Tag Archives: words

On the power of words

4 Aug

Words have power. That’s why we have to use them wisely. I’m a translator, an author, and a smart-ass, so I know what I am talking about.

Let me give you an example:

Two years ago, when I was weighing rougly 200 pounds, at some point I decided that “fat” would by MY word. I started using it to describe myself in conversation with friends or store clerks when I went out shopping. Sentences such as, “Why don’t you have anything for fat people?”, became normal. And some people felt hugely uncomfortable – “No, you can’t say that! Why would you be so mean to yourself?” Others were disappointed because “fat” did not work as an insult anymore. And my other fat friends kind of just went along with it. Some thought it was cool. Some started doing it themselves.
Now that I have lost weight (by exercise in combination with caloric restriction, the old-fashioned way) and am in the range of “normal” or healthy weight, I have noticed a difference in reactions. And I have realized that the empowering use of “fat” is not a thing for me anymore. For a few weeks, when I have said “fat” (I still have a tummy and thighs, after all), people tended to be shocked or offended. Obviously they thought I was mocking different people, because to the public eye I am now the traditional white, non-fat woman.
So I have decided to un-train myself from saying “fat” when talking about my body, for words have meaning outside of what we intend to say – communication is a two-way street with loops and dead end roads and super highways and funny loopings where you would not expect them.
I’ll find a new revolutionary self-empowerment word. “Old”, maybe. Or, “hairy”.^^

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a bragging post – that will come around mid-September, when I will hopefully complete my first obstacle race. I’ll have plenty to brag about then!!!

No, instead I was going to say, words do have power, and you must choose them wisely, and you can gain power through your words. Witches know that, or they learn it quickly when wording their first spells (like when, as a young woman, I witched for “someone to love me” and ended up with two stalkers – what can I say? Sometimes I’m dumb. ^^) And this is important in everyday conversations as well. It’s not for nothing that being politically correct has become such a huge issue. Okay, sometimes they are overdoing it, but most of the time people who dismiss “this stupid PC talk” are basically saying, “I don’t want to worry about how the things I say affect others, for my communication is just me spewing words at the world, and no one else matters.”

And in the end, this is why songs and stories and poems hold magic, and why we should listen before we talk, and why being fat or thin or wrinkled or hairy is something you should own – instead of giving your power away.