn from being overweight, it’s that it’s a part of who you are but certainly doesn’t define you or determine who you can be.

And we should shake our heads at these “real” campaigns that throw statements around assuming you are only a real woman if you look one way, curvy or not. This bias extends to men too, a more effeminate or skinny man is just as real as any man who’s heavier or lean.

If you are unhappy with your weight, go about losing weight in a healthy manner but don’t punish yourself. Don’t buy into the fad that you’re not good enough or that you have to adhere to labels to be beautiful.

Big or small, man or woman, you are already enough and you are already worthy.

We have forgotten that a size doesn’t define how beautiful you are and fat has become a synonym for ugly.

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Fat is not a synonym for ugly