I’m not fat. I HAVE fat

I have toes. I’m NOT toes.

I saw that posted on a meme today and I thought it made a great deal of sense. I mean, even if we considered obesity a disease, it’s not really something we should be saying “am” with. We don’t say, “I am lupus.” I say, “I have lupus.”

This is just another example of how we treat weight as something different than everything else. It’s just another way that we fat shame people. We associate the weight/fat/whatever with who someone IS rather than something they have.

It’s not really that different than disabilities. Society doesn’t regard people with disabilities as people either. It’s “I am disabled,” instead of “I have disabilities” or “I am differently abled.”

I guess the whole point of this is that language matters. Words matter. Generally we aren’t very careful with the way we talk and it marginalizes and belittles people. People brush it off, but it’s usually people who belong to the majority or what they consider the “norm.” It doesn’t matter to them how things are said, because they’re not the ones who are being shit on.

Everyone should spend time flipping things around, seeing how we feel when we’re on the receiving end. Or, when we’re ready to use choice words, imagine how we’d feel if someone else were hurling the nasty intent at us.

But I guess that’s another point altogether. People don’t seem to ever spend time putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes. We rarely stop to consider how our actions hurt someone else. Even when they’re at the end of a chain of actions.  We push our little black clouds onto someone else in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. The black cloud doesn’t stop raining just because it’s not hovering over us anymore. How is that fair to anyone else? I guess we don’t care as long as we feel better.

I suppose that also explains how it is that the United States managed to elect an arrogant, uninformed, self-absorbed asshole to the presidency.