How 21 Women Feel About The Word 'Thick'

How 21 Women Feel About The Word 'Thick'

In a society where thinness is celebrated, women have varying feelings about the word "thick."

Last month when Twitter users celebrated "Thick Girl Appreciation Day," they showed how some women are embracing the term "thick" -- and absolutely owning it. But not everyone is enamored of the term when it comes to describing women's bodies.

In 2014, Drake compared "thick" women to BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) in a rap verse for Nicki Minaj's single "Only:"

She says I'm obsessed with thick women and I agree. That's right, I like my girls BBW. The type that wanna suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you. Yeah, so thick that everybody else in the room is so uncomfortable. Ass on Houston, Texas, but the face look just like Claire Huxtable.

nicki minaj

This reignited an old debate about whether or not "thick" and "fat" are the same thing, and whether or not that even matters. Most people weighing in agreed that the definition depends on context. Diana Vega at Clutch said it best: "We really know that BBW or thick, or whatever you want to call it –- when Drake says it, when hip hop says it, it’s thick in the right places. Big boobs, small waist, fat butt, thick thighs. The usual. Will you ever see Drake with a real BBW? A real woman with curves and maybe a little jiggle? Doubtful. That would be considered blasphemous and a true violation I’m sure."

We asked our Facebook community to tell us how they define "thick," and what their relationship is with the term. As one commenter pointed out, the word may mean different things to a woman depending on her culture's standard of beauty. This was reflected in the responses -- some women considered "thick" a compliment, while others found it derogatory. Several respondents offered nuanced replies, either explaining that the descriptor could be considered either positive or negative or clarifying why they felt sure about it either way.

Here's what 21 women had to say about the word "thick:"

1. "To me, when referring to women's bodies, it has always been a positive connotation. People tell me I am 'thick' in a complimentary way: I am sturdy, solid, and strong. I have a lot of thick friends who are also strong, healthy and sturdy. I equate the term 'thick' with Amazon-womanesque."

4. "I've only ever heard this word used to describe plus-sized women's bodies in a sexual way. It has a negative connotation for me and sounds demeaning to the woman/women being referred to."

5. "I think of voluptuous curves. I think of a woman that has a round, sexy booty, some full figured, no gap in between thighs, a nice figure-8 shape, and fully blossomed breasts. She looks like she can get the attention of every man."

6. "Thick (when describing a woman's body) to me is a synonym with fat."

7. "Well 'thick' is used to describe a woman who is curvy in all the right places. I guess depending on your age and where you are from you might be offended, but it is a common term used to describe a sexy, voluptuous woman... Lots of variations too including 'slim thick' and 'thickems.' Thickness is the shit!"

8. "Thick to me means substantially curvy, but I see people use it to describe everything from a woman simply with a thick butt and thighs, to a woman who is very overweight. To each their own!"

9. "I love the word thick. Love it. Love it. Love it.
I write romance novels and used thick to describe a heroine's thighs. My editor didn't like it, told me some readers would find it to be offensive and a turn-off. I completely disagree, it's a word that describes a body type that is strong, feminine, and beautiful but there are few other words that can describe such a body so wholly and with such positive and sexy connotations - in my humble opinion."

10. "Being called 'thick' makes me feel awkward sometimes. It's like catcalling. I'll walk into a store and hear some guys talk amongst themselves going 'damn she phat' or 'thick.' It's rude and disrespectful in my opinion. Like you're just sizing me up and undressing me with your eyes before even getting to know me. Some girls appreciate it and consider it a compliment. Not me."

11. "Some people may assume readily off the bat that it means fat, however, in my country Jamaica it is mostly referred as to a woman whose body is firm and is seen as a compliment."

12. "Thick is the new way of describing a women with an attractive ass-to-waist ratio. So many are quick to embrace it not realizing it's setting the same unhealthy trends that the skinny models did years back. What if we just started to embrace different sizes and shapes and stopped trying to define perfection?

14. "I used to think of it as 'fat' but now I take it as a compliment. It's a way to say that you've got a body that your significant other wants to grab onto. It's the new way to call a woman sexy."

15."To me, it means a woman who has outstanding proportions/frame. A small tummy, but big hips and breasts."

16. "I have always associated it with a positive term. It means a full-figured or curvy woman who is sexy and confident."

17. "I call myself thick because I have thick thighs and a butt. I never considered it derogatory."

19. "To me it means a woman has nice round thighs, or a bubblicious booty. It's not a synonym for fat in my mind -- it's more of an adjective that refers to a woman's curves. It's a nice extra layer of cushion and it's NOT a negative term at all."

20. "It's meant as a compliment, but I've never cared for it."

21. "Strong, bigger, and beautiful. Badass."

What does thick mean to you? Comment below, or tweet @HuffPostWomen.

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