Fatness among women is a damn safe joke. If you want to hire a nanny or secretary but keep your husband faithful to you, the standard joke goes that you should hire the fat woman.
He will never go for “that.”
Fat women are frequently looked down upon or treated like second-class citizens. As if we’ve somehow shirked our womanly responsibility to the rest of the world. The world that wants us to be conventionally beautiful, lithe, smiling, and agreeable.
Among the “worst” things we can be is fat. And when somebody wants to insult us, it is very easy for them to latch onto the “f word” and never let go.
You might think that it’s enough to be the mistress or other woman. Or “homewrecker.” Doesn’t that say it all? If there must be a character defect you’d think it could be related to our actions rather than our appearance.
But as it turns out, “fat bitch” is somehow much more satisfying for the folks who want to hurt us.
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I was recently reminded of my fat bitch status when I caught up on FreeForm’s Good Trouble. In the latest episode, there’s a character named Davia who previously had an affair with a married man, an old flame from high school.
Although she came to her senses and ended that relationship, the wife, er ex-wife, found out after the fact and she took her beef to Instagram, calling Davia “a fat bitch.”
In response, Davia made a clapback video, embracing the term. It was a good moment, I think. Good for body positivity or fat acceptance. And it was honest.
Davia doesn’t always like being fat. And she hates how people often use the word against her as an insult. She understands why her ex-lover’s wife was upset and wanted to hurt her, and it worked.
But Davia dusts herself off and moves forward. Clapping back with the phrase “fat bitch” is powerful because it’s something everybody’s heard.
Nobody ever expects the other woman to be fat, though the truth is that she doesn’t even have to be fat for others to ask, “How could he cheat with her? What could he see in that fat bitch?”
Women are frequently groomed to compare themselves to others to determine their worth. Who’s prettier, who’s fatter, who’s the supposedly better catch.
So, maybe it’s only natural that we frequently jump to calling a married man’s mistress a “fat bitch.”
But it’s petty. People say it as if being fat is actually some moral failing. And as if men can’t possibly be attracted to women with fat bodies.