Mean Girls was- and still is- a classic movie about high school, popularity, and being true to yourself. It makes me laugh every time I watch it (mostly out of disbelief) because of the way it depicts the social strata of high school. I will say that one thing Mean Girls does a great job of is humorously exposing some of the hideous ways that us girls treat each other, as well as the ways that we talk about ourselves and one another. I remember at my high school, we had our own version of 'the plastics' but they called themselves 'the six pack.' Gross! Anyways, one scene that really stands out to me takes place in Regina George's bedroom, where all four 'mean girls' are hanging out. They end up in front of the mirror, picking themselves apart and engaging in negative talk about their bodies. Cady, the new girl in the group, doesn't understand why they are talking so badly about themselves. The following is the dialogue that takes place in front of the mirror:
"My hips are huge."
"Oh please, I hate my calves."
"At least you can wear halters, I have man shoulders."
"My hairline is so weird."
"My pores are huge."
"My nail beds suck."
Now, let's face it. We all have moments where we may not feel our best, but ladies, this kind of talk, also known as 'fat talk' needs to stop! It is sad that we can be so harsh and critical of ourselves. So, what is fat talk and why do we need to cut it out?? According to the Reflections: Body Image Program, "Fat Talk describes all of the statements made in everyday conversation that reinforce the thin ideal and contribute to women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Examples of fat talk may include: “I’m so fat,” “Do I look fat in this?” “I need to lose 10 pounds” and “She’s too fat to be wearing that swimsuit.” Statements that are considered fat talk don’t necessarily have to be negative; they can seem positive yet also reinforce the need to be thin – “You look great! Have you lost weight?”." Fat talk reinforces unhealthy beliefs and attitudes about our bodies, and also has a negative impact on others as well!
So what can we do about this?! Well, there is a very unique way for you to get involved, share your voice, and help to impact change!! Fat Talk Free Week, put on annually by Tri-Delta and the Reflections: Body Image Program, will be starting soon-- on October 18-22! I will be posting more on this as the time draws closer, but wanted to alert you all of a great opportunity! This year, there is a video contest. Make a short video to show what you are doing to end 'fat talk' and upload it to the official End Fat Talk facebook fan page (here). Video submissions are due by Wednesday, October 20. Once uploaded, friends and family can vote for your video and one lucky winner will take home a $1000 gift card to Best Buy! This video campaign is a great way to promote positive body talk and to impact change!!
Below is a powerful video that was made to inspire change, as well as to promote Fat Talk Free Week. Consider participating in the video contest this year. And if you aren't feeling compelled to submit a video, that's okay!! But think about how else you might be able to get involved this year to help reduce and eliminate fat talk- whether it starts with you, in your own mind and conversations, or in conversations you have with others. One person can make a difference.