We had girls' night at Kristin's this week. Once a month we get together and make a bunch of food, catch up, and laugh ourselves silly. This week, someone turned on the Victoria's Secret fashion show. Here are a couple examples of what I heard my (amazing, gorgeous, not even a little bit "fat") friends say:
"Excuse me while I go throw up."
"I'm going to drown my sorrows in another donut, since I'll never be that skinny."
I tried my best not to join the "fat talk", but I also couldn't fault them for it - I was thinking the same things they were! How did we get to the point where this kind of talk feels normal? Body diversity, accepting our bodies, and fighting fat talk are all topics I'm really passionate about, so I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the Special K #FightFatTalk campaign. They provided the awesome graphic above, and I've come up with three scenarios where "fat talk" is common and some ideas for fighting it!
Scenario 1: The unflattering dress.
I love this navy dress. I obsessed over it, ordered it, couldn't wait for it to arrive. But after I took these pictures, the fat talk started in my head. All I can see is my stomach in the right photo! There are many things I could choose to feel good about in the photos and about my body in general, but instead my instinct was "fat." Not cool.
Tips for fighting it: Moments like these are always going to happen in the fitting room. It's a matter of choosing to believe that it's not our bodies that are the problem. Repeat after me: my body is beautiful and there is nothing wrong with it! In this case and many others, there are better clothing options that will flatter and it's as simple as that. We can't always change our bodies, but we can toss the dress. (I returned it.) The dress might not always flatter, but our bodies are not to blame.
Scenario 2: The unflattering picture.
You know - the picture where you have muffin top, and your arm looks wider than your waist and you have three chins? And then someone posts it to Facebook and you can't untag yourself fast enough? Yes, that picture!!
Tips for fighting it: The Australian personal trainer (red bikini) is illustrating just how deceiving a photo can be. That's her on the right a few minutes later, with a different pose and some small changes. And I love the collage with the black v-neck illustrating flattering poses. Just like my dress, an unflattering photo is never about your body. There is such thing as a bad photo of a beautiful body, or even a hundred bad photos of a beautiful body. Toss those unflattering photos and never think about them again. And feel free to book a photo shoot or snap away in a mirror to prove just how amazing your body can look in a photo.
Scenario 3: The gorgeous woman in a magazine.
"Forty-one percent of women engage in fat talk when looking at photos of other women." I can't say I blame them - flipping through a magazine, Pinterest, you name it - it's hard not to feel like I'm the only one with body flaws! Or pores for that matter!
Tips for fighting it: In these moments, I like to remind myself of these "before and after" photos. Not because they are exposing some big flaw. They aren't - I mean how gorgeous are Candice and Jessica in the left photos?! No, I like these images because they keep our expectations at a human level. Advertising uses a lot of "smoke and mirrors" that can make women appear thinner than reality, but a good defense is to be educated about what we are really seeing. Still feeling low? Try avoiding the images altogether. Pay attention to what types of content triggers fat talk and unsubscribe yourself.
I want to hear from you! How do you feel when your friends fat talk - do you join them or protest? What triggers your own fat talk? What strategies do you use for overcoming fat talk?