I can guarantee that at least once in the past week, maybe even the past day, you have talked down your physical appearance and made yourself feel worthless. Admit it… you have, we all have. By doing this, you are participating in fat talk. I can recall countless times that I’ve been in a dressing room and overheard others complaining about being too fat or having jiggly arms and cellulite on their legs. Even when you’re not listening for it, you hear it and this is because of how prevalent it is in today’s society. It has not only become accepted but actually expected from people.
The culprit of the fat talk bug is social media. While this issue affects both men and women, the latter are more likely to be sucked into it because of the endless amounts of ads, pictures, videos, and movies that depict the “perfect” female body. Men are also more prone to being insecure of their body when it comes to being too thin whereas women, generally, are the opposite and fear being too heavy. Every single thing we see on social media is posted with a purpose. Companies know what people will be attracted to and what kind of bodies will sell their products, the unrealistic ones. This leads to females having unreasonable expectations of what their bodies should look like. Today.com created the picture below to show the “ideal” woman from a woman’s perspective and what an average woman actually looks like.
The study, Does this Tweet make me look fat? A content analysis of weight stigma on Twitter was done by researchers to find out more information on weight stigma and its existence in social media. Over a four hour period, they tracked every tweet that included the word “fat” and found 4,596 tweets, 56.57% having a negative connotation. The fact that more than half of the tweets were negative is not very surprising but such a large amount of tweets in only a few hours is. This just goes to show how often body shaming and fat talk happen, it is literally done everywhere and at any given time.
Barbie Ferreira shows a perfect example of this. @BoredBarbara on twitter is a plus-sized model who is constantly being criticized for not having the stereotypical model body. Ferreira has modeled for American Eagle’s lingerie brand Aerie, which is known for publishing photos untouched by Photoshop. As seen below, she took to twitter to express some feelings that she had about the people who comment on her Instagram and twitter photos.
Barbie is clearly not standing for fat talk and silenced the haters in (what I think) was the greatest way possible. At 19 years old, she is already stronger than many women in today’s society because she is not allowing these hateful comments to ruin her, like so many girls do.
Fat talk will inevitably lead to a never ending cycle of people who can’t find happiness with their bodies but continuously insult themselves and others with the idea that they will feel better. They won’t. So take a second out of your day to acknowledge your beauty, like Christina Aguilera said “you are beautiful in every single way” and remember, friends don’t let friends fat talk.