Researchers have found that when women get together, ‘fat talk’ is inevitable. And it’s mandatory.
Fat talk allows females to appear modest, a prized quality in a culture that shuns egotism.
“We tend to dislike arrogance and especially dislike it in women (‘bitches’)”, Martz explained. “Women are perceived as OK if they fat talk and acknowledge that their bodies are not perfect but they are working on it.”
As Amanda notes in her post, this just ends up reinforcing low self esteem. “Even if an individual woman can get past these obsessions and get out into the world in a manner like Martz describes, she can fully expect other people to refuse to go along with it and continue to act like her only job in life is to be a sex object and evaluate her solely in those terms.” I made the same argument to a friend of mine who was writing a paper on beauty ideals, it’s basically a vicious cycle and I’m not sure how you can get out of it.
Not that I should talk. I have the worst self esteem possible. And the whole being fat thing is only one part of it. (And it’s not helped by the fact that I am surrounded by tiny people. Shopping with one of my best friends is just painful. Even a ‘S’ is big for her.)
In most cases I don’t know how to react to compliments. I always end up thinking I am actually being mocked.