If I get called a manatee, I know the person speaking is not referencing the fact that I eat a lot of vegetation and enjoy swimming, although both of these things are true. It’s inevitably a reference to the manatee’s perceived fatness, because their fatness is ostensibly the most central feature of the species (as can be socially true for fat people as well), and the hyperbole is meant to make me feel badly about myself. You’re so fat you’re not even a person anymore. It doesn’t work, because I know better.
So while there are definite problems with these animal analogies, and while I’m not saying people aren’t allowed to feel their feelings about it, I just can’t get worked up about the whole deal. Sometimes life is too short to think of a manatee as anything but a rad thing to be compared to. You can call me a manatee anytime and I’ll take it as a reminder to connect with my zenlike inner sea cow self — something I should do more often anyway.
(via CALL ME A MANATEE ANYTIME: Why I Wasn’t All That Bothered By Target’s Plus Size “Manatee Grey” Dress Debacle | xoJane)