The F Word

I’m fat. There, I said it. Is everyone still breathing? Good. Because fat is not a four-letter word. It’s an adjective that, according to our friends at Merriam-Webster, means “notable for having an unusual amount of fat: plump, obese.”

(Sidebar: Since when are you allowed to use the word you’re defining in the definition, M-W?)

As I lover of words, I appreciate that there are a lot of great synonyms for fat: chubby, corpulent, portly, pudgy, replete, rotund. There are some less-great ones, too, like blubbery, gross (really?!), and lardy.

But fat, that simple, three-letter word, is simply an adjective that tells you something (but not everything) about the size of my body. It does not reflect who I am as a person. It does not tell you one single thing about the quality of my character, or my intelligence, or if you would enjoy being my friend.

I’m fat. I’m also short, brown-haired, and brown-eyed. I wear a size 5 1/2 shoe and a size 6 1/2 ring. See? Just a bunch of facts about me, and fat is one of them.

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