Monday, March 1, 2010

Chunky, the F Word, and other terminology

"Well she's chunky like us." A good friend whispered that sentence when trying to describe to me how another female looked. I explained to her that I didn't want to be associated with a texture of peanut butter and preferred to be labeled curvy.

When referring to myself I use the term curvy. Curvy has a positive connotation. All Women have some form of hips and breasts which gives them all sexy curves. Let it be noted, I AM NOT saying that a certain body type is more preferable or better then another. I am simply stating how I choose to talk about my body.

According to the body mass index the terminology used to discuss body weight is underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. While it's important to be educated about how healthy one is, I don't find the terms engaging or empowering in every day life. I see them as enemies attached to stereotypes.

A fellow intern once asked me, "Would a feminist call themselves fat?" I am a feminist. I have body image issues. But have I ever called myself fat? No, not out loud. Have I told myself in my head that I was fat, yes. I would argue that doesn't make me less of a feminist, but rather means I have work to do to improve my self-confidence and love for my body.

How do you refer to your weight? Does the word you use empower you? Do you say something if someone chooses to define your body in a way that offends you or hurts your feelings? Do you prefer voluptuous, skinny, full figured, petite, thick, curvy, or healthy? Why?

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