Ran across this article today on MSNBC about females and their curious need to engage in "fat talk" together.
"When women get together, the chatter eventually turns to whose skinny jeans don’t fit anymore and who weighs in heavier on the scale. And participation is socially mandatory, a new study finds."
Not surprising, but still kind of frightening. The article goes on to say that this behavior is common in middle-school aged girls, but is also quite frequent in older women as well. No shit Shirlock! It is a curious social phenomenon really, and I think we could discuss it for HOURS. There is so much to this, so many reasons why we do it.
“Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” Martz said. “An example would be one saying, ‘It's like, I'm so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”
I understand that part of it. We chicas are a very connected sort. We like to relate to one another and we feel good about ourselves when we connect on whatever level. However, we also aren't generally really good at asking for what we need directly, but instead fish for what we need using cues and prompts like the one mentioned above. This behavior drives my hubby NUTS! Men aren't usually as good at picking up on these cues and that's what gets us all in trouble. We've been working on it for years!
But why do we choose to degrade our own bodies as a vehicle to connect with one another? Our society (America in particular, but in many other countries as well) clearly has issues with body image.
"The phenomenon might be exclusive to wealthier countries where food is abundant. In nations where famine rules, people often regard heavier bodies as a sign of good fortune and status,"
A sign of good fortune and status. Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about!
Now don't get me wrong. I think that encouraging each other to make healthy life choices is a great thing. We should be here to educate and support each other in our choice to be who we are or wish to be. I want all of you to be healthy and live long and fulfilling lives and some of us really should consider our weight when we are examining our overall well-being. It is when we put ourselves down, even under the guise of joking and "connecting" with each other that we start heading in the wrong direction.
Or am I taking this too seriously? Is it healthy to openly recognize what we might consider faults about ourselves. Like, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
What do you think?
Either way, I would like to make this a "no fat-talk zone." Please feel free to talk here about your weight loss, or gain, your struggle with exercise or eating, your desire to have your clothes fit better and such and so. But please, let's not put ourselves down. I promise not to do so in my posts. I don't think we should feel the need to engage in "fat talk" in order to connect with each other. You are all beautiful and that's that.
End of story.