By: Abbey Block
“Ugh I’m so fat.”
“I feel huge.”
“I can’t believe I ate that whole bag of chips.”
We’re all guilty of these types of comments. Too often we, as women, find ourselves talking negatively about our bodies and ourselves. It is easy for a conversation within a group of women to spiral into “Fat Talk.”
According to the University of Chicago, “Fat Talk refers to the statements we make in everyday conversation that reinforce one ideal standard for physical appearance, and contribute to young peoples’ dissatisfaction with their bodies.” These statements often perpetuate feelings of inadequacy and may even lead to dangerous health issues such as eating disorders.
Fat Talk is a bad habit that is too easy to slip into. There is no denying that sometimes you feel bad about your body. Some days it feels as if there’s a mile-long list of things that you wish we could change about your appearance. While its completely normal to feel this way occasionally, we need to stop feeling this way on a regular basis.
We need to stop our own internal Fat Talk and stop feeding into each other’s Fat Talk. By loving ourselves, we can promote a positive atmosphere among the people that surround us. Positivity can create a chain reaction that will ultimately make an impact.
There are some days that I feel beautiful and confident. After a sweat-session at the gym I feel like a rock star in my workout leggings. However, if I enter a Fat Talk conversation, I automatically begin to feel my self-esteem begin a downward spiral. The confidence that I felt earlier slowly starts to slip away. I feel ashamed for even thinking for a moment that I could be proud of the way I look.
“If my beautiful friends aren’t happy with their bodies, what right do I have to be happy with mine?”
It’s an easy thought to have. I constantly compare myself to the beautiful women around me. It is so hard to feel confident, when nobody else around you does. Fat Talk is a slippery slope that negatively impacts everyone involved. Even if you aren’t actively participating, the negative conversation can alter the way you see yourself.
Organizations are beginning to tackle this growing issue. The University of Chicago has a part of their website that is dedicated to the growing epidemic and even has multiple workshops that are targeted to promote positive body image among young Americans. The sorority Delta Delta Delta is also addressing the problem through a “Fat Talk-free week.” According to the Delta Delta Delta website, this body image campaign is used to promote healthy ideals and to “inspire change in the way we think and feel about our bodies.”
People across the country need to take inspiration from these body positivity campaigns and must work to end the negativity within their everyday conversations. It is crucial to remember that our bodies are amazing. Even if you wish you had abs like a Victoria’s Secret model, or legs like your favorite celebrity, you shouldn’t devalue your own body or appearance. The fact that your body is able to get up and function on a day-to-day basis is a triumph in itself that you should be proud of. Our bodies are amazing and should be celebrated, even if they don’t fit into a size zero.
So the next time your feel the urge to say something negative about your body, remember that it not only has an effect on your mindset, but on those around you too. We must stop feeding into the idea that we are not good enough and celebrate our bodies, no matter what size they are. Our generation must reject the idea that is normal to hate our bodies. Let’s rebel against Fat Talk and celebrate our bodies for the truly beautiful creations that they are.