I have been watching "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series; a feel-good, humorous television series about life in Botswana. I loved it for many reasons. First, I found out about Botswana, a country neighboring South Africa, and the people. Secondly, the splash of color on the screen that suddenly radiated with orange and yellow and green. The wild life, the culture, and the relax and easy-going attitude were among the numerous attractions. But, the thing that first shocked me and then appealed to me most was the use of the F word, not that one, F as in fat. There I said it.
The main character is a beautiful, "fat woman", as she is called by friends and admirers alike. The first time I heard someone saying to her, you fat woman, I thought there would be explosions. But apparently, unlike here, being fat is not on the top list of crimes there.
It took me a while to get used to that because of the situation in North America. I remembered so many occasions when many of my friends, beautiful women, viewing themselves nervously in a mirror turning to me and asking, "Am I fat?"
I recalled growing up in Iran, women were not expected to be super-skinny. It seemed so far and long ago since I had come across the notion of being fat as being attractive. And this woman never seemed to feel self-conscious about her weight. It was both amazing and refreshing.
I hope one day we come to agreeable terms with diversity in human shape, size, and weight and develop healthier attitudes about ourselves and others: not to worry about being "fat" or being called so. Basically, to reclaim the word fat and not use it as an insult but an adjective in our language.
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