It can hurt to be victim of someone calling out derogatory remarks like, "Hey, fattie." A lot of women consider themselves to be plus-sized--not fat. Plus size women should not have to endure insults in addition to low confidence. That's why there is a resurgence of full figured women flaunting their curves. Larger women everywhere are putting their hands on their full-sized hips and embracing their curves with confidence.
Is the word fat an insulting term? It has certainly been said with disdain. It seems like the word fat and its various connotations (overweight, etc.), is used to describe an undesirable characteristic, whereas plus-sized is a more objective description. It is not necessarily a negative term.
However, the word fat has very different connotations than the phrase plus-sized. Fat, for example, is the white stuff that clogs blood vessels, what rich and heavy foods contain, what we avoid in unhealthy foods.
Which begs the question, Are people technically fat? Perhaps. Do we measure by weight, by width, or by body mass index? Even if a woman can pinch an inch, she can decide how she prefers to be addressed.
There is something hopelessly old-fashioned about calling someone fat. In the politically correct but fitness-focused climate of the 21st century, calling someone fat is almost akin to a slur. Yet many people have become too casual with what they call others, and fail to recognize that “fat and overweight” are terms that can easily offend.
It is easy to start out being over-familiar with someone, such as when a person calls a new acquaintance by a nickname before knowing that person well enough to do so. Likewise, a person shouldn't call someone else fat unless she knows the other person well enough— and knows she won't be hurt. Fortunately, the term "plus-sized" has more of a formality and correctness to it and is less likely to cause pain or anguish.