Fat Talk Free Week!
Monday October 19th began Tri Delta’s week long campaign to end fat talk – Fat Talk Free Week.
Fat Talk Free Week is an international 5-Day body activism campaign to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the ‘thin ideal’ on women in society. It is about ‘body activism’ – the power to control the way we think and talk about our bodies to affect positive change and prevent eating disorders. The idea came about when Dr. Carolyn Becker, as associate professor of psychology at Trinity University, leveraged the unique organizational structure of sororities to disseminate a groundbreaking peer-led eating disorders awareness program.
The key message of the campaign is “Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk”. I love this concept, because so often women fall into the pattern of sticking together in their words of self-loathing and dissatisfaction. It’s courageous to step outside of that and say, “hey, don’t say that! we’re beautiful just as we are!”
Related to that, is how “natural” it is in our culture to praise women for losing weight and to give compliments based on appearance. Most people don’t think twice before gushing over someone for losing weight, but we have no idea if that person lost the weight in a healthy or dangerous manner. We also don’t know how someone will react to compliments and to “new” attention. Why not compliment girls and women on their demeanor? Their personality? Their intelligence? Their insight?
It breaks my heart every time I hear from friends of mine in recovery from anorexia but who are still underweight say that they go clothes shopping and all saleswomen do is compliment their tiny bodies and speak with envy wishing out loud that they looked like that. How frustrating and infuriating! But the flip side is, those saleswomen probably feel frustrated and infuriated that their bodies don’t look like that and probably never will. What they don’t know if the extreme pain and suffering those women endured to reduce their body mass to that extent.
I grew up listening to my mother say, “I wish I could be anorexic.” So many people still don’t understand what these illnesses really mean. Fat Talk runs THAT DEEP so women WISH FOR A MENTAL ILLNESS in order to fit the thin ideal.
So hopefully one by one we can change the way we speak to ourselves, the way we speak to our friends and family, and the way we speak to strangers. We can change the way our society views the female body and the female spirit. Tri Delta’s campaign is a great start.
Here is their first video which has over 70,000 views since October 2008 on youtube:
And I recently found their newest video for this years campaign, I love it!
You can find more blogs that have written about Fat Talk Free Week at Beautiful You and Frozen Oranges. I’ll continue adding more as I find them. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to yours as well!