Weighty Matters

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Terminology

on July 15, 2013

I’m a little fixated on terminology.  A few posts ago, I got hung up on the word “normal”.  A couple of days ago, I read an article where someone, I can’t remember who at the moment, referred to a woman who isn’t pencil-thin as “thick”.

Soooo, is that some new, 2013 term for women?  If so, oh hell, even if it isn’t and it was a one-time thing, it sucks.  Thick?  Really?

For the record, it is only ever acceptable to use thick to describe one part of me — my hair.  Not my thighs.  Not my waist.  Not either cheek of my ass.

It used to be if you referred to someone as “thick”, you meant “thick-headed” as in stupid and stubborn.  If I say I’m being thick today, it means that my brain is not firing all synapses and I feel mentally cloudy — like a thick fog has seeped into my mind.

My reaction with the word thick in relation to body shape or weight tells me there’s more going on here.  Maybe it comes from a childhood of being called unflattering and downright cruel things because I was overweight.   Tubbo, lard, Crisco, fatso.  None of them bring about the warm fuzzies.  I think I mentioned before that a classmate in high school used to yell out, “Thar she blows” whenever he saw me on campus, even if I was yards away.  I think he might have particularly enjoyed it when I was yards away, probably because he got to yell it louder to call more peoples’ attention to his oh-so-witty name-calling.

I won’t get into why some people think it’s okay to insult people because of their body size.  Maybe those people don’t spend much time pondering whether anything they do is okay.  Perhaps they just don’t care.

Right now, I’m trying to think of complimentary words to describe women who might not wear a single digit dress size.

No, I don’t have anything against women who wear sizes 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8, although I reserve the right to wonder how there can be a size 0.  Doesn’t the zero sort of negate the reality of there being a size?  But I digress.

Back to the terminology?  No matter what I eventually weigh, I’m always going to be curvy.  Curvy doesn’t offend me.  Neither does voluptuous.  My mother introduced me to the word zaftig, which can be defined as full-bodied, well-proportioned, shapely, alluring plump/curvaceous/buxom.  I like zaftig.  It’s sort of exotic.

It’s also so much better than thick.

Do you have any words that buzz you — either positively or negatively?  How would you like to be described?  How would you describe yourself?

 

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3 responses to “Terminology

  1. Hope says:

    I like the term fluffy. It doesn’t seem insulting, but it’s not as euphamistic as some of the other terms… seems more realistic.

    (Prepare for an onslaught of comments, I’m getting caught up on my blogs).

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Thick” is actually a common term in some communities to refer to people who aren’t stick thin. So saying that someone had “thick thighs” doesn’t mean “fat thighs,” it’s a way of articulating some middle ground because pencil thin is not the ideal. I don’t know the context of the article or the person speaking so I could be way off base, but I’ve only encountered it in a non-derogatory manner.

    So basically, depending on who was speaking, “thick” is a good thing and not necessarily an insult.

  3. Skye says:

    When I was a kid, after I hit my growing spurt at age 9, I was very skinny. That I wasn’t much into food, even sweets, didn’t do anything to mitigate that. There were some boys who called me “bag of sticks” or “bag of bones”, which was the only times I felt bad about being skinny.

    When I got older, I never got terribly curvy, but I did like the term “boyish figure”. I considered myself kind of a tomboy (not ever very girly), and my figure was pretty straight up and down. It had a kind of athletic vibe to it, so I liked it.

    Now I don’t have any words that affect me personally. Even when I was almost 200 lbs, I didn’t look it due to that kind of “boyish” frame.

    When it comes to referring to women’s bodies in general, I do like the terms curvy, buxom, zaftig, etc. for full-figured women. I don’t like calling people names, even if I don’t like them. (Well, except for if I’m swearing at them, then everything goes!)

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