Engaging in “Fat-Talk” or “Old-Talk” – helpful or disastrous to our body image?


Feeling dissatisfied with your body has been linked to a number of mental health problems over the years, including depression, anxiety and stress. Whilst a previous study (published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly) has shown that we tend to engage in so called “fat talk” and “old talk” as a method of coping with the issue – when this will just exacerbate the problem by drawing more attention to it.

“Fat talk” and “old talk” have been seen to contribute to a low body image; it occurs when a person expresses negative feelings towards themselves, wishing they were younger, thinner or more attractive. It has been found that these kinds of people are more likely to hold an “ultra thin” ideal of beauty, compared to people who do not engage in this kind of talk.

Researchers from the University of West England and Trinity University investigated this in women, assessing 1000 women from all over the world on their “fat talk” and “old talk”. It was found that at all ages, throughout their lives, women will engage in this type of talk (although “fat talk” is more common than “old talk”), and these women were at higher risk of low self esteem and boy dissatisfaction.

So it seems that talking about being fat, or old, is a key indicator of body dissatisfaction.


Information taken from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256737.php

Published on: 22nd February 2013

Photograph Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/a-better-way-to-reduce-prejudice/250428/