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Identity

The Broadly Guide to Being Fat

Sit back, grab the last cupcake, and let a fat girl tell you how it is.

by Lisa De Pasquale
Oct 13 2015, 7:30pm

Photo courtesy of Stocksy

Airplane Seats

I've always considered it a small victory that I've never had to ask for a seatbelt extender. In the last couple years, I've lost over 100 pounds, but it's amazing how little of a difference that makes in an airplane seat.

BBW

BBW stands for big beautiful women. It's the preferred term for websites dedicated to women who call themselves "curvy" on eHarmony and Match. Regarding the men who court BBWs, let's just say the stereotypes are true.

Chub Rub

It's the thigh gap's evil twin.

Double Ds

They're a blessing and a curse. Boobs are great—they look fantastic in V-neck tops and can make your waist look smaller—but they can also take a toll on your back and attract dudes who only want to date your tits.

Exercise

People assume fat people don't exercise. That's why I prefer to prove them wrong. You can be totally sexy at any size, but it does take a toll on your joints, heart, and some other science-y stuff if you're overweight. Don't think of exercise as a way to lose weight, but as a way to be physically and mentally healthy.

Fat Acceptance (FA)

It's a movement that seeks to remove the "social stigma" of being fat. There are many contentious debates within their community, one of which is whether obesity should be classified as a disability. For the most part, though, FA activist tend to live online and comment obsessively about minor things like Disney princesses' waist sizes.

Gwynnie Bee

It's a clothing-rental website exclusively for plus-size women. They're similar to Rent the Runway, but they have more work appropriate and casual clothes. Users post photos and ratings for each item.

Height

You'll often find with plus-size clothing that, as your size increases, designers tend to think your height also increases as well. If you're a 22, most assume you're six-feet-tall with arms to match. A good tailor is your friend.

iPhone

In the words of Tyra Banks, know your angles.

Jennifer and Jane

Reading Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed and Jane Green's Jemima J inspired me to share my own dating stories and insecurities in Finding Mr. Righteous. They opened the door for many women to write about the dating lives of women of all sizes, ones you don't often see in movies and on television. There is now an entire genre of chicklit devoted to heroines who date, stumble, and find happiness while dealing with insecurities about their looks.

Khakis

We don't look good in these. See: Megan in Bridesmaids vs. Melissa McCarthy as herself.

Lane Bryant

It's the OG in plus-size clothing.

Metabolism

Fat girls are tempted to blame a slow metabolism for their weight gain or slow weight loss, but deep down they know its their choices, not their metabolism.

Negative Comments

I've been made fun of because of my weight all my life. I couldn't wait to get out of school and start a life free from bullying based on my looks, but then I chose a career in politics and the media. Whoops. There are some people who never outgrow being bullies, whether it's the catty girl in the office who flirts with your crush just to annoy you or the friend who shames you for going to Chick-fil-A as she eats her chia salad in a mason jar.

Outcasts

Being an outcast as a kid will give you a sparkling personality and wit. Just ask all your male best friends you've wanted to make-out with for all these years. They'll say you're not like other girls—mostly because they dated those girls.

Pretty Face

The compliment fat girls have heard all their lives, as in, "It's a shame your pretty face is wasted on that lumpy body!"

Queers

They love us. Thanks, John Waters!

Rockin' World

We make this go 'round. (Source: Queen.)

Sex

Magazines will tell you to prefer certain positions to others. Most recommend overweight girls lie down on their sides, while men face forward, or use pillows to elevate their hips.

Take the Last Cupcake

Life's too short to be worried about other people noticing that the fat girl took the last cupcake.

Undergarments

Fat girls are forever grateful that society has embraced the use of granny-panties, Spanx, and other foundation garments. We're even more grateful for big purses to safely stow panties away before sex.

Violet Beauregard

When young piglets see Violet turn into a blueberry in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they learn an important lesson for overweight girls: Avoid wearing blue from head to toe.

Weight

The number fat girls guard more closely than their social security number.

Xenadrine

Asking a fat girl if she's heard of this or that diet is like asking a single middle-aged woman if she's tried online dating. We've all flirted with over-the-counter pills like Xenadrine and Trimspa, baby. We appreciate your concern.

Youthful

One benefit of carrying a few extra pounds is that you look younger in the face. Biscuits and gravy are cheaper than Botox.

Zaftig

There are as many euphemisms for "fat" as there are Oreo flavors. Like Oreo flavors, most of them aren't that great. Take zaftig. The word describes why fat girls have symbolized beauty, wealth, and fertility throughout history. Most famously, Venus of Willendorf ruled the Paleolithic era. Recently, some historians have questioned the name Venus because they wonder if she was meant to represent her period's ideal female figure. In other words, zaftig is the synonym for fat most likely to be used by a liberal arts Humanities professor.

Lisa De Pasquale is the author of Finding Mr. Righteous and cohost of the Political Punks podcast.