Ixnay on Fat Talk

October 13th, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

ftf_logo.gifOne of my favorite bosses of all time was a master of her external life. She is over a decade younger than I, but I learned a lot watching her handle and manhandle distant big shots in a company that took over ours. That would be Compaq and she got us what we needed while making them grateful.

Lynne was wickedly witty. She was a jock (volleyball). She was one of the brightest folk I’ve known. Her recurring flaw was not immediately obvious.

Her biggest insult, almost entirely held for women, was, “She’s fat!”

Oddly, she was in a fair position to run down almost anyone’s reasoning ability or judgment or performance. She honestly could and did much, much better. Yet, when it came to cutting, it was emotional and likely from childhood. She’s fat was damning.

This is not the week to fall back into such pop babble. Do-gooder sorority Delta Delta Delta (TriDelta) has declared the Fat Talk Free Week.  That’s not some idle Greek Society game. They are thinking about the 10 million U.S. women who have eating disorders. (Check their video.)bones.jpg

The idea is awareness of how frequent and easy it is to slip in self-depreciation and insults — I have thunder thighs. God, I’m so fat. You can’t wear that dress; it makes shows your muffin top. — and the cascade of clichés and conversation fillers that reinforce the negative.

So, for a week, they are asking people, particularly women, not to trash talk themselves or others about fat and weight. At the same time and beyond, they’re pushing their Reflections body-image program. It focuses on colleges, where and when young women typically pick up or refine the destructive talk and thinking.

The forces leading to eating disorders are insidious. They are tough. They fill the media and entertainment. Perhaps worst of all, they are a lingua franca for us all, and again particularly for women.

This week, don’t fat talk. Don’t fat talk your friends. Don’t fat talk yourself. Don’t fat talk co-workers.

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