Do you know the difference between saying someone is fat versus someone has fat? Allison Kimmey’s kids do, and you should, too.
In a recent Instagram post, Kimmey shared a conversation she had with her 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son after her daughter had lashed out with “Mama is fat” when upset that it was time to get out of the pool. Instead of being angry with her, Kimmey used it as an opportunity to chat with both of her children about the truth about fat.
“The truth is, I am not fat,” she said. “No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy.”
Pretty eloquently said, right? You might be wondering how Kimmey could so quickly come up with such a profound response — turns out this mama is on a mission to inspire moms and dads to have more body positive conversations with their children, and even created the non-profit organization GirlPhoria to help teen girls learn to love themselves.
“Fat is not a bad word in our house,” Kimmey explained in her Instagram caption. “If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable.”
There are also similar movements in reclaiming the word “fat” as fact, instead of something that should carry shame. Many body positive activists do self-identify as fat but this is a label the’ve chosen for themselves—entirely different than being called fat by someone else. Still, both methods lead to the same conclusion: No one should be name-called and shamed about their body.
Kimmey continued the “is fat” vs. “has fat” convo with her kids by talking about how how every person on earth has fat — even them — but people just have different amounts.
“Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much,” she told them. “But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand?” Both said “yes, mama” and then she had them repeat what she had just said: “I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat,” they said.
Well done, kids!
Can you guess what they said next?
“Can we go back to the pool now?”