Body lovers! I just read a very interesting article on something called “fat talk”. What is fat talk? According to psychologists, fat talk is a social phenomenon in which most women and girls routinely engage; it consists of the negative body comments that we females make during conversations.
While men also engage in this activity, it’s far more prevalent among women. Quel supris! Fat talk is the stuff that we say to each other about our bodies when trying on clothes, for example, or the things that we utter when talking about the latest fashions (that we know we will never fit into) or what we say when we compare our physiques to other people’s. We say things like: “I wish my butt wasn’t so poochy” or “One of my boobs is bigger than the other and I hate it” or “Why do I have to have such thunder thighs? or “You look so good in those pants; I wish I looked as good as you.” This kind of talk is very, very common among women and it’s super damaging to our psyches and I argue, our actual bodies.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that women (many, many women), heavily dislike their bodies or aspects of their bodies and they talk about that fact. Often. This makes me so sad. In the past, I also did this a great deal with my girlfriends. I remember uttering phrases that were incredibly cruel about my body. I complained about how muscular I was and how “German-looking” I was. I complained about being fat (when I weighed a mere 155 pounds). I complained about being too big of leg and too small of boob. **sigh**
I absolutely cringe now to think of all of the negative thoughts and statements that I hurtled at my beloved body and her various parts. It seriously creeps me out and sends a dark **chill down my spine** to know that for years I thought nothing of openly and vocally criticizing my body for various real and perceived “problems”. If you are a woman and reading this, I bet you have similar recollections of similar discussions about your body.
In my opinion, here’s the worst part of fat talk: Our bodies listen to us. Intently. It’s true. They hear every word, every thought directed toward them. If the statements that we make are negative, our bodies suffer. They do. In my belief system, our bodies have their own consciousness. Yes, it’s a consciousness that is closely linked and entwined with our psyche, soul, and ego-based personalities, but the body has its own gig and agenda. The body has its own ecosystem, it’s own management system, it’s own reality that’s largely disregarded and consciously unavailable to most of us.
Because the body has its own life, wishes, desires, reactions, and solutions, they are often frustrated with the person inhabiting them and the choices that that person is making. For example, I used to know a psychic holistic health practitioner who could readily connect with a person’s body and tell them what their various body parts were saying when imbalance had set in. It was fascinating to hear her say to me: “Well, your knee is really displeased with you for the the things you’ve been saying about her. She can’t help the damage that you did to her in your early 20s. She is pretty ticked off at you.”
I sat there stunned and thought: “Wait! I didn’t come in for a problem with my knee. But, yeah, I was just telling Susan about how my ‘bad knee’ affects my ability to do yoga. Son of a gun!”. This experience displaced my entire understanding of the body. Going to see this health practitioner deepened my dialog with the body. And, it helped me to see that yeah, our bodies actually listen to us and have their own reaction to the things we think and say out loud. When I followed the practitioner’s advice and assured my body that I was listening and addressing the problems, things really calmed down. I could feel a shift inside from some deep place and my inflammation would go away, sometimes pretty miraculously.
Here’s the thing: We are inhabiting these immensely complex, elegant, and miraculous physical bodies that respond to every thought that we think. We are here in the physical to do something in the spiritual. We know this whether we have an organized theology or not. The body is the part of the path through our process of expansion as souls. There is absolutely tons of evidence out there, in an exhaustively wide variety of scholarly and spiritual media, which confirms a very real and visceral mind-body connection.
We know that that the mind is capable of eliciting tremendous feats of strength, endurance, and even healing from within the body. We know that we are electromagnetic beings who emanate energy into the ether by way of our physicality. If you don’t believe me, walk into a room in a bad mood and watch your dog or cat’s reaction to you. Ya! it’s real. We know that the thoughts we think affect our health because we can measure it, quantify it, and document it. We know this. We have proven that negative thoughts negatively affect water molecules and positive thoughts positively affect the structure of water molecules. We understand that our emotions create reactions inside our bodies for good or bad.
Doesn’t it then stand to reason that the words we use to describe our physical bodies would affect not only our physiology but potentially trigger other people’s reactions to their own bodies? Think about that. The words that we so carelessly push into the world are registered; they are recorded. They are chronicled. They are living. Where? In the body. In the ducts, cells, and ligaments. These statements live in the mind of the body. They are stored in the gut. They travel the circulatory system. They are tiny emotional pockets of destruction (or creation) depending on intent. And our bodies are wise to our sh*t.
Why are we women so flippin’ adversarial with our bodes? Without the body, we can’t be here. Without a healthy body, we cannot easily achieve a happy life. Without the body in all of its various states of health, we cannot expand as a consciousness. It’s time for us all to think about what we are saying to the body and think about what we are pushing into the world with our words.
Let’s teach our young women this. Let’s individually and collectively send a message to other females that it takes all kinds of bodies to be here and we are all beautiful and miraculous. Let’s stop talking and start asking the body to tell us what it wants. My body at the moment wants cake, but that’s just me. ; ) Please help me help the women of this world feel good about themselves. Start with you. And, I’ll keep working it from this angle.
- My butt is so huge! ‘Fat talk’ is common and harmful (today.com)
- Attn Women: Fat Talk Is Damaging To Your Self Esteem (thenew1037.cbslocal.com)
- “Girl, Shut It!” Study Finds People Don’t Like Women Who ‘Fat Talk’ (medicaldaily.com)
- What’s All the Buzz About “Fat Talk”? (blogher.com)