The Power of Words

Browsing through the thesaurus for synonyms to the adjective “fat”, one is faced with some pretty demeaning terms:

  • Obese
  • Hefty
  • Bovine
  • Butterball
  • Gargantuan
  • Bulky
  • Pudgy
  • Elephantine
  • Meaty
  • Whalelike

These words, when used in conjunction to describe someone’s body type, are quite offensive, wouldn’t you agree? Calling someone “bovine” ~ and thus comparing them to cattle ~ is not only distasteful but also completely false. There isn’t a human being out there in the world (that I’m aware of!) who even remotely resembles a cow.  The same goes for “elephantine” and “whalelike”. Please correct me if I’m wrong (and provide visual proof to corroborate your theory!)

Although “obese” is a common medical term used to describe people who don’t fall into a certain body-fat index,  it can still be harmful when characterizing someone’s weight. I’ve heard tell that, according to obesity guidelines, Marilyn Monroe was considered obese, which I find completely absurd!

Marilyn on the Beach

If Marilyn Monroe was obese, than I must truly be elephantine!

Personally, I find even the everyday term “fat” to be off-putting, despite its common usage. Perusing the internet for zaftig images and content, I often come across blogs and websites which utilize fat in the title in some way ~ “Lovely Fatties”, “Fat World”, “Fat and Fabulous” ~ and I admit that I am somewhat turned-off because the name denotes a derogatory tone, even if the content is valuable. Perhaps I am alone in this opinion; perhaps referring to oneself as fat is perfectly natural and uplifting. Then again, perhaps the plump woman down the street finds the term “zaftig” to be offensive.

The power of words…

Continuing to browse the thesaurus for synonyms to the adjective “fat”, one may be pleasantly rewarded with more affirming terminology, in stark contrast to the before-mentioned list:

  • Affluent
  • Influential
  • Cushy
  • Fertile
  • Flourishing
  • Fruitful
  • Lush
  • Thriving
  • Prosperous
  • Momentous
  • Voluminous

What imagery comes to mind when you read these words? Fertile, lush, thriving…  there is something beautiful and resplendent about them, as if they encompass the very essence of LIFE.

 

The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze ~ Gustav Klimt

Being referred to as voluminous would far uplift my spirits over being called gargantuan, which would grate against my very existence.

The power of words…

One must concentrate on the positive, refute the negative and always consider the connotations attached to what is spoken.

Choose wisely.

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1 Comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts

One response to “The Power of Words

  1. Cecilia M

    Words can hurt, its up to us to make it better. Thanks for your posts, really great.

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