It’s almost inevitable: When women get together, the chatter eventually turns to whose skinny jeans don’t fit anymore and who weighs in heavier on the scale. And participation is socially mandatory, a new study finds.See also my post "Overweight & Obesity."
Researchers call this “fat talk,” a term coined to describe a behavior common in middle school-aged Caucasian females. But the phenomenon seems to occur in older females as well.
“We have found in our research that both male and female college students know the norm of fat talk—that females are supposed to say negative things about their bodies in a group of females engaging in fat talk,” said study co-author Denise Martz of Appalachian State University.
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"Because women feel pressured to follow the fat talk norm, they are more likely to engage in fat talk with other females,” Martz told LiveScience. “Hence, women normalize their own body dissatisfaction with one another.”
“If there are women out there who feel neutrally or even positively about their bodies, I bet we never hear this from them for fear of social sanction and rejection,” she said.
As obesity rates in the Unites States climb, more and more females are finding their bodies further from the beauty ideal put forth in the media, and thus more women could be coping through fat talk, researchers hypothesize.
“Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” Martz said. “An example would be one saying, ‘It's like, I'm so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”
Saturday, April 21, 2007
From the oh-so-informative site LiveScience:
Posted by Steve Tapp at 2:47 PM