Through my teenage years, I never engaged in fat talk. After all, why draw more attention to my disgusting body? When other girls complained about their appearance, I cringed inside because I knew that they were healthy while I was obese.
However, anorexia and losing weight has made talking negatively about my body easier. Scarily, each day this talk becomes even more simple. Now, I can spout out the very language I hated other people saying. Worse yet, there are sometimes people who weigh more than me in the room. I am, in fact, becoming the very person that hurt me growing up without ever intending to be cruel.
Why is it that talking negatively about our bodies is so accepted? What is it about fat talk that almost seems to bond women together? And perhaps most importantly, how can we stop this type of interaction?
Here are a few of the reasons that I engaged in fat talk recently:
- I don’t want others to think that I am ok with my body.
- The disgust and agony of being in my skin gets to be too much to tolerate.
- My thoughts are so loud that I need to get them out of my head.
- I want others to tell me that I am not ugly or fat.
- Others who are prettier and thinner than I am are not satisfied with their appearance.
These reasons show how strong my eating disorder still is. However, they also prove that our society plays a huge role in perpetuating this type of talk. To end this negativity, we need to start with our own words. Instead of complaining about your body, try to be grateful for it. This is difficult but possible.
I might never be super-model thin again. However, I am healthier now which is more important. Fat talk is unfortunately a far too common part of my life. To end this, I need to make choices to talk about something else and change conversations. Despite the disgust I feel inside, this eating disordered part of me will eventually leave. One day, I hope to be free. Until then, my words will hopefully be uplifting instead of degrading to myself or anyone else.