Monday, February 27, 2012

I *hate* the term BBW

Big Beautiful Woman.  (not "Basketball Wives") Nope. Not for me.

I know that when it was originally coined, and in the way people use it for themselves, it is meant to be a positive term of empowerment.  Large and in charge.  I get that.  However, I think the term has taken a turn for the worse, toward the fetishistic and pejorative side of the word.  Evidence? Check out the Google results for BBW.  Porn, porn, and more porn!

Wikipedia's explanation that the term BBW "may denote women who may be considered barely overweight to those who are morbidly obese" cuts too wide a swath.  If a woman chooses to call herself that, it's not my place to judge.  Being "plus size" isn't something women should be ashamed of. In my view, the women viewed as "plus size"—i.e. they have body fat—are the epitome of womanhood and motherhood.  However, I have found that many women that use the term BBW use it to defend/bolster their choice to live an unhealthy lifestyle (sedentary, carrying too much extra fat, eating nutrient deficient diet).  Those women are not my peers, and I do not want to be classified with them. 

So if I need a three letter acronym to describe my lifestyle and my body, I choose AVG.  That's right.... AVG or AVERAGE.

Photo Credit
I'm above average weight (see table 4 on page 8; at 190lbs, I'm around the 77th percentile for a 30 y/o), above average height (see table 10 on page 14; at 69 inches, I'm in the 95th percentile for a 30 y/o), and above average BMI (see table 14 on page 18; at a BMI of 28.1, I'm somewhere in the 60th percentile for a 30 y/o).   To translate:  because I am so tall, (while I cannot hide it....) I can carry the extra weight well.   Ignoring the whole "vanity sizing" controversy/issue, I'm a size 10/12 in pants (a large/XL in tops because of my boobs).  So while I'm above average in terms of my measurements, I'm about average in terms of my clothing and my overall presentation.

This is why I don't like people calling me BBW.  I'm especially offended when people (ahem...men) call me BBW; it's as if they have no clue what most women look like.  (I mean, would there be an acronym for the flipside—underweight women that look skeletal?)  And, in my experience, men also have little clue what women weigh (I've often had men say I weigh anywhere from 140-160lbs).  Dropping 20-30lbs won't change the fact that I'm cut like an Amazon

So call me AVG -- an
Athletic (for those who take both joy and pride in using their body)
Voluptuous (because our bodies are sensual, luxurious, and beautiful)
Goddess (as a nod to our power to create as well as our strength, grace, wisdom, and femininity)

Who's with me?

13 comments:

Fatso said...

While I'm still totally in the BBW sizes - and will be for a long, long time (and don't get me STARTED on people calling size 10/12/14s plus size... /rage), I'm totally with you on the Athletic Voluptuous Goddess thing. *NODS*

I've found, lately, that when I'm lying down and reaching around myself to scratch my back, that I can feel this great piece of muscle in my back. I can feel the muscles in the backs of my thighs. I can see the muscles in my upper arms when I'm on the bike. YOU SHOULD SEE MY CALVES, oh my god. Sometimes, they just look stunning. I was sort-of an athlete in high school - I played hockey for a while, then gained weight and my back hurt too much to continue. I played rugby for a while, then I left high school and gained MORE WEIGHT.

Now I'm getting more muscle and definition and - and yes. I *FEEL* athletic, even if I'm STILL a BBW, in "official" terms - overweight. But I'm trying to be healthier.

And I'm totally a Goddess, even if I haven't climbed Mount Olympus and proclaimed it to the world yet. *grins*

So I'm totally with you. *fist in the air*

Fat Girl vs. World said...

Woo hoo!! **fist pump**
I love just how much self-love is in your reply. I do the same thing all the time. I catch myself looking in the mirror and seeing a strong, empowered, gorgeous woman capable of any challenge. I didn't always see that. I let the chatter get into my head too much about what I wasn't (thin, worthy, deserving) instead of the dialogue about what I really was (beautiful, independent, worthy... deserving...)

KC said...

I hate BBW also. I've never heard anyone use it that wasn't being snide and nasty. I know what I am and what I'm not so I try to block out what other people say about me if it's not positive. It's hard and I'm not always successful, but I try.

Fat Girl vs. World said...

KC -- are you AVG?

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

To be honest, I hate all these labels for women in regards to their size. Why do we need categories? That said, I'll take A.V.G. :-)

Fat Girl vs. World said...

Categories and stereotypes help people process a large amount of information. Do we need categories? No. But is it how most humans' minds work? Yes.

I don't want it to be about a woman's size at all -- but about (1) her actions and (2) how she views herself? I think that's on the money.

I'm AVG and totally proud of it.

KC said...

I'll say I'm AAVG: Attempting to be Athletic Voluptuous Goddess. I'm definitely not a slug but I'm not athletic yet. But I will be!

Fat Girl vs. World said...

KC -- your body will follow what your brain decrees!

Post-it Notes said...

love this post! I hate the term BBW too. Im liking the above term of AAVG! Keep up the great work!

Lisa said...

I'm totally with you! When I was a "BBW" I felt like it was a condescending term, or like you said--p0rn! I hate titles. No more titles. :)

KC said...

I gave you an award :) You should go get it http://hermitadventures.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-won-i-won.html

Fat Girl vs. World said...

Thank you, KC

Lisa -- titles are okay, so long as they're celebratory and accurate.... like "Supreme Goddess of all things Sexy"

Post-It & KC -- don't even modify it with "attempting" -- if it's in your brain, your body will follow.

Becky said...

Call me a BBW and I'll probably end up hitting you. It's got nothing but negative connotation in this area. Call me curvy, or voluptuous-- OR you could call me by my name:)

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