Did you know that 54% of women would prefer to be hit by a truck than be fat? Yep, you read that right. That women obsess about their weight is hardly news; if you think that should change, you might want to celebrate Fat-Talk Free Week, which starts today.
It could even make you $1,000 richer. The national campaign to crack down on fat talk is sponsoring a video contest in which would-be cinematographers can create videos showcasing how they’re creatively spreading the message to end fat talk. Entries are to be uploaded to the Facebook fan page by midnight CST Wednesday; fans will select a winner, who receives a $1,000 gift certificate to Best Buy. (More on Time.com: The ‘Other’ Salt: 5 Foods Rich in Potassium)
The week is modeled after the Reflections Body Image Program, which was created by sorority Delta Delta Delta, local sororities at San Antonio’s Trinity University and Carolyn Becker, an associate professor of psychology at Trinity. Dozens of college campuses have adopted the philosophy, which encourages women to turn against the stereotype of the ideal woman as a thin one. Instead, what’s important is feeling good about the skin you’re in.
But that — and exorcising fat talk — is harder than it sounds. To participate in Fat-Talk Free Week, you’ve got to pledge on their Facebook fan page to eliminate “fat talk” from your lexicon. What that means in real terms is no moaning about how you need to eat a salad for lunch because your jeans are feeling snug. No gossiping about the girl down the hall who looks a little plumper than when you first met her.
Learning to cull fat talk from your conversations is an art. “One of the first things we teach women is what it means to fat-talk,” says Sarah Williamson, the director of education initiatives at Delta Delta Delta headquarters. One of the next things? “Healthy looks different for everyone,” says Williamson. (More on Time.com: Want Good Health? There Are 10 Apps for That)
Williamson’s office, for example, is a fat-talk-free zone year-round. If some uneducated soul should wander in and join them for the midday meal, only to proclaim, “Oh, I can’t eat any more; I feel like I’m going to gain 10 pounds,” they’re gently cut off. “We say it’s fat-talk-free in here,” says Williamson. Then they finish their lunch.
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