Monday, August 29, 2011

Fat Talk Free Week

So here's something really worth sharing. October 16 - 22, 2011 is Fat Talk Free Week organized by Tri Delta, to raise awareness and initiate conversation about the negative effects of 'fat talk'.

The comments that women (and men) make, everyday, about food, calories, weight, image, clothes, and fat just keep reinforcing the ridiculous thin-ideal and unattainable beauty standard that the media has been force feeding us.

Most of my friends already know that I won't entertain their fat-talk. I am delighted to hear about their healthy activities or their new healthy and delicious recipe, but I won't be joining in fat-conversations about weight-loss or cellulite. They're not fun or helpful, it's a complete waste of precious time and I'd rather poke myself in the eyeball than hear about how many calories you burnt on the elliptical last night.

But changing the conversation is a work in progress. I've tried really hard recently not to comment on people's weight loss. This one is harder than you might think. It's almost reflexive to want to say something about each other's appearance...and in the past if someone has clearly lost some weight I would probably have said how 'great' they look, thinking that this was a compliment.

But I realize now that that isn't necessarily true...equating weight loss with attractiveness is in fact a regurgitation of what I'm told to think by the media. And I need to not be brain-washed.

Weight loss does not equal attractiveness. Thin does not equal hot. Skinny is a crappy ideal. But Hell's Bells, are we ever taught to think that way. Take those cheesy weight loss infomercials for example, that teach us that unless you are slim, muscular and made-over then your life just cannot begin. You need a new 'you', to become successful and attractive and popular. No other body shape or size can possibly make it anywhere in this world, and until you lose some weight you will forever be depressed and lonely, waiting and willing for your repressed 'thin' self to bust out from the burden of your average-looking body and find true happiness. What a hot-crock of crap.

So at least for Fat Talk Free Week in October, challenge yourself and challenge your friends to steer clear of Fat Talk. For one week, use the challenge to focus on everything else. Focus on your inner beauty...talents...dreams...goals. Talk about everything - enjoy food - wear your favorite clothes, but just try not to dwell on appearances. Give yourself a break from Fat Talk.

Who knows, your conversation might change for good. And besides, there is so much more to talk about.

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