The FUPA Is Back. But Why The Obsession With Expressions That Exist Purely To Make Us Hate Our Bodies

Every Urban Dictionary user knows what a FUPA is. But after Demi Lovato used it on Twitter, is it time to reclaim the evil phrase for good?


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

Well, isn’t this just FUPA-dupa?! The most awful acronym in the Western World is resurging, thanks to Demi Lovato who took to Twitter to suggest that fanny packs should be called FUPA packs because ‘no one really wears them on their fannies….’


Firstly, Demi, if you’re in the UK, then you do wear it on your fanny, but you call it a bum bag, and secondly you don’t wear it at all unless you’re a Peckham disco kid or paranoid middle aged tourist, who is anxious about encountering bag snatchers during coach trips to the Cotswolds. But that’s beside the point. We hoped the Fat Upper Pussy Area was a forgotten concept. The great FUPA freak out is about as helpful to our body image, happiness and overall sense of sanity as Hobby Lobby. Or Tucker Max. Or those sixteenth century guys who went around accusing women of being witches.

There’s nothing neutral about the phrase. Tiny children aren’t taught to sing and point to their ‘heads, shoulders knees and FUPAs, knees and FUPAS!’ Unlike the pelvage, it’s never going to have a fashion moment. It’s another expression that exists purely to make us hate our bodies a little bit more. It doesn’t matter what is going on with the rest of your body shape, or how hard you’re working to keep everything smooth and toned. Your FUPA will wreck everything.

This week, everyone from Adam Richman to Professor Green has been triggering debate and causing fury by using the #thinspiration Instagram hashtag. Users defend their right to showcase images of their own healthy weight loss, but critics claim the phrase is problematic, and triggering for anyone who suffers from disordered eating. If you’re in the latter camp, the FUPA means you have one more thing to fight.

I don’t take many selfies, but there is a picture of me on my Instagram account where I’m grinning like a loon, collapsed on a toilet seat having removed my Spanx for the evening. It’s a snapshot of the time I decided to let the FUPA win, and it felt heavenly. This weekend, I think we should all do the same. We can let everything hang out and document it with the hashtag #FuckUFUPA. In fact, I want to reference Demi and get a custom fanny pack, emblazoned with the word FUPA in neon crystals.

The amount of time we spend worrying about our bodies is the very worst waste of energy there is

Sophia Amoruso isn’t just one of my feminist heroines because she’s an entrepreneur. It’s because she told Man Repeller:‘I had a hernia, literally a lump in my groin, and shaved everything around it except the hernia so I had this hairy bump in my crotch, which I was really proud of.’ Obviously, a hernia is a medical issue that needs to be taken care of, and Sophia eventually did, but I love her for making a feature out of a flaw. Call it #FUPAspiration, if you will.

As far as I’m concerned, the amount of time we spend worrying about our bodies is the very worst waste of energy there is. If we forgot about FUPA, we could take over the world. We can learn to code in a day – think how much knowledge we could pick up if we eliminated the hours spent staring at our wardrobe trying to work out which outfit will make us look a bit less bumpy. Personally, I know that I’m quieter and less dynamic in public if I’m hung up on not being hot enough. But if I didn’t care what I looked like, I’d be much more focused on sounding smart and interesting.

No matter how small and smooth we attempt to be, someone somewhere will want to find a bump or wobble and think that’s a reason to try to hold us back. If we can’t forget the phrase, we can use it to help us remember why we need to fight the insidious body image bullshit that can only hold us back. It’s time to free the FUPA.

Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollerGirl

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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