by Cassandra

But I Never Called Her Fat: A Lesson From Lance Armstrong

(Photo Via: Buzzfeed/Kevin Lincoln)

Lance Armstrong sat down with Oprah Thursday night, admitting to his use of performance enhancing drugs while competing in the Tour de France. While the cyclist’s “coming out” was shocking, it was his confrontation with Betsy Andreu, wife of Armstrong’s teammate Frankie Andreu, that had our jaws on the floor.

According to Sports Illustrated, Ms. Andreu had never really been on Armstrong’s good side. She “emailed and phoned reporters…correcting those who wrote that Armstrong had never tested positive [for PEDs]. She was on a mission “to take Lance on….I decided not to lie for him.” Ms. Andreu fast became Armstrong’s nemesis, and her husband even testified in the case against the world-renowned cyclist. At some point during the scuffle between Armstrong and Andreu, he reportedly called her “a fat, lying crazy bitch.”

While sitting across from Oprah Winfrey last night, Armstrong agreed to privately slamming Ms. Andreu, but he wanted to make one thing clear: He “did not call her fat.” Mr. Armstrong is a sensitive gentleman, after all.

(Oprah was NOT impressed with Armstrong’s “fat” statement. Photo Via: OWN)

And it was at that moment that we were lost for words. Was Armstrong trying to say that “bitch” was an OK term to use when identifying Ms. Andreu, but “fat” was out of bounds? Has Paris Hilton’s term of endearment for Nicole Richie rubbed off on us so much that the term “bitch” is as colloquial as, say, “girl”? And with his statement, did Armstrong want us to be like “Oh, he just called her a bitch! It’s fine. Phew, thought he called her FAT for a second!” Seems like it.

And why is being called “fat” so rash that even Armstrong found it necessary to clarify? Are women so tied to their body-weight that a three-letter word could sink them into a depression faster than, say, being called a dog? The answer’s quite obviously, yes. Every day, we’re told through magazine editorials, TV shows, Tumblr photos, message boards etc., that having any “extra” chunk is akin to being lazy, greedy, low. We’re starting to believe that being thick is a disease, witching women who can’t call themselves a size 4.

When we asked around the office which word carried more venom, the answer was unanimous: Being called fat is so much worse than being called a “bitch.” Hell, Anna Wintour, perhaps one of the most influential women of our generation, has been called a bitch many times, and no one’s lost respect for her. As proven by her response to journalist Morley Safer in 60 Minutes, Anna doesn’t mind being thrown the B-word either. When Safer asked her point-blank if she was a bitch: “I try not to be” was the Editrix’s cool answer.

(Photo Via: Getty Images)

But to call someone fat is doing the unforgivable.Examples of this twisted standard can be seen in the way the media portrays curvy stars, like Khole Kardashian and Adele. Kardashian has always gotten heat for being the larger of the three sisters, something she’s said time and time again has been totally hurtful. Adele was shot down from her Grammy high last summer when  Karl Lagerfeld stated “Adele is too fat, but she has a beautiful face” to the fashion press.

(Photo Via: Cosmopolitan Magazine)

Yes, Armstrong’s bizarre statement (or attempt at a fat joke?) was a low blow, but is our misguided culture partially to blame for the comment? While we let all this sink in, watch Betsy Andreu’s response below and weigh in!