Woman perfectly explains why we need to stop using ‘fat’ in a ‘derogatory’ sense

A TikTok creator opened up an important conversation about body acceptance when responding to another video, where a woman used “fat” as an insult to herself when she slouched.

Devon Elizabeth is a fat activist on TikTok who has made dozens of videos destigmatizing the word “fat” and exposing issues like thin privilege in fashion and diet culture.

In the video Elizabeth is responding to, a woman describes herself as “skinny but I’m fat” as she frowns at the camera and changes her posture.

“I get the feeling you don’t see a lot of us on your for you page,” Elizabeth responds. “See, my whole life, I have been a big girl, and because of that, the word ‘fat’ has been used against me to humiliate, dehumanize or discriminate against me.”

In recent years, fat activists have moved to reclaim the word “fat” because of how it has been weaponized against them. For example, one TikToker, user @bootlemegz, describes in a video how society has “progressed past the need to use ‘fat’ as an insult” — instead, she argues, it’s just an adjective.

Elizabeth is another one of these activists trying to shut down the notion that being fat is an insecurity you should feel ashamed of.

“What I use my platform for is to change the word ‘fat’ from a negative term to neutral or positive term,” Elizabeth continues. “But this is very difficult to do because we still face a lot of the dehumanization that I have faced my whole life, and this is an even harder uphill battle when individuals such as yourself with platforms as large and young as you have use the word ‘fat’ in a derogatory way.”

The TikToker Elizabeth is speaking to has over 1 million followers on the platform.

“I get it, we all have insecurities,” Elizabeth says. “But the English language is vast. So, I ask when you are describing your insecurities [that] you don’t use my body type — because when you do, you are just perpetuating the idea that I am less than.”

Commenters flooded to show support for Elizabeth’s words. Some even thanked her for addressing a problem they felt like they never could.

“I’m so glad you spoke on this video,” someone wrote. “Using the word ‘fat’ as having a bad body image day is so unnecessary.”

“You explained this so well!” another commented.

“You did this so kindly,” a commenter added. “We need more creators like you on this app.”

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If you enjoyed this story, read more about critiques of the midsize fashion movement.

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