Last week THIS Magazine published an interview that they conducted with Jill Andrew. In the interview Jill offered words of wisdom on size acceptance, fat activism and body diversity. In case you’re wondering, Jill Andrew is the founder of Bite me! Toronto International Body Image Film and Arts Festival and the Body Confidence Canada Awards. The purpose of Bite Me! is to Explore issues of body image, media (re) presentation, identity and advocacy through creative mediums.
When asked about using euphemisms, like curvy and plus-sized, for the word “fat”, Jill replied:
These words make the fat body invisible. They depoliticize the fat movement, or the size-acceptance movement. The language waters down and makes the fat body invisible. What it is really is fat hate. It’s a message of: it’s there, we recognize it, but we don’t want to see it—so we dress it up and call it above average, call it something else, something prettier, something frillier, something that’s ‘mainstream’ that we can ingest.
I’m not saying that these words—curvy, voluptuous, plus-sized—are the most terrible thing in the world. What I’m saying is that when we push those out first, and only those, to the detriment of calling fat fat, we lose the political and the personal element that fat has for us. We need to get the word fat out. F-A-T. Language is a tool that society uses to further the medical agenda of pathologizing fat as an obesity epidemic. Fat as the terriblest thing you can be in this world. Fat as asexual. Fat as out of control and irresponsible. And fat as loser. And all of these things we know are just not true. They’re just not true and we have to stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
What do you think of Jill’s opinion? Do you agree or disagree with her?
Read the entire interview: Body Talk with Jill Andrew