What’s in a Name?

Published July 13, 2009 by Fat Heffalump

Now don’t get too used to two posts in the same night, I just want to give you a deeper introduction so you all know what I’m about early in the piece.

Ok, where to start hey? Well, perhaps I’ll tell you why I chose the title “Fat Heffalump” for this blog. I chose it, to reclaim it as mine. Because when I was a kid, in fact, right up until the last time I spoke to him about 5 years ago, my very cruel brother always called me a “Fat Heffalump”. And it hurt. Oh boy, every time he used that phrase, it tore a hole in my soul that was raw, bleeding and sheer agony. I can’t tell you the number of tears I have cried over the words “fat heffalump”.
The worst times were when he used it in front of other people. He delighted in calling me that in front of his friends, my friends, boys at school, our family, loudly in public places in front of strangers. Because he knew it hurt me to the core.
And I would make some kind of joke, call him a wanker and laugh it off, all the while a piece of me was dying inside. I died inside for many, many years. From as early as I can remember, I was dying inside because of other people’s remarks. I was very good at hiding my tears, hiding how much I hurt. Everyone thought I was “happy bubbly Kath”, but the truth was that up until a few years ago, I was a huge well of emotional pain.
But something changed over the past few years. Some of it due to professional counselling, some of it due to finding my own strength and removing a lot of hurtful people from my life, but adding beautiful, delicious, accepting, big hearted, positive, gentle, giving people to my life. I’ve learned to value myself, and that the people are worth having in my life will never be cruel or hurtful, that they’ll raise me up, not slam me down.
So I am taking back the words “fat heffalump”. They are mine. I now embrace those two words with affection. They are not something that has power over me, but something that I am fond of for my own reasons.
I don’t really know what a heffalump is (it sounds kind of fuzzy and cute really) but if anyone creative wants to draw/paint/create me their interpretation of one, I’ll feature it here on this blog and plug your artwork all over the place. I’ll sing your praises from the rooftops!

8 comments on “What’s in a Name?

  • A heffalump is a (possibly imaginary) creature from Winnie the Pooh. In the modern-day Disney version of Winnie the Pooh, Lumpy the heffalump is an adorable purple elephant, who is enticingly cuddly🙂

  • Always loved my heffalump! Outstanding work on your quest to reduce the fatophobes in this country! GO you good woman GO

  • Well there you go! I can see the whole elephant connection there.

    I think I definitely need my own heffalump mascot.

  • I didn't realise about the Winnie the Pooh connection.

    I have asked an arty friend of mine to invent me a mythical creature that is a heffalump. Let's see what he comes up with!

  • Funny how kids literature gets twisted. My brother always called me the BFG. Not for "Big Friendly Giant" but for Big Fat Guts. Thanks brother.

  • Originally the heffalumps, along with woozles, were the creatures we never saw (except I think in a nightmare sequence), from whom Pooh was trying to protect his honey. These new-fangled heffalumps who actually exist are a recent invention.

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