Calling Myself Fat


 fat positive blogger, plus size african blogger, south-african-plus-size-blogger,
It's not me being cute, I don't have the body privilege that would take.


If you looked at the above picture and thought, well duh, you are fat, thanks.

For a while, my nickname was sdudla because my mother called me "isdudla sika Mawaso." I remember one friend being taken by how excited she was to see me coming from school and spending a while engiteketisa. With this context and the fact that I'm not western, I can't say the concept of fat and the word itself had really been vilified in an indoctrination sort of way in my childhood.

While fat was not a villian and being fat wasn't straight-up treated like a character flaw growing up, there were unkind ways it could be weaponised and perceived. I would go from being my mother's beloved sdudla to sdudla mafehlefehle, to fatty boom boom to "sdudl' ungakanani, kusasa uzobhamuka." And in adolescence, ngapha mental illness starting to rear its head, “fat” wasn’t an acknowledgement of self – it was a measure of how cruel children can be.

But I grew up, finished school - regimented education is one thing I wouldn't do again, it wrecked me. Learning came easy to me, I enjoyed figuring new concepts out but school was a source of anxiety and exhaustion for me - began having sex with a boy who one time, while holding my thigh, asked why I didn't jog. You know, for thinness. And stuff. Even though the two years of my mother's illness and death, then living without her had led to me losing tons of weight. Even though jogging (and exercise in general) should not be synonymous with being thin.
It was around this time that I killed the ideal, thinner version of myself of "one day." I'd already been wearing whatever I wanted all my life. My fat body hadn't stopped me. So why not accept that I was fat and that was ok. Why keep hoping that the world would see me as more than just fat.

Slowly I started to not only accept my fat but I began looking at it in a positive way too. Thunder thighs supremacy or whatever. I self-described as fat, interrogated the fucked up world we live in. I got angry about clothes and how the message is "if you want to dress as your ideal self, get unfat." But the world is still weird. In this “fat acceptance” of mine my feelings still got hurt when some boy I had been talking to for years called me, in a heated moment, “you fat bitch.” Because if people can know me that long and still the only flawed thing I am is my fatness, what chance do I stand against a world that doesn’t even know me?
While I am working to get better and seeing and accepting myself – some days are worse than others – I’m still that same girl who insults about her body were – still are, if we are being real – hurled at her like bullets. But I’m still working on this acceptance. On myself. On the fact that I’m not an “ideally fat” woman.

When I say "I'm fat" and talking about what it's like to navigate the world in my body, I'm not being self-deprecating and "cute."  I mean I’m not one to appropriate thin women’s culture or anything. I'm not saying I'm not the other good things I am, in fact loving and accepting and celebrating my body as I have it now is a good thing.

There are many words people use but "fat" is the most honest and fitting for me. I'm not curvy or "more to love." I only use "plus size" in the context of clothing, which is why I think those "not fat, beautiful" famous write women who want to drop the plus don't know what they're talking about -- but who really wants to be associated with fat people anyway.
There are people online whose lives are dedicated to pointing out to women that they are not “thick” or “curvy” or “voluptuous” but are in fact FAT. It’s shit. As I have taken small steps in loving myself and accepting that whether in size 40 or 46 jeans (I bought my first pair of jeans in four years recently!!!) I am a worthy, lovable, funny, smart and interesting woman, I’ve stopped worrying about others. Women can self-identify however they want. Who says size 42 or 48 can’t be “thick”? Why do you have to be fucky on your “Drake didn’t mean fat chix in “Only”” tirade? Uright? Have you phoned your mother? Can we live.
Fat is not the enemy, bbz. Reclaiming the word and nurturing it -- along with my relationship with my fat, I feel sad every time I'm not inlove with how my stomach or boobs are looking on particular days in a reflection -- makes me feel like the girl my mother was trying to build by doting on my fatness all those years ago. In a crop top with izibhejeje zami out, I’m a better person than if I were cowering somewhere building vision boards of what I will deserve when I’m a size 32. My fat positivism is not perfect but it’s mine and I’m working on it. I’m expanding the net and hopefully becoming a better person to be around for other bodies.
So you right, I’m a fatty. In a factual way. 

how to be fat and confident, is being fat wrong, sdula, what is fat positive, fat positive blogger
Images are outtakes from a look post I shot with my sister a while back called "Animal Instinct." Maybe I'll post it.

7 comments

  1. Yo this is dope. And I appreciate this perspective. More power to you

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  2. seriously. your writing is everything. this post in particular resonated so deeply. ene weer; thank you for writing this.

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  3. Oh Nomali, lol. You are such a lovely person I enjoy reading your posts.

    https://naturallykinkyme.wordpress.com

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  5. Also forgot to mention that I love that choker! Need one in my life!

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  6. This right here feels like it was taken from my thoughts and through telepathic weirdness_read awesome_ landed in your brain and ultimately onto your blog. It's like we basically had the same childhood nje. Nothing grates me more than me saying something wrt to my fatness and saying "you're not fat,you're beautiful". Like I'm describing myself doe!! Anyhu, love the post

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    1. Thank you for reading! There's so much fuckery standing between a lot of fat people and their acceptance -- ahem, health trolls, ahem -- it's ridiculous.

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Thank you for reading.

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