‘Fat talk’ harmful to body image and health



Association with Greek life on a college campus often leads way to a negative connotation in regards to body image. Partially due to media portrayal, sororities are made out to be harsh critiques of outward appearances.

Rumors flurry about hazing and images are created of rushing hopefuls standing in their underwear while the sorority sisters circle their flaws in permanent ink. Even if the rumors of hazing prove false, a reputation has been made and sorority girls are often regarded as superficial.

Even with a strong reputation established, the young women of Delta Delta Delta sorority are trying to amend what has been created. These “sisters” elect one week every year to go completely “fat talk” free.

Fat Talk, which took place last week, is a part of a national campaign, Fat Talk Free® Week, which educates sorority members about the negative effects of fat talk and encourages them to focus on health instead of weight or pant size.

Their goal is to spread awareness and change the conversation from “skinny is pretty” to something along the lines of “self-confidence is beautiful.”

What is fat talk? Fat talking is the tendency to make negative comments about our bodies and has become a staple of female culture. Fat talk isn’t at all about being fat, but about feeling fat.

It has been so common in today’s society that a 2011 study, published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, found that 93 percent of women reported engaging in fat talk. And the more bizarre issue is that most of the women who fat talk are a normal, healthy weight.

What can be done? Just like Delta Delta Delta sorority, we need to change our conversations regarding body image. So much emphasis has been put into outward appearances that what is really health has fallen wayside.

Focus needs to be brought back to health and realize that our bodies are beautiful, in any shape, size or color.