A lot of people say they don’t like labels. For webgirls (and, hey, webguys too), labels, in the form of keywords and tags, are a necessary evil to market yourself and to establish and maintain your “brand.” I think, essentially, we are “selling” our appearances [and our personalities] and due to the way the world has evolved, our visitors or audience want information quickly and concisely; they can’t be bothered to take the time to analyze, interpret or sift through things to find what they want or to determine if they are even remotely interested. Therefore, labels are a fast and easy way to, hopefully, draw people in enough that they stick around for more of whatever it is you’re offering, rather than moving on to the next with a click of the mouse. Of course, I’m no Psychologist or Sociologist, but I do know that it is human nature to do things such as define yourself, find yourself, develop your identity. In lamens terms, it’s only natural for us to use labels.
Labels themselves are innocuous. (They are just words- descriptive words necessary for a species as developed as Mankind.) What can make labels hurtful or derogatory is the tone and context in which they are used. Humans created spoken language and gave words meaning. I believe we have the power to change connotations. I believe that embracing labels and using them in a more positive manner can, over time, transform them into less negative connotations. [This has been referred to as Empowerment.] Dialect evolves right along with the world in which we use it.
As a webgirl, I chose in which niches/genres to promote myself and those decisions impact how I complete profiles as well. There are some easy choices – brunette or redhead (depending on my hair color at the time), bisexual, in a relationship, Mediterranean (when it’s available; Middle Eastern if it’s not), fetishes (i.e. glasses, feet, lipstick), bdsm, Goth or Alt. When it comes to body type/build/size, that’s when things get dicey.
I am 5’3” (160 cm) and 185lbs (84 kg).
My measurements are 38C-40-45.
I am a size 18 US (20 UK).
My BMI is 32.8 (Obese).
So, let’ s jump on the euphemism treadmill…
Am I Plus Size, Chubby, Overweight, Fat, Plumper, BBW [Big Beautiful Woman], Curvy, Full-figured, Stocky, Chunky, Heavy, Hefty, Rubenesque, Zaftig, Buxom, Voluptuous, Shapely, Ample, Husky, Stout, Pudgy, Jiggly, Cuddly, Roly-Poly, Rotund, Comely, Fleshy, Flabby, Fluffy, Puffy, Thick… etc.? (Sidenote: I know, obviously, I am not SSBBW [Super-sized Big Beautiful Woman].)
I have utilized most of these terms at some point, with a couple of exceptions.
I don’t like to use the word “thick,” as it is also a synonym for stupid/dense/ignorant/dumb, which I’m certainly not.
Also, though it’s been suggested, I don’t think the term fun size[d] is applicable either, since fun size candy bars, for example, are usually smaller than the average candy car. I’m not smaller than average; I am a bit larger than average. (I AM, however, a lot of fun! )
I don’t have huge breasts; I am not typically considered busty. Ergo, according to some I would also not be considered voluptuous or buxom… (?)
Unfortunately, it seems like when I use BBW, people in that community tell me I’m not a BBW. (Some qualify/quantify even further by saying I’m a “Light BBW” or “Small BBW” or a perhaps a “Light Plumper” or “Small Plumper,” or just “Plump.”) If I use the term Plumper (or Plump), members of that community tell me I’m not a Plumper; I’m Chubby. (They seem truly insulted. I don’t understand that.)
In contrast, the feedback I get on mainstreams sites [read: those that don’t focus on bbw/ssbbw], is that I am really not “average” (and, obviously, definitely not petite). I may have crossover appeal, but when it comes to defining or labeling my build/size, it seems, as the expression goes, I’m “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”
STOP RIGHT THERE!
This is NOT a call for you tell me what you think I am, nor is this an opportunity to rant about our untoward focus on appearance and the unrealistic images with which our society is currently bombarded.
We are all attracted to different things, for different reasons. I firmly believe there is someone out there for everyone and there are even some people who don’t want or need anyone. All this is neither right nor wrong. It simply IS.
I am going to continue using BBW, Plump[er], Chubby and Plus Size interchangeably. I think they all best convey what I am decidedly NOT: a waif, petite, small, thin, trim, slender, lean, chiseled, cut, willowy or svelte. I am also not ashamed, a Sizeist or an Activist. What I AM is comfortable with how I look on the outside and who I am inside. Confidence without Arrogance is universally attractive!