There is a an organization whose mission and name is to End Fat Talk. I’ve been to one of their informational rallies a couple of months ago where we did roleplaying of how we would respond to someone fat talking to us. Most people don’t even know they are fat talking. And most don’t mean to be hurtful, but it is.
It was really hard to come up with a way that would get the person to stop fat talking without them thinking that you are a freak, since fat talk is so common in our culture. It was also really hard to find a polite way to get them to see that their fat talk comments are hurtful and unwelcome.
I’m writing about this now for two reasons. One, coincindentally, is that October 16-22, 2011 is End Fat Talk Week. But the other reason is that my body is starting to change after going to Studio A Pilates for the last several weeks. And I’m absolutely dreading hearing the comment that I have heard a hundred times in the past, “You look great. Have you lost weight?”
That seemingly innocent comment brings me straight to the place of feeling ashamed about my body. I have a lot of baggage in this department, and I own it. And I’ve worked hard and fairly successfully over the last couple of years to change how I feel about my body image.
And yet that phrase is still a trigger. I wish I had a good come back that would neutralize the whole situation. I’m grateful to know about the work being done by End Fat Talk because I don’t feel alone now in my ackwardness of hearing this phrase and others.
And I’m grateful that places like Studio A Pilates exist where this body feels welcome. I’m grateful for the internal work that I have done, which of course has shown up in my artwork, which allows me to even be able to look at myself in a mirror without judgment, fear, and anxiety.
A few weeks ago, I was at a gathering and an acquaintance looked at me and simply said, “You look beautiful.” That comment wasn’t weight-related and really landed.