The young woman wore a green flowered skirt cinched over her flat stomach with a white blouse hugging her shoulders. Long brown hair cascaded down her back. I began to pick-up snippets of her conversation with the man strolling beside her as we prepared to pass on the street.
“Why are there so many restaurants here? It’s probably why I’m so fat,” she said as she looked at the man.
Anger boiled in my stomach. Why was this thin beautiful girl calling herself fat? Why do any of us, who are healthy, call ourselves fat? We fling the word around like it’s no big deal when, in fact, it is. I was hurt by the girl’s words because I thought she looked great. If she thought she was “fat” then what must she think of me?
I won’t lie, I struggle with this too. Too often, I want to call myself, “fat.” But hearing it said so publicly startled me.
Have you ever participated in fat shaming yourself or others?
Here are ten reasons you and I should stop.
1. Unless a doctor told you that you’re overweight, you’re not fat, you’re healthy. Yeah, you may look in the mirror and think differently, but you need to trust that you’re healthy and move on.
2. Normal is not fat. We’ve tricked ourselves into believing that gaunt is the ideal when healthy should be our ideal. Just because you’re bestie is thin doesn’t mean you’re bodies operate the same way. Some girls are curvy—others are thin. Strut your curves, girl.
3. Not everyone can look like a Victoria’s Secret model, so we need to stop comparing ourselves with them. Have you read what those girls eat? I’m sorry, please pass the popcorn.
4. Calling ourselves fat is not healthy. Positive self-talk goes a long way. If you call yourself fat long enough you might believe it. Start believing the truth—you’re healthy.
5. Liking food does not make us fat. It makes us normal humans who enjoy fueling our bodies. So what if that involves some Cheetos or chocolate? A girl needs her chocolate.
6. The standards that we view ourselves in are not healthy. We can’t look to the media for our self-worth. We need to look at what makes us healthy and feel good. If that means you have a latte every day so be it.
7. People who really struggle with obesity may be offended by our words. If hearing a thin girl say she’s fat hurt my feelings I can almost bet it will hurt theirs.
8. People who think we look great may take offence as well. If we think we look fat then they may become self-conscious about themselves. I know I sure do.
9. We need to believe that we are not all about looks. Our beauty should come from inside. What are you good at? That’s what makes you beautiful, not your looks. Go ask your friends what they like most about you—that’s what make you beautiful.
10. Fat is not a nice word. We shouldn’t say it to anyone, especially ourselves. Period.
What do you think? Do you ever find yourself calling you, “fat?” Can you think of any other reasons we should stop the negative self-talk?
With eating disorders and obesity such a prevailing part of our culture, we need to start seeing what we really are and not judge ourselves by other standards. If we hold a healthy BMI and are able to maintain it and be happy shouldn’t that be enough?
I’m tired of hearing girls say their “fat.” And I’m tired of thinking that I’m fat, too. We need to be the ones that stand up and begin to make “healthy” the new “beautiful” so we don’t get caught up in negative self-talk.
Let’s make a difference.