While we are on the topic of obesity, a word of caution from Selena Ewing of Women’s Forum Australia might be in order: “Women, and especially mothers: no fat talk! Be counter-cultural! ‘Fat talk’ has become a cultural norm and it harms women.”
Ms Ewing continues:
In social settings, women frequently complain about their bodies and share weight management tips. This is known as ‘fat talk’ among researchers in psychology, social science and health. Research shows that all kinds of women tend to do this, regardless of their actual weight, even female athletes, and all age groups from schoolgirls onwards.
Why? While the average size of female role models (dancers and models) is decreasing, the actual weight of women in the Western world is increasing. Fewer women meet the social ‘ideal’ body. Body dissatisfaction has become normal for women. And it seems that women do ‘fat talk’ because they want to fit in. Complaining about their bodies is seen as a kind of modesty or humility. They do not want to appear stuck up or conceited. One study found that schoolgirls believed remaining silent in fat talk conversations would imply they thought themselves to be perfect, therefore silence was equated with bragging…
Read more at the forum’s website, in their Summer 2011 Newsletter.