The UK has its first ever ‘Fat Talk Free week’

The UK has its first ever ‘Fat Talk Free week’

By Nick Watts

Fat talk free week has officially come to the UK for the first time, thanks to UK charity The Succeed Foundation. The weeklong event has been running successfully in the United States for the past 3 years, run by one of the USA’s largest sorority’s Tri Delta. It will be running in the UK from the 16th to the 22nd of October 2011.

In a society where we are frequently bombarded with comments about appearance and weight, even positive ones, it makes us think all too much about our image. We all have bits we like more than others about us, but we have become a society of people that concentrate on the negative aspects of our image, as opposed to celebrating the positive. Body Image is an important topic, with problems such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety becoming all too common as peoples dissatisfaction with their appearance reaches an all-time high.

What is Fat Talk Free Week?

Fat Talk Free Week is a movement to encourage people everywhere to be mindful about the way they approach topics such as weight, appearance and body image. It is designed to tackle and get people thinking about the ‘thin ideal’ and learn to reject it in favour of a healthy, more realistic attitude to the way people feel about how they look. It is hoped that the week will get people thinking about the way they talk about image and how seemingly harmless comments about weight and appearance have a longer lasting effect on someone psychologically.

Fat Talk free in the UK…

Campaigners are welcoming the move, seeing it as a positive step in campaigning for the realistic portrayal of beauty and the way we consider body image and the effects talking about it has on other people. Natasha Devon, from the UK organisation Body Gossip says;

"Derogatory comments about our bodies have become so much a part of the common vernacular, most of us barely register that we are using them. We mirror all the most ugly aspects of a society obsessed with body image in the way we speak, and in doing so we are perpetuating all the issues which result from it. Fat Talk Free week allows real people, with real bodies, to take a stand and in that respect it's totally in line with the Body Gossip ethos. By pledging to give up one negative body-related phrase you use often, you're empowering yourself and you'll see the positive impact not only on your friends, but on your own mind-set"

Other organisations, including Men Get Eating Disorders Too, the UK’s leading eating disorder charity for men, will be taking part to raise awareness of the body image debate and how it relates to the issue of eating disorders.  You can read more here.

As someone involved in body image campaigning it is great to see this happening, it is about time we all started embracing ourselves for the true beauty we all hold and learn that comments we make can be harmful, to ourselves and others. This is one week where we can learn to be careful about the way we speak about body image and learn to reconnect with ourselves, appreciate and love what we already have.



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