Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Language of Fat

Unfortunately, learning this language comes all too natural to most of us.  It is not exclusive and you don't need to sign up or take courses to learn this language.  Sorry, Rosetta Stone, I think we got this one-no assistance necessary.  The language is easy to pick up.  No country to visit...oh wait that's since we live here already.  Day in and day out we are inundated with messages.  All we need to do is pick up a popular magazine and take a glimpse at the cover. "How to lose 10 lbs FAST." "All you need to know to get the body of your dreams." "Walk away from the bread!" It's no wonder when we surround ourselves with women we find the topic of conversation to naturally progress to that of weight and body image.  And I'm not talking about the empowering conversations where we discuss the kick- a$$ class we took at the gym that left us feeling strong.  I'm not talking about changing a habit of ours to promote health and wellness.  I'm all about walking the path to health.  No, what I'm talking about is the look of horror that flashes on faces of women when a birthday cake comes out to celebrate a co-worker or a loved one.  "Oh no I really shouldn't."  "Just looking at that makes me gain weight." "I'll never forgive myself."  The reason I'm so open with all of this is because I had (and sometime's have) these thoughts.   I've spoken those words.  When I read those statements I'm quickly reminded that this is a CAKE we are talking about.  A slice of cake that we have somehow given an enormous amount of power to.  We have allowed time after time, that piece of cake to dictate what that says about us.  For me it goes something like this: "If I eat that cake am I going to be able to continue to have a good day?" or  "Am I strong enough to say no to it?"

I find that speaking The Language of Fat has somehow brought women together.  How many of you have been in a circle of women, strong, successful women and the conversation starts.  Some are mothers, all are daughters.  Some own their own businesses while other's are nurses, doctors, CEO's of companies.  One woman says she feels gross.  The other adds "oh please YOU look great, its ME that has thick thighs." And on and on and on, each one adding in something else to knock themselves down.  We are all fluent in this language and for whatever odd reason, it acts as a bond between women; something we can all speak.  Please don't misread this.  I am not saying we enjoy this talk at all but the harsh reality is that most of us have all engaged in it. For me, I remember several occasions where I thought to myself, "If I don't say something about myself that I dislike, will that make me come off conceited or snobby?"  And that had nothing to do with the other women but rather a build up of years and years of societal influence. 

The good news is, things are starting to shift.  More and more women are not practicing the Language of Fat as often and so when other's are speaking it, it starts to sound foreign.  So I say, let's go against what our teachers taught us for all those years, just for this lesson.  Let's stop practicing. Let's stop reading it at night.  Let's stop discussing it with our 'peers' to get their stance on it.  No more group projects about this language.  Let's stop speaking and start celebrating.  I don't know about you but that's a language I'd like to be fluent in!


  1. Girl you got me freakin CRYING! smh.. Beautifully written!! I think we need to have a Fat Talk Free party! Get together and all compliment ourselves and each other about things we are doing, how we are looking, how we are glowing, how we kicked ass in class, etc... positive energy ONLY! Keep it up girl, you're doing great!

  2. Great blog! I can definitely relate!