I've spent the last few months watching people react to the term. I've mentioned before that I'm a lot bigger than I used to be. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is currently gurgling happily on my lap. When I mention it, people jump to the "oh, but you just had a baby" defense, as though I may not have realized how that kid got here. Let's face it, though: the baby just turned seven months old. At this point, the rest of that weight is not going to magically fall off. My body has already decided on where it wants to be post-partum, and if I want to change that, it'll require such things as, like, work. It's not the end of the world, but the weight difference is enough that I've had to make some adjustments, both mentally and to my wardrobe.
This week, I went out shopping with a friend of mine to get some clothes that would fit and flatter. It was an epic outing, since we had to start by determining my new size, and then figure out what cuts worked on my new figure. The difference is noticable, now that I'm not bursting out of my clothes, and so there has been the occasional comment. "Oh, that looks nice on you. Is it new?" To which my instinctive response response is something to the effect of "Yeah, it is, thanks. I got tired of being too fat for my clothes, so I went out and got some fatter clothes."
Apparently people don't expect such a... uh, truthful answer. So far, they either rush to assure me that nono, that's not what they meant by it, really! or they kind of stare at me in overwhelmed shock. Because you can't say the word fat, not even when it's used lightly, to refer to yourself. Or maybe people just find it awkward that I'm using it in an appropriate context, as opposed to using it merely as an expression, like a "big fat lie."
Seriously, has fat become a taboo word, even when used responsibly? I mean, I'm not about to run out and start accusing random people of being fat, but I should be allowed to use it to refer to myself without causing so much shock and discomfort in the people I'm talking with, don't you think?