Rani Dhaschainey is the co-owner of plus size clothing store The Curve Cult, and a CLEO Change Maker 2016.  Here, she weighs in on the debate surrounding the word thicc –  which is defined by knowyourmeme.com as “a slang term used to describe the voluptuous, hourglass-like curvature of a woman’s hips. Online, the term has seen widespread usage as a descriptor for images of bootylicious women.” 

The widespread use and obsession surrounding the word “thicc” has ignited the debate on whether this is a celebration of an ignored body type or if it is still a continuation of body policing. In my opinion, it is very much the latter.

The word has been met with mixed reactions and notably, the plus size body positive community is not in the least humoured. This may come as a shock for those of you who believe that “thicc” actually celebrates fat bodies, so do allow me to clear that up for you.

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First and foremost, I feel that a woman’s body is personal to her and is not up for discussion. Therefore, the existence of this adjective “thicc” that is masked as a compliment is in actual fact, unnecessary and rather derogatory. I eagerly await the day that we come up with viral terms that compliment women based on the skills and talents that they possess instead of how their bodies look.

Now, let’s look at what the descriptor “thicc” actually means. I believe it refers to a woman with a large breasts, bottom, booty or thighs that is usually accentuated by her small waist. This is similar to the hourglass or coke bottle body portrayed in media.

However, plus size women carry their weight not only on their hips and thighs, but also on their bellies, arms and faces. So it seems like “thicc” really just means being thick in the “right” places like big boobs, rounded butt, thick thighs and a slimmer waist. Therefore “thicc” is seen to be the perfect middle between being skinny and being fat – both of which are then rendered inferior to being “thicc”.

How is that then a cause for celebration, when we are still perpetuating the trend of glorifying one type of body over another? Women are now expected to attain this new ideal body or aspire towards it and this should not be the case. I am proposing that we visually represent as many body types as we can instead of creating an ideal body and pitting one against the other. We do not need cool terms to define our body, and we definitely do not need to focus our efforts to attain a certain type of body just because it is trendy now.

Text: Rani Dhaschainey