Social Question

meagan's avatar

What defines fat to you?

Asked by meagan (4650points) March 23rd, 2010

I had an ex boyfriend that would say if you put your arms to your side and could touch your hips, you were “fat”. This has been bothering me lately. Which makes me wonder…

What makes someone “fat” to you?

Muffin tops? Thunder thighs? Morbidly obese BMI?

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56 Answers

noyesa's avatar

This is a strangly elusive question. I mean it seems kind of obvious what fat is, but at the same time it isn’t. There are people who are actually pretty fat who I don’t think of as fat. It could be the way they dress themselves, carry themselves, or their personailty. Then there’s other people who just seem to exude fatness, aside from just being fat. It’s my first impression of them and it kind of dominates their image.

I don’t think there’s a quantitative definition of what fat means to me, it’s just something I sense about some people and don’t about others. The “fattest” person I know weighs less than the heaviest person I know, for example. I guess where their weight is makes a difference, e.g. bulging bellies look fat while “big boned” people don’t.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t get your boyfriends definition. Can’t everyone touch their hips?

Difficult to describe in words what fat is. I can make generalitions about how tall someone is and what size they wear. I also have several classifications, heavy, fat, obese, etc. None of it really matters to me, I don’t judge a person by their weight. Although, I might think they eat too much.

meagan's avatar

@JLeslie I mean.. if your arms are hanging by your side and they touch your hips (if your hips stick out wide enough to touch hanging arms)
Make sense now? I had a hard time wording it.

erichw1504's avatar

Muffin tops, that’s what I was going to say.

Facade's avatar

@meagan That really makes no sense.

Fat= anyone with excess body fat.
You can be a size 4 and be fat if you have a small frame and poorly developed muscles.

MrGV's avatar

When you look gross naked.

JLeslie's avatar

@meagan Oh, I see. Fat comes in many forms though, sometimes big hips, sometimes big stomachs. Sounds like your ex was focusing on fat women.

meagan's avatar

@Facade If it makes you feel better, the ex was easily 6’4 and 160. He was teeny tiny. Haha. No room to judge. But every now and again I think about his little ‘fat test’

Mr_A's avatar

If it is an unhealthy fat…if you are unhappy with your weight and body than I believe you are fat. Usually people are unhappy might be fat be not always.

There are people who are fat but like @noyesa for some people it seems to be there body type to be a little big if you wanna put that way….

I mean look sumo wrestlers or NFL line men those are big or “fat” people but they are healthy I would bet.

MrGV's avatar

@Mr_A but those sumo wrestlers and nfl line men have a shitload of muscles to back the fat haha

Likeradar's avatar

@erichw1504 Muffin tops can be because of too-tight pants, even on a thin person.

noyesa's avatar

@Mr_A You callin me fat? ;)

Mr_A's avatar

@MrGeneVan Yes, but they look fat people do not think about that, just looks.

Mr_A's avatar

@noyesa What?No…. I meant what you were saying…..

noyesa's avatar

@Mr_A I know, I know. =)

shego's avatar

I have big hips, and my arms touch them. But I’m not fat. I have lost 30 lbs since January, but I’m still carrying weight that makes me feel uncomfortable, but I am never going to fit in a size zero.
But personally where I was before, is what I consider to be fat.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Facade answer says it all :)

bellusfemina's avatar

If it jiggles, it is fat.

meagan's avatar

@bellusfemina Beyonce might argue that with you! I don’t think youre ready, for her jelly ;P

ucme's avatar

I’ve heard it said that if you can pinch an inch then that is fat.To me you’ve got problems if you can grab several.

Seek's avatar

I’m easy to get along with.

If you turn purple trying to tie your own shoes, you’re fat. If you can’t walk around your own backyard without gasping for oxygen, you’re fat. If you’re bigger around than tall, you’re fat.

…god I hope my sister in law isn’t reading this…

Justnice's avatar

Anybody who ain’t skinny is fat. That’s how I see it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That’s a crazy test for fat. Most men usually have wider shoulders and narrower hips so its skewed from the beginning. I’d have to morbidly obese to meet this test. Put me down with the @Facade camp.

meagan's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Well he meant it more about women. But even then it doesn’t make much sense. I’ve got a pretty athletic body, but I’ve almost got a ten inch hip to waist difference.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

For women if they have a BMI of over 25 for men it’s 18.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@meagan You sound just right. The problem is with him and/or society.

meagan's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1 True, but I really think that some carry their weight differently.

Likeradar's avatar

@meagan Yeah, BMI doesn’t account for high muscle mass.

This is a really good question.

partyparty's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr ‘If you’re bigger around than tall, you’re fat’
I couldn’t have worded it better myself LOL

skfinkel's avatar

Stuff on your body that jiggles when you walk.

sevenfourteen's avatar

I agree with @noyesa. While most people can generally agree on what fat actually looks like, how fat is defined is very subjective. I have seen numerous plus sized people who are big and don’t consider themselves fat. On the other side there are girls who are no bigger than my thigh and truely believe they are fat. It’s all in what you believe is healthy and appropriate for that person’s body type.

I think fat is when a person tries to dress/treat their body according to someone else’s body type

coogan's avatar

Do the “jumping jacks” test, gauge your fatness by how much you jiggle. It’s pretty humbling.

shego's avatar

I blame it on the media
there are many anorexic looking girls who think they are fat but that’s just in their minds.

meagan's avatar

@shego Seriously. Why do so many women look like twelve year old girls? Its a little disturbing.

shego's avatar

I honestly have no clue

MacBean's avatar

BMI is a crock.

As for the OP’s ex’s theory that your arms touching your hips makes you fat… haha. I’d say when your arms are at your sides and they don’t touch your hips because your upper body fat makes your arms stick out too much, then you’re probably fat.

My uncle’s ex-wife used to say anyone whose thighs touched at the top was fat. Their daughter is 5’10” and weighs less than 100 pounds. They have to watch her closely to make sure she eats, and she goes to therapy for her food-related issues. Society really needs to put less emphasis on looks… :(

shadling21's avatar

Kevin Smith.

He’s too fat to fly!

My real answer? I don’t know. There’s this huge range. But someone is fat to me when their gut is so large that their arms can’t hang straight. That’s when it’s really noticeable to me.

@MacBean That’s horrible. I’m so thankful that my parents never gave me such ideas.

meagan's avatar

@MacBean Its tough having harsh parents. I’ve got a pair that believe that if you’re told that youre decent looking, you’ll only pop out babies your entire life, rather than make a career for yourself.

JLeslie's avatar

@meagan That is interesting.

Berserker's avatar

If I was finding things hiding under my tits, like crackers, bobby pins, entire cakes or slippers, I’d start thinkin bout lossing weight.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

This is pretty handy for your ex-boyfriend: he gets to use this definition to call all women “fat”. What a gem he must have been.

Draconess25's avatar

It all depends on if I like the person in question. But generally, if their weight is causing them health problems, then I think they should lose a few pounds.

I hate it when people think they’re fat & they’re not!

MrsDufresne's avatar

If you have someone following you with sinister motives, and you can not run fast enough to get away.

plethora's avatar

Take a cruise on the Carnival line (or probably any other) as I am doing now. I am calling it the Carnival Cattle Cruise. I have never seen so many obese, grossly overweight people in one place in my entire life.

YARNLADY's avatar

For more than half of my adult life (so far) I was able to wear size 10, now I barely fit into size 1X (20). When I passed size 12, around 25 years ago, I considered myself fat.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora Haha. Spring Break cruise I guess. Are they all from the same state? My husband said when his family would visit the US when he was little they would marvel at the American families, two parents and two kids, all like square boxes.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie LOL….I don’t know where they’re from, but your husband’s impression was exactly right. It’s unbelievable. The food, of course, is unlimited, covered in the cost of the cruise. My s/o and I eat moderately, but we see plates piled to overflowing. Men, women and kids!!

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I mean it is sad. They basically were saying the kids looked like their parents because they were all fat, instead of commenting on facial features.

noyesa's avatar

@plethora Reminds me of the people who chill out for hours and hours at a local Chinese buffet on Sunday afternoons when they have all you can eat crab legs. I will literally walk over there right as they plop them down and it will be whittled down to the handful of legs that fell off and I will see people trucking away heaping plates full. It’s honeslty just indecent.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie @noyesa Yes, it truly is. Just watching the meals and seeing these huge, enormous overweight people lumbering around. What a collection.

MacBean's avatar

Does anybody go out to eat in order to eat anymore or do you all just go to gape at the fat people like they’re animals at the zoo? Mind your own fucking business.

noyesa's avatar

@MacBean No, I go to stuff my face. But it gets annoying when I can’t eat something because one person took it all at the buffet.

MacBean's avatar

@noyesa But it would’ve been okay if you’d gotten there before that person and taken it all to stuff your own face first. Cool.

Also, you know what’s neat about buffets? When they run out of something, they bring out more. So if someone else gets there first, all you have to do is wait a little bit. I know it’s a huge inconvenience to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around you, but… we all have to deal with that once in a while.

noyesa's avatar

@MacBean That’s very clever of you to make some out of context self-righteous rhetoric about the world not revolving around me. Gee, I wish everyone was as generous as you are about parenting people they don’t know.

MacBean's avatar

@noyesa: I’m sorry, I’m in a Mood and picking fights today. It’s unlike me, and I don’t mean it.

jca's avatar

@MacBean : we used to refer to that space between the thighs that you were talking about as “a gap,” as in “she has a big gap.”

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