Episode 18: Big & Tall, Plus Size, or Just Plain Fat: What's Your Favorite Term?

September 24, 2018 1 Comment

Episode 18: Big & Tall, Plus Size, or Just Plain Fat: What's Your Favorite Term?

Big & Tall, Plus Size, Brawny, Husky, Fat - what terms do you use to describe yourself? We talk about the terms we like, the ones we don't and the terms you'll be hearing more in the future.




Beer from this episode: Good Med Montana Red Ale

1 Response

Frank Boulton
Frank Boulton

October 16, 2018

I very much enjoyed your podcast 18. As I’m writing from New Zealand, my take on this subject might be a little different.

Firstly, I don’t like to hear people describing me as “big”. The word “big” being used to avoid the word “fat” is a euphemism. I think that there is nothing more insulting than a euphemism, because it gives the impression that we’re talking about something too terrible to name. Furthermore, there are plenty of people, who are big without being fat. As I like my body and only date fat guys, I use the word “fat” with pride.

I think that we just have to accept the terms “big & tall” and “plus size” in the clothing industry. I’m quite happy to tell people that I do a little plus-size senior menswear modelling. I think that “plus size” is very appropriate here, because such manufacturers and retail outlets have to provide for a large range of sizes and body shapes. The same is true of big & tall stores. I personally would prefer such stores to be referred to as “fat & tall stores” but my attempt to persuade local B&T stores to start using my new term was not well accepted. Their reason for rejecting my suggestion was that not all of us are happy being referred to as fat. There is still work to be done on reclaiming the word “fat” but that is another issue.

I notice that you didn’t mention the words “overweight” and “obese”. My personal reasons for disliking these words are as follows. “Obese” is from the Latin “obesus”, which means “overeaten”. These two words, therefore, contain the element “over-” and so imply excess. We are all creations of Mother Nature and she might know extremes but she knows no excesses. I don’t buy into the notion pushed by the medical profession and the diet industry that “fat” is pathological and needs fixing. I don’t believe in overweight are obesity. They just fat people or maybe very fat people but none of us is overweight or obese.

“Chub” is a word, for which I have much affection. It is part of our history with the old Chubs and Chasers Clubs. There are many other words with more precise descriptive nuances, which people may choose to use, especially in literature.

At the end of the day, I think that each of us has their own life to live and can choose to describe themselves however they wish to.

To close on a different note, which you might find interesting. I get irritated by B&T shops trying to make me look slim. I have been told things like “We have that in your size, sir, and in three nice slimming colours” or “If you took a larger size, sir, it would hide you’re tummy.” But I’m a fat man! And I don’t want to look slim! Interesting thought.

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