I was in awe this morning as I watched the Today show, (don’t judge me) as the statistics showed that 93% of women cannot get through their day without degrading and verbally abusing their bodies. Psychologists are calling “fat talk” (the act of speaking poorly about your body image) the social currency among today’s women. It is said that we spend far more time talking about what we don’t like about our bodies than we do encouraging and talking about the things that are going well in our lives.
We have all heard it. And as women, we are all guilty of participating.
“My hips are too wide.”
“My thighs are just too big.”
“I think that I’ve gained weight.”
“I am so fat.”
As a mentor, a woman, a “recently out of my teen years” (at the ripe old age of 23) aged female, I thought that one day I would be able to abandon the pathetic battle of “fat talk”. But I am beginning to realize that it’s not just a teen thing. It’s a female thing. It is a learned behavior that we use to defuse compliments, bridge the gap, and make ourselves feel better for having admitted our “faults”. However, we are training a new generation with ever comment that it is okay to think that you are imperfect. That as long as you talk about it and are “honest” that you are okay. Instead of talking about the beautiful, wonderful things in our lives, we talk about our bodies. We degrade our most precious gift, and slowly we destroy every good thing.
So, I am on a new mission. To stop this trend of “fat talk” in my own life and in the lives of the glorious creations around me. Because we are beautiful, strong, perfectly proportioned women. Our bodies are made in the image of God, and yes, it is our job to take care of them. But it is also our job to protect them when the forces of the world come against. Quit talking about the things your don’t like about your body! And If you really hate it that much, get up and do something about it. But when it comes to the shape of your nose, or the size of your feet. GET OVER IT! You were made that way, and it is not going to change. Quit talking about how often you work out, or that you have hit your plateau, quit telling me everything you hate about your body. Quit talking about it in front of young girls, because they are listening. And their tiny imaginative minds are soaking up every word you speak. You forget that when you tell them they look like their mother, but they also hear her “fat talk” they assume that they too must be disproportionate. JUST QUIT!
So when you feel uncomfortable about compliments, take a deep breath and say “Thank you.” Don’t tell them it’s your jeans or that you have been working on it, or that your work out routine is going well. Just say thank you. And even enjoy it. It’s not a sin. It’s not even prideful to be happy about your body and about how you look. Obviously there is a line. but be okay with how you are and what you look like. Tell the women around you that they are beautiful, that you love their bodies, and that you think they are the bomb. Because there has to be a way to diffuse this negative, horrible turn that we have taken as a society.
I will now take one foot off my soapbox and get to my phenomenal to-do list.