Fat Talk Free Week: Banning the “F” Word

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By Bonnie Rochman, TIME

Coming soon to a college campus near you: a ban on “fat talk.” O.K., so the ban is voluntary — and temporary — but it’s designed to get students to think about the psychological effect of even seemingly innocuous comments like “Omigosh, you look so good — have you lost weight?”

Starting Oct. 18, thousands of young adults on at least 35 campuses will participate in Fat Talk Free Week, a national campaign to eliminate language that is damaging to students’ body image. The initiative’s motto: “Friends don’t let friends fat-talk.” Participants learn, for example, that when a gal pal asks if those jeans make her butt look big, the best answer may be to persuade her not to ask the question at all. (See 10 myths about dieting.)

The anti-fat-talk campaign is designed first to help people identify the “thin ideal” — essentially a pre-pubescent girl’s body, plus boobs — that is perpetuated by the media and pop culture, and then learn how to reject it in favor of a healthier, more realistic attitude.

Read More: Fat Talk Free Week: Body-Image Campaign Goes to College – TIME.

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