The Age-Old Thick vs. Fat Debate

Mo'Nique vs. Nicki Minaj: Who's thick?
Mo’Nique vs. Nicki Minaj: Who’s thick?

In 2012, it is time to pull the boxing gloves on for the full and final round of the thick versus fat fight debate. Since joining the Twitter community in early 2012, I have been witnessing women of all shapes, sizes, and frames, battling it out about what each term means and how it should be applied based on a woman’s proportions. According to most tweople that I’ve witnessed battling back and forth about it, Nicki Minaj is considered thick and shapely while Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe live on the other end of the spectrum — fat and unattractive. Though these debates have been entertaining to read and comment on, for the life of me, I can’t figure out who established themselves as the judge of thickness compared to fatness or WHY it matters!

As a full figured woman who happens to be amazingly gorgeous (if I do say so myself), I am offended at the thought that the measure of my beauty is based upon my the length of my waist and the relation between my waist size and hip span. In the “Barbie” era where physical appearance is more cherished than intelligence, I have grown tired of women being judged based on what they have to offer physically rather than what matters in the long haul — fortitude, intellect, dedication, and love.

I’m often referred to as thick and if I were paid $5 for every time I’ve heard the overused line, “You’re not that fat girl. You’re solid,” I would be a millionaire thrice over by now. Granted, I am very — for lack of a better word — solid. I am proportioned well and thanks to the power of my beloved girdles (which I encourage all plus-sized divas to invest in), when I am gliding down the street, my rolls aren’t busting all over the place. This can also be attributed to the fact that I buy clothes that actually fit well and accentuate my greatest physical assets. However, I digress.
fat vs thick

Being referred to as thick and/or fat doesn’t bother me because I embrace who I am. When I look in the morning every morning and tell myself, “Evette, you are beautiful. You are worthy of all great things. I love you,” I see a gorgeous woman not defined by her weight or society’s expectations of how I “should” look. I realize all that I have to offer the world and I invest in those qualities rather than the superficial characteristics that our society seems to cherish. When men — even boyfriends — drool in front of the television while Melyssa Ford and other video models bounce their breasts in music videos, I am not bothered by it because I’ve never been shunned or devoid of love because my stomach is almost as large as my behind.

What bothers me most about the comparison between “thick” and “fat” is where this ideal stems from and how it is beginning to define women and their value as it did the Hottentot Venus, an African woman who was put on display because her large bottom and long labia were appealing to European men. Women have more to offer the world than their curves and it’s about time we embraced that instead of arguing over Twitter about the differences between Mo’Nique and Nicki Minaj.

Besides, there is fine line between being thick and fat. In fact, thick and fat can co-exist together. Now, don’t twist this concept. I realize that Melyssa Ford’s “ideal” proportions can never be compared to my 40-40 something-40 something measurements. I might be a tad bit outrageous, but I am far from pyschotic (thanks Mama Jones!) All I’m saying is that it is possible for a woman to be over the ideal weight and still be considered “thick.”

I’m well into the 180 200-pound range and I’m still hearing the “You are not fat. You’re just solid” speech, so who determines the difference between thick and fat again? The moral of this blog post is, never allow your value to be determined by society’s labels. Whether you are thick, fat, obese, or whatever other title has been placed on you to define your weight, don’t let those labels define YOU!

Cross-published on For Harriet.

2 thoughts on “The Age-Old Thick vs. Fat Debate

  1. Well said…I think as long as you embrace yourself, regardless of what society may think, you will love yourself even more. If we actually got caught up in all of the hoobla that society creates, we wouldn’t have any sense of who we are and what we stand for.

    I’m a curvy chick. Some say fat and some say thick, at the end of the day I’m educated, fun, goal-oriented, and look damn good! So in my Rick Ro$$ voice F*ck ’em…lol

  2. Well said. I used to be on a forum where it was a thread made every other day about what’s thick and what’s fat, or just threads in general posting women with certain body types and people coming in with long paragraphs about what or who is thick and accompanied with b.s. references to health and why a woman’s body should look this way because of A and B. Comments talking about well her stomach is flat/waist in super small, she has muscle definition so she’s “thick” which was completely silly. In reality none of the comments defined concern about health because if they did they’d realize a preference for a certain body type does not determine health, health is the last thing on people’s minds when making these silly arguments. It was just your typical superficial argument, it was more annoying because most of the harsher comments were from females. The men just cosigned any female side they wanted to be on, but they were in there too with their rubbish.

    I used to mention all the time how annoyed I am about how women’s worth are valued by her body, that’s why it’s hard to accept all types of beauty in a positive, classy manner. I used to make comments expressing my anger and why I think it’s silly for a woman’s worth to be valued based on how fast she can get her pre baby body back or fit into that dress she used wear in middle school AS A GROWN DEVEOPED WOMAN! No one remembers Tyra Banks going to school and getting her degree we do remember Tyra on the beach talking about her weight loss and flaunting her bikini body. We care about who has the best abs and six pack between Pilar Sanders, Ciara and Melanie Brown than realize how smart they are and that they are business women which they are. I read comments under an article about Eva Longoria she had some pics she took or a Latina magazine and some of the fellas underneath mentioned how they were a fan of her because of her interest and dedication to politics and her loyality to Latin studies and culture and the men bombarded them telling them how stupid they are and saying “All you can talk about is her politics when this hot woman is posing like this ion front you”? and I’m like wow.

    There was a guy who made a comments online about how he didn’t care if his girl was living home with her mother, uneducated, didn’t know how to read or anything he just wanted her to be in shape and look good, I was floored, and many people cosigned him too, it was sad.

    There was an article recently about a college student at Ole Miss who made history by becoming the first black homecoming queen there in years. The same forum I referenced, no one cared about how smart she was, or acknowledge her intellectual accomplishments all they could talk about is how fat, dark and ugly she was. I guess most of them have never been in college before because homecoming queen is more than a beauty contest. In HS/college I remember the Homecoming candidates having their GPA, athletics and clubs they were apart of mentioned as well.

    All singers, actresses and models when they leave from work and get back into normal life can’t seem to shake the “sexualized” image of themselves. It’s pretty sad, and even more sad that women don’t even fight against being only worth their bodies and such, they actually embrace it! Internalizing stuff like that isn’t healthy and has proved to be a downfall to the female community overall, that’s why light vs. dark, thick vs. fat, or curvy vs. slim/thin exists anyway. I make sure whether people like it or not to remind women of all ages your body/looks IS NOT the “only” window to your success.

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