Speaking of feeling confident in our bodies, have you guys heard about National Fat Talk Free Week? We’re actually two days into it, now–it started on October 19, and appears to end on October 23rd, after which, presumably, we can all go back to shit-talking our asses and blaming all our flaws and unhappinesses on our bodies! So we just have to wait this week out. It’s only two more days, right?
In the meantime, the project is a pretty brilliant idea: it’s “an international, 5-day body activism campaign that draws attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the thin ideal on women in society.” And the point of it is to highlight the damage that your inner critic can do, how you can absolutely brutalize yourself, how your self-negative thoughts can so often be attributed to the current, incredibly pervasive beauty ideal (as chronicled on these pages). The project calls it “fat talk.” The site says:
Fat Talk describes all of the statements made in everyday conversation that reinforce the thin ideal and contribute to women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Examples of Fat Talk include: “I’m so fat,” “Do I look fat in this?”, “I need to lose 10 pounds” and “She’s too fat to be wearing that swimsuit.” Statements that are considered Fat Talk don’t necessarily have to be negative; they can seem positive yet reinforce the need to be thin — “You look great! Have you lost weight?”
We believe that that by eliminating fat talk, we can begin to change the way that women think about their bodies.
If you read BFD, you’re probably already pretty aware and pretty angry about the prevailing body image ideal, the extent to which women will go to achieve it, the extent to which even when we deliberately and mindfully reject that ideal it can still creep in and undermine our confidence and our strength. I was going to type that I think we’d be surpised at how often even the most enlightened of us still can fall prey to that kind of negative, messed up thinking–but I actually don’t think we’d be surprised at all. Or surprised by the statistics that the campaign has compiled. They’ve also got “Five Ways to Help Promote Positive Body Image,” but I think our list is better.
So, No Fat Talk. This week, every week. Here’s the pledge:
Today I promise to eliminate Fat Talk from conversations with my friends, my family and myself.
Starting now, I will strive for a healthy ideal, which I know looks different for every woman, and focuses on health, not weight or size.
I will celebrate the things about myself and the women in my life that have nothing to do with how we look.
I decide to end Fat Talk NOW!
Sounds like a damn fine idea to me. Have you already signed the pledge in your heart? Do you think you need to sign a pledge like this? It wouldn’t hold up in court if we forced people to sign this under duress, would it? Anyone?
Posted by jenfu