Did you know that this is “Fat Talk Free Week”? Don’t feel bad, neither did I until I heard about it at EduInReview.com. “Fat Talk Free Week” is a campaign to bring awareness to how common conversations can contribute to poor body image, low self-esteem, and eating disorders. Off limits this week are any conversations or comments about flattering or unflattering clothes, discussion of your own or someone else’s weight, any mention of ‘feeling fat’, or negative assessments of one’s body. While this campaign is focused on undergraduate students, it could be beneficial for all of us to undertake at least one single “Fat Talk Free Week”.
“Fat Talk Free Week” was designed around research that suggests when you speak and act counter to popular opinion, you will begin to integrate that counter world-view into yourself. Eric Stice of the Oregon Research Institute found a 60 percent reduction in eating disorders for high school and college students who participated in a program that critiqued the thin ideal and fostered positive self-images, according to this article at Time.
Not only can the words you say impact your own self-esteem and body image, but they can greatly impact the self-esteem and body image of others. If she thinks that she is fat, then what must she think about me?!? Do yourself and everyone else a favor and try to focus on more positive things for just one week. If nothing else, you will realize just how often body judgments and weight enter into your thoughts and conversations.
Even positive comments can be misinterpreted. A comment about how someone looks today may have them wondering what you used to think, especially if they have lower self-esteem or a poor body image. For one week, just say no or ‘no comment’ to any mention of weight, size, shape, or any other kind of Fat Talk. I want to know how it goes for you! Ready, set, go!