Sometimes you see a phrase you've seen a million times and suddenly have a new perspective on it. That happened to me a few days ago. I was looking at my Blogger stats and saw one of the search term referrals:
While not quite the go-to as some of the usual scare modifiers used to stigmatize fat people, its hardly rare, either. Its one of those terms people use thinking its somehow scientific and quantified when actually its essentially gibberish. It occurred to me, though, that massive has a couple different meanings. "Forming or consisting of a large mass" is certainly the leading contender, but you actually often hear "massive" used with more positive connotations. Merriam-Webster suggests "imposing in excellence or grandeur," which is certainly a different way of looking at it.
On an elemental level, though, the word can just reference "having mass". In some uses, massive is just something that takes up space. Which really upsets people about fat bodies. So many of the daily slights fat people endure are just related to taking up space. Space others feel entitled to. Space others feel our fat bodies are not entitled to. So much of the common hostility fat people are subject to is because our mass offends people. They imagine our mass as imposing on them, infringing on them. In truth, they often manufacture an imposition in order to justify their offense, but it doesn't matter. Every body has a right to the space it occupies. Every body has a right to mass. We are not an imposition. We are not an inconvenience. Some want mass to be a right of the privileged. They want to scold those with transgressive bodies for occupying space they don't "deserve". Massive isn't just a childish "omgz HUUUUGE!" taunt, its the heart of complaint about fat people. I guess its what we deserve for imposing our excellence and grandeur at them.