Mamamia Cares: Join in the Butterfly Foundation's Fat Talk Free February.

We all do it. The conversation starts easily enough, “I hate my thighs; I really need to lose some weight.” And then someone chimes in, “No! My legs are awful; you don’t have anything to worry about.”

And before you know it you’re having a conversation focused on your body dissatisfaction leaving everyone involved in a more negative state than before.

You might feel as though you’re meant to talk about how much you hate your body even if it’s not how you truly feel. It’s not uncommon for women to say they feel encouraged to join in the conversation to be part of the group, to be accepted. Interestingly, even if you don’t generally experience body image dissatisfaction, being part of these conversations will leave you feeling unhappy and over time can increase your level of body image dissatisfaction.

These conversations may seem normal, but they shouldn’t be.  Fat talk encourages us to believe that appearance is evidence of your value as a person and it’s just not true. It’s a damaging thought process, building heightened levels of body image dissatisfaction and this can be an added pressure leading to someone making the decision to go on dangerous diets that focus on weight loss rather than improved health.

What if you felt safe to be satisfied with your body? What if the conversation changed and it was about creating positivity around your body image? We face pressures from the media, advertising and our peer groups. But we can all play a role in changing the way we think and feel and challenging the norm of negative body image.

We need to move towards prioritising health over appearance and fat talk free is your opportunity to become aware of how you speak about your body and make a commitment to support positive body image for you and your community.

So for the month of February, we want your support to encourage more Fat Talk Free conversation and to support one another to recognise how amazing we are, and that we are all deserving of healthy lifestyles and respectful relationships. It’s a time to celebrate, have fun and challenge the norm of fat talk to create a more positive environment to work, live and play.

Make a commitment to shut down fat talk, both for yourself and for your friends. When you hear someone compare their body to someone else’s, or speak negatively about their body, you can choose not to respond in kind. It’s not only for you, but if we all make a decision to challenge fat talk then we can create real change.

What can you do? Become a Fat Talk Free Champion and SIGN OUR PLEDGE and for more information and support with Fat Talk Free February check out our website or for ideas on fundraising for Fat Talk Free February.

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