I don’t often write posts focusing on non-decor topics. But when Special K approached me to let me know about their “Fight Fat Talk” campaign, the message resonated with me. Special K says that 93 percent of women “Fat Talk,” which is making negative comments about your own body (or others’).
Not only as a woman, but as a mom of three daughters, I have seen firsthand how this kind of negative talk can hurt. Instead, I want to encourage a positive self image.
Check out this 2-minute video. It’s really great. Special K’s pretend pop-up shop called “SHHHH” made the unsuspecting shoppers aware of how much this talk can hurt:
I think this is such an important topic. This type of negativity can do so much damage at any age, and especially in young girls.
As I’ve gotten older it’s been harder and harder to maintain my weight and I have noticed that I was saying these negative things to myself. And this “fat talk” really does hurt self-esteem. A new Special K study says that all of the fat talk can make it harder to keep a healthy weight. I believe that it’s important to spread positivity in the world, not negativity.
I know I am way harder on myself than I am on other people; I think everyone is their our own worst critics. But we can and should stop this kind of talk.
I think this negative self-talk is one of the biggest challenges facing young girls. Watching my girls go through middle school, I’ve seen a lot of negative things around body image. Anything we can do to address this is a good thing.
I had a discussion with my two teenage daughters about this because I think it’s so important. My younger teenage daughter had already watched the YouTube video without me telling her to. One of her friends had pointed it out to her, which I thought was awesome.
Here are some ideas they shared with me on how to #FightFatTalk in their lives:
- If your friends start putting themselves down about something, Hannah turns it around to a positive thing and starts talking about all of that person’s great points instead to help them feel better about themselves.
- If you find yourself surrounded by others who are putting themselves or other girls/women down, Hannah suggests that you may want to hang out with a more positive group.
- If you’re having a bad day — feeling like your butt looks big or something — but she suggests you think about your good qualities. Perhaps your hair looks great that day, or you have a pretty smile. Don’t focus on the one you’re feeling bad about.
Hayley suggests that we
- Not compare yourself to models on TV or magazines — since they’re often Photoshopped .
- Act confident and the real confidence will follow.
- Feel good about ourselves and be confident in our skin; be grateful that we have healthy bodies.
- Turn negative comments from your friends into positive ones.
I was blown away by how often women put themselves down. These stats were shocking to me:
Share your ideas on how we can all Fight Fat Talk during the holidays (and beyond)!
I would love to hear your thoughts!
This post was sponsored by Special K. The opinions are all mine. See my disclosures.
As a mom of a young girl I can’t thank you enough for sharing this!
Amy Huntley says
Such a great message to be sending and sharing. I too need to think about what I say to myself and have been guilty of the fat talk. No more! Thanks for sharing your insight Jen. Love that you are talking to your girls. I will be doing the same!
Heather D says
I’m bad about this sometimes. If I say something bad about myself/my body in front of my husband, he always says “hey! that’s my wife you’re talking bad about!” It makes me think!
Jamielyn Nye (@iheartnaptime) says
This was a great post Jen! I am guilty of this way too often! Thanks for the reminder to love ourselves and our bodies God made for us. 😀
nest of posies says
this is such a needed post!!! i’m so guilty of talking like this, but i just started thinking i need to becareful with how i’m wording things with Madi getting older. because i so want her to have the best & most positive outlook she can possibly have!!!
Kari @ UCreate says
I needed to read this post today!!
I am so guilty of “fat talk” around the holidays. Just did this last night actually.
I love the approach on being positive – great to see so much good in this crazy world!
Me too my friend!! I am really trying to be better about what I think and what I say about my body. I love the positive approach too!
Desiree @ The36thAvenue says
I really love this! Specially now that I have teens and pre-teens at home. Thank you so much for sharing such a great and positive message!
Thanks Desi!! I just love the idea of helping our girls appreciate and love their bodies. Thanks for the comment my friend!
Thanks for sharing this campaign! It’s very true! If it stop with us first then maybe we won’t hear it from others!
Hi Shannon!! Yes I totally agree!!
Mary Anne Drury says
This makes me happy to see a big company with this message. I just wish they mentioned boys and men also. I am the mother of a 21 year old college son who was dangerously anorexic 4 years ago as a high school junior playing soccer. It totally blind sided us. He was well liked (not a victim of bullying), he had a girl interested in him ( a senior cheerleader), but struggled with tough coaches and a father who took/takes “healthy diet and fitness” to unrealistic extremes. His older brother and friends were also varsity wrestlers who had to constantly “make weight” for matches and tournaments. So, my sweet Evan dropped 30 pounds right before my eyes (drastically cut food intake, checked calories on everything, and worked out constantly …….. I tried to physically stop him ……. but he could not stop.) He had to be hospitalized due to dehydration, starvation and the risk of heart failure. After that we tried a “day program” at the hospital for eating disorders. He was the only boy ……. he became depressed and anxious. We switched to private counseling …… both women. Didn’t work. We had to have him admitted to the Eating Disorder program of a psychiatric hospital. Leaving him there was the most heart wrenching thing I ever had to do …… seeing my 6 foot tall, sweet son, ematiated and uncontrollably crying killed me. At least this time he wasn’t the only boy …… there was one other boy there …… also 16 years old. He spent 2 horrible weeks there (a relatively short time ) …… and let me tell you dealing with health insurance for this issue was not a treat either. After being discharged, he went back to private counseling …….didn’t work for him.. We finally found a male counselor/psychologist who my son could relate to and thank God he made some break throughs with my son. Sending him back to high school scared the crap out of me ……. all those kids concerned with who’s “hot” and who “looks good” …… blah blah blah. And the guys /athletes competing on and off the playing fields to be the cool guy or big man on campus etc. Well, here we are 4 years later ……. he graduated from high school (did well). We made him stay home his freshman year of college and commute to a branch campus so we could keep an eye on him. Second year we let him get an apt at that local campus so that he would be home on weekends and I could pop in during the week easily. So here we are year #3 of college and we let him move out to the main campus (2 and a half hour drive away from home) ….. got an apartment with a friend from high school ……. and is doing fairly well ….. but is still mildly bulemic (yes, the anorexia changed to bulemia ). He is in a very tough major (Food Science …… product development ……. and yes, I worry that this choice is also due to the eating disorder, but his psychologist assures me that it is not ……. ). Anyway ……. sorry for the LONG comment …… but I am trying to get the word out to mothers of boys and coaches…….. unrealistic body images and eating disorders are not just for girls . Thanks for listening.
Oh my goodness Mary Anne. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I am so happy your son is doing better. I know that people don’t think of men and boys as having this pressure, but they really do. My son didn’t go through everything your son did, but he lost a lot of weight his senior year and is still so skinny. He’s away at school and I worry about him every day. Thank you for sharing your story. It really touched me.
So much I want to say! First I love that you are talking about this. It is an issue! And I do it alllll the time. 🙁 I know I need to not do it but it’s almost like a I’ll -say-it-before-you-can-think-it kind of thing. I’m self conscious and I want other people to know that I’m aware of my issues. But all it does is make me feel worse and people around me uncomfortable.
Also- I love that you talked with your girls and that they had such amazing advice. Just goes to show what an awesome momma you are, raising thoughtful, wonderful girls.
Thanks Mique!! You are amazing. I really loved talking to my girls about this. I hope we can break the cycle of putting ourselves down. I do it all the time too and I really want to change.
what a great campaign Jen!! it makes me sad what we think about ourselves……and as the mom of a 17 & 26 year old I have one who does this to herself (I’m sure because she hears mom doing it) while the other one just told me the other day “sure I wish I was thinner, but I’m comfortable that THIS is who I am”…..made me realize, I need to learn from my daughter 😉
I know what you mean Cheryl! I do it all the time and I’m really trying to be conscious of what I am doing or saying because I know it has an impact on my kids. Your girls are so beautiful and amazing!
Brandyn | Southern Distinctions says
Thank You! This is such an important topic. It is very difficult, in this age with constant influx of information from the media and other outlets, to maintain an understanding of what is realistic when it comes to body image. As women we need to participate in strong campaigns such as this and to make sure we share this information with young women that may be struggling with their weight or body image for the first time. Let’s help the next generation of women be confident in their individual genetic make-up.
Yay! I agree Brandyn. I think if we all think about what we are doing and saying and become more positive with our bodies and how we look we really can change how young girls think about their bodies. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!!
I totally grew up in a bubble of fat talk. Now that I’m older and have to be gluten free, I’m living a much healthier life and I’ve noticed the negative chatter has diminished a ton. I practice Yoga almost everyday and it’s as good for the mind as it is for the body. and I feel great!
I’m so glad things are better for you as you are older. It sounds like you are so healthy and doing great! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
I just can not even think about any information that Special K would be offering. They continue to use genetically altered food but are not willing to label their box. If we can not trust them to clearly state every ingredient on their label how can we trust them at all? We have a right to know what we are eating and feeding to our children. I have no respect for them nor will I purchase their products. I wonder if you know about GMO’s?
I don’t know about Special K’s food labeling. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Helping young girls maintain a good body image is a good thing and I want to support and encourage that.
This is such a wonderful campaign! We shouldn’t really “Fat Talk” since it’ll only put us down. Great post!
Thanks Zoe!! I agree!!
And I loved your post about dealing with negative people. You are awesome!