July 15, 2013

Keeping It Real

“I can’t believe I ate that brownie. I am so fat!”

“You must be joking — you are so not fat. Just look at my thighs."

"My butt is big. My stomach is flabby. My arms are wobbly. I’m enormous."

"No, I’m more enormous."

Have you and your friends ever had a conversation that sounds like this? I would imagine, at some point in your life, you have. It's called "Fat Talk".  Fat talk is the body-denigrating phrases many women engage in with their girlfriends. While it may seem like female bonding, it can actually be quite damaging to your self-esteem. Go figure!

I first became aware of this concept of "Fat Talk" after watching a segment on The Today Show. Subsequently I read an article on the same topic in The New York Times in which researchers called fat talk a “contagious” bonding ritual....93% of college women engage in it! I find that number astounding but not surprising.

So, why am I writing about this on C&C?

Because I know I've done it. Who am I kidding, I DO it! And with no good reason. I have no reason to be bashing my body. No one does. According to research, fat talk is so embedded among women that it often reflects not how the speaker actually feels about her body but how she is expected to feel about it.

And where do these expectations come from? From the blogs, websites and magazines I read every day. The media is most certainly to blame for these unrealistic expectations that girls and women place on themselves.

"Fat Talk" is most definitely a topic that all women should be aware of because the only way to create change in this type of behavior is through awareness.  My guess is you engage in it, but have you ever been AWARE of the fact that you do it? Think about how this kind of negative talk impacts your life and your relationship with your friends, your children, etc.

I have a little girl, and I don't ever want her to engage in such negative talk about her body. How can I help to make that happen? It means I have to make a change in my own behavior starting today! I must practice what I preach.

So, how do we break this cycle of fat talk in women? We start by not engaging. It's that simple. Don't say negative things about your body to your friends, to your children, and even to yourself. Appreciate it, celebrate it and honor it. If not for yourself, but for the little girls in your life who will grow up thinking it's okay unless we make a change now.

I would love to hear your comments on this topic!


  1. I loved the honesty of this. I've been so hard on myself and vocal about the disappointment with my body slowly losing the pregnancy weight. But if I ever heard my little girl talking like that it would break my heart. To a new language for our little girls and ourselves.

  2. LOVE this, Regan. It's something we need to focus on. Our inner monologue is a powerful thing!