F is for …

The Best and the Worst of F Words

One of my favorite words begin with F. I’m sure you know which one I’m talking about. That crude four-letter word, to me, is an important communication tool. It’s a word I use when I want to place great emphasis on something that I’m saying. It’s also very effective when used in the passionate throes of hot steamy sex.

On the other hand, one of the ugliest F words is FAT. I hate that word! In our thin-obsessed society, the word has grown to be one that can throw a woman (or a man) into a downward spiral of crash dieting, eating disorders, body dysmorphia and even into a full-blown state of depression. It’s a bad word, fat.

Another F word that I have come to hate is FACE. Let me just state this on behalf of all the beautiful fat women in the world: The worst compliment you can give us is to say, “You have such a pretty face.” If I hear that one more time I’m going to scream and not stop screaming. God, it makes me crazy!

Why is this compliment so bothersome and so very uncool? Because if you are complimenting a thin woman, you say, “You’re so pretty” or “You’re beautiful.” But when you compliment a plus-size woman, you say “You have such a pretty face,” “You have a beautiful face.”

Do you know what that tells us? It tells us that although our face is pretty, the rest of us is garbage, and that everything below our necks is worthless. In other words, you’re telling us that 95 percent of our physical being is horrid. That’s exactly what it says to us. To use another F word, it’s so fucking insulting!

I do believe that most people who use that compliment are coming from a place of love and they don’t even realize the implications their phraseology has on the one being complimented. But, please, from now on, consider your words before you tell a fat woman that she’s beautiful. Don’t pinpoint her face. Just say, “You’re beautiful.” Period. Because that’s what we are.

With that being said, I’m going to do something very foreign and unfamiliar to me. After years of growing up fat in America and decades of self-image and body image issues, I’m going to be brave here and finally, for the first time in my life, I’m going to claim my beauty. And I’m only doing this for me:

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For an expanded version of this post, read my article that was published at the Good Men Project online magazine. It goes in depth about body image in our culture and how it affects men as much as it does women. If you like the article, please Like it there at the site of the article and feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear your opinion on this topic. 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

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