It's not uncommon for women (or even men) to bond with each other over the travails of their appearance: their hair, their clothes, their weight, their fat. Sound familiar? If so, take note. The week of Oct. 16-22 isFat Talk Free Week. It's a week in which people are encouraged to stop their "fat talk." What is fat talk? It's comments like" I feel so fat in these clothes," or "do I look fat?" It can also be saying to someone else, "You look great, did you lose weight?" This implies that lost weight is the metric of looking good.
Although some women say that such talk makes them feel better, research suggests that in fact the opposite is true. Do you engage in fat talk? If so, here's a challenge: Try not doing it -- for a day, then for a string of days, then for a week. And what better time then during Fat Talk Free week.
If you partake in fat talk, it's in part because our culture encourages it. Through various media (including TV, film, magazine ads and articles), we're all encouraged to think that our bodies should approximate a thin "ideal." And if we don't have that type of body (which the vast majority of us don't), then we shouldn't feel okay about our bodies.
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Robin S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., ABPP is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Stanford, Calif. Rosenberg specializes in treating people with eating disorders, depression and anxiety. She often writes about the psychology of superheroes and has co-authored several psychology textbooks, including "Abnormal Psychology" and "Introducing Psychology: Brain, Person, Group." To find out more about Dr. Rosenberg and her work, read her Psychology Today blog and visit her on Red Room. For Dr. Rosenberg's brief, easy-to-read guide Improving Your Relationships with Your Body, click here.