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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Name:
Location: California, United States

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Phat Phobia; FFT

P-h-a-t, I am told, stands for Pretty Hot and Tasty. I don't know if you younguns still use that slang. And by younguns, I'm talking about the kids this time, not the 25 to 35 crowd. But it seems to fit for me somehow.

Jenn, over at
reappropriate, posted this on her website yesterday. It always seemed intersting to me that the word fat was chosen as a slang term for something desirable in a culture in which fat is anything but desirable. While I understand that this is not the manner in which the term evolved, it is nonetheless ironic.

The fat guy was dumped on The Apprentice last night. I think that the Donald's people always pick one or two contestants who are so far out of the league of other contestants that they can be publicly humiliated for the purpose of comic relief. And they are even cruel enough to pick contestants who are naive enough to believe that they are on a level playing field.

There are plenty of bright, charismatic, and powerful fat people out there in the world of business. People who could mop up the floor with the current pool of candidates. But they would not be chosen. Why? Because as a culture, we seem particularly unwilling to present fat people in a positive light. Even Kirsti Ally's career was in the toilet until she decided to turn her travails as a fat woman into a comedy about losing weight to salvage her acting career.

It seems to me particularly egregious that we can continue, as a people, to devalue others so consistently. And it is certainly just another example of how we love to think with our Lizard Brains because it is the path of least resistance.


Kinja, the weblog guide

2 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl said...

Here are some interesting takes (from a new favorite website) on the derivation of the word 'fat' and the slang terms, 'phat' and 'fat.' I love the reclaiming of a pejorative term to a tag of pride, as in 'dyke.'

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=fat&searchmode=none

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=phat&searchmode=none

I posted a comment to Jenn's site (which is fabulous!) which I will not repeat here. My bottom line is that there might be an almost Darwinian biological basis to a culture's perceptions of and mores around weight, particularly obesity. Do we not, instincitvely, as a species, seek to perpetuate those traits which will most ensure our continutaion?

In lean times or regions, fat is a sign of wealth, staure, power and security. In wealthier and more modern times; it has come to represent sloppiness, sloth, gluttony, even weakness; particularly with the recent spread (no pun intended) of obesity into lower socioeconomic classes via the insidious advance of McDonald's and KFC. Could our cultural perception of fatness depend on our regional resources and our instinct to perpetuate the strongest traits in the species to such an extent that now, in healthier economic times in the FAT/PHAT US of A, we do not see, socially or biologically, a woman with fat thighs primarily as someone who will be able to nourish our children during a famine and so no longer value it, even on a cellular level?

Sheesh, I hope that made sense! It's naptime (Woo-hoo!) and my brain is working in very questionable mode right now, to put it mildly.

Interesting topic.

1:39 PM PST  
Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Well said, Pam. Stacey Bias, who owns technodyke, is a huge advocate for the rights of the larger members of society. On that board... discrimination in any form is not going to go over well. I talked her into registering on blogher, she is there, and when I have more time, will fish out her blog.

5:04 PM PST  

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