Comfortable in our own skin

More of us than ever hate the way we look, according to a Sunday glossy magazine article this week.

Something called ‘fat talk’ has infiltrated everyday conversation reinforcing the ‘thin ideal’ and contributing to our body dissatisfaction.

It works like this. You see someone you haven’t seen for ages and you say ‘You look great – have you lost weight?’ Or, on being offered a cream bun you say ‘Ooh, I really shouldn’t.’ It’s part of a dieting culture that has developed over many years leading to the perpetual dieter and diet driven language.

In The Observer Magazine, last Sunday, Dr Phillippa Diedrichs says: ‘After three minutes of fat talk, there’s evidence that our body dissatisfaction increases significantly.’

And being fat is not the only thing that we may be dissatisfied with … especially when we compare ourselves to the surgically enhanced and airbrushed. So, if as the article says, more of us than ever hate the way we look, what type of language can we use that will help counteract this negative talk?

What if everyday conversation avoided re-enforcing harmful stereotypes that fuel body-image anxiety?

What if we reject so-called ‘fat-talk’ and embrace the language of “FAB TALK”.

Like: “You look great”.

And instead of focusing on appearance, start appreciating qualities & strengths we notice in others.

Like kindness, generosity, humour, friendship & thoughtfulness


Why are we gripped by body-image anxiety. Eva Wiseman investigates. The Observer Magazine, Sunday 10th June 2012.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, University of the West of England

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