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Monday, November 30, 2009

"Fat" Or Fiction?

I have been bragging my new "pet project" blog all over the interwebz. I love to show off what I am up to lately and A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse is no different!

I showed it to a very sweet and very dear friend of mine (actually, the girl who took my fabulous profile picture on Bronwyn!) and she loved it, but told me she took issue with me saying that "I am a fat girl".

I personally feel like fat is a descriptive word, and so, therefore, has no negative connotation for me. I know that there are many out there who choose to use it as an insult or derogatory term, but to me - it simply is not. "Fat" takes less time to say than "overweight" or "plus sized" (though you will note that out of respect for those who have been made to feel that "fat" is a very negative word, I generally will refer to my readership or other plus sized riders as "plus sized" or "overweight"), and since I am a writer by nature, and I have affixed neither a negative nor positive spin to the word myself, it is the word I use.

For me, "fat" is no different than "dark" or "tall" or any other word you might use to physically describe a person that is neither good nor bad. The insult "Yeah, well... you're FAT and STUPID!" makes about as much sense to me as the insult "you're TALL and STUPID!" or "you're DARK and stupid!". The word only has as much power as we give it and if it is just a descriptive word in your vocabulary... it's perfectly okay to say "I am a fat girl".

And I think people who use a word like that as an insult are about the same as people use a word like "gay" as an insult. "Gay" and "fat" are words used to describe a person, not to imply that there is anything wrong with them.

I love my friend and I think she is a wonderful, positive girl, inside and out - and I think (correct me if I am wrong, love!) that she doesn't like to hear me say "I am a fat girl" because she feels that I am putting myself down. I am sure there are others out there who take issue with me saying that about myself. But the truth is, to me, it is no different than saying "I am a tall girl" or "I am an Amazonian girl".

So today, I want to do two things on this blog. I want to send out a big "XOXOXO" to my friend, and thank her for the vote of confidence - and I want to leave you with one of my favourite Youtube videos of all time.

Joy Nash's "A Fat Rant". You can't help but feel inspired and uplifted after watching it.



And drop a comment - tell me - what kind of a relationship do YOU have with the word "fat"? Do you allow it to be used as an insult or for derogatory purposes in your life, or do you simply regard it as yet another clever descriptor?

19 comments:

  1. Your blog is great.

    I am also fat and also attach no negative meaning to the word. I used to work in a nutrition research lab and there, fat is just the name for a certain component of the diet or a type of tissue in the body. I have a lot of fat tissue, therefore, I am fat.

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  2. Hey, love your blog! I made an account on here just to keep updated on it and make comments!

    I can tottaly relate. I'm always worried about my weight on my horse and to boost I'm short and can't reach his sturrup so half the time I need a boost and it makes me feel like a complete fatty, in the negitive connotaation.

    I'm really glad I found your blog, it makes me feel better about riding!

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    1. well, heavens...if you're short, get a step stool! it doesn't matter if you're 120 or 220, a tall horse and a short person! I'm 5'4 and ride a 16.2 horse...get a step. When I was 17 I was 5'7. I'm just a *bit* older now, (5'4) and need something to help make up those lost 3 inches. (Bet you didn't know your spine can compress that much as you age.) Now....white hair on a white horse.; )

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  3. Thanks so much for your kind comments, guys - makes me feel warm and fuzzy! Continue to spread the word as eventually AFG&AFH is going to be a great spot for resources and information. :)

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  4. Thanks for doing what you do- Bronwyn is gorgeous- and i only wish Id found your blog earlier. I'm 20 now and have struggled with weight all my life- and so has my horse!
    Keep up the great work, i look forward to hearing more from you!

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  5. Kudos to you girl! I too am 20, almost 21 and have struggled with my weight and riding my WHOLE life. I have always ridden for trainers that told me I need to loose weight or I can't ride because I need a draft horse not a thoroughbred. Well now that I have a horse, she does happen to be a draft cross, but the only reason I have her is because she was FREE! This video also hits the nail on the head. We all need to embrace our fat and love who we are. My weight does not say who I am, my attitude and personality does! Thanks for all you do.

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  6. This is by FAR the coolest Youtube video I've seen in forever...and I am in LOVE with your blog. I'm Canadian too, and just picking up riding again after yes, gaining some weight. How do we get in touch? I would LOVE to have a pen pal who talks about this stuff on a regular basis. A big cheers to you and Bronwyn!

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  7. Ive never seen that clip before but I love it!!
    I love the fact that someone has actually taken the time to put that together. Its the way I try to live my life (tho some think I shouldnt)
    Thanks for this site.
    xx
    Oh, love your horse Bronwyn too.

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  8. I love this video. Very inspiring. I have just discovered your blog and kudos to you. Great work and a fantastic inspiration. I am just getting back into riding after 10 years away from it and after kids etc and now in my forties I am now a lot bigger than I was. I have recently experienced "oh you are too big for our horses in our riding school" mentaltiy which hurt somewhat but now I say stuff them all. I am now on the hunt for my own horsey friend and the joy of spending time with him/her. Once again thanks for your inspirational blog!

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  9. I love your attitude !!!! Im FAT !!! Lost 198 lbs,, and im fat again ! LOL
    keep up your blog,, im here for ya baby !

    Kari

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  10. Love this video. I've been struggling with my weight since I can remember, and have been going through a tough time the past month because I've picked up jogging and I've drastically altered my eating to lose weight. I have not lost a POUND. So frustrating! Your blog is very inspiring, so thank you!

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  11. Love this video. I've been struggling with my weight since I can remember, and have been going through a tough time the past month because I've picked up jogging and I've drastically altered my eating to lose weight. I have not lost a POUND. So frustrating! Your blog is very inspiring, so thank you!

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  12. A couple of years ago, or actually last year, I was five kilos overweight and I considered myself on the skinny side. I had been used to hearing the weird "You're fat" at home, and because it came from my sisters I never used to give it much care, but when a friend of mine and school said she thought I was the same weight as a 'fat' girl, I got offended. I could actually look like that girl, could I? Nowadays, when I'm just right, if not a wee bit leaning on the skinny side, I don't really care about the word fat, because as you rightly said the word only has as much power as you give it. It is, after all, an adjective.
    Love this blog!

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  13. I am 16 and I am overweight. I weigh 230 pds. Am I too overweight to ride a horse?

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    1. Not at all. You just need to make sure to find the right horse. Amanda has a great entry near the beginning of her blog about what you should look for in a suitable horse. I am also about that weight and my boy is a 15'3 quarter horse/thoroughbred cross. He leans towards the QH blood in his body shape and has the long TB legs and neck. BUT he is very big boned, his canons and leg joints are really thick. When we're riding he gives me the same attitude he gives my 110 lb soaking wet coach, so I know he's not reacting to my size, she's just a better rider than I am. And remember to take it slow. Riding is a lot more physical than you would think. Let your body adjust to the new level of exertion.

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  14. My TB mare does not mind carrying me bareback or saddled. I worry about my weight on her but she never refused me. Needless to say that after a good lesson, we both have had a good workout.

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  15. Hey... I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your stuff here. I am not "fat" but I still find plenty to relate to here. Equestrian sports all seem to encapsulate that "rich, thin, perfect, blonde princess" thing, and all too often we feel that we don't fit in. I am a middle aged mother of two, with grey in my hair. I ride dressage on my American Paint horse. I often feel on the outside, and I totally applaud your voice, speaking for anybody who has felt they don't fit in in the horse world. At thw end of the dat, we do it because we love it, and how we look and how we appear, be damned. Keep it coming!

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  16. I just found this blog, and I love it. I rode from age seven until 20. I stopped in college, gained about 100 lbs, and have been so afraid to try and ride again. I'm afraid to go to a barn and ask them to let me ride and afraid of being turned away for my weight. Do you have any tips for finding fat friendly barns?

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