You shouldn’t hear anyone saying “I want to lose three pounds” or “Is butter a carb?” this week, as college campuses across America participate in the national “Fat Talk Free Week.” Sponsored at Washington University by Reflections, a student group aiming to promote awareness about eating disorders and body image, the goal of the week of Oct.
It’s Fat Talk Free Week again. Let me begin by saying that because I have only encountered this event, sponsored by the Reflections student group, through Facebook invites and Underpass paintings, that I have absolutely no idea what this event means to the people who choose to sign the pledge and participate in the activities.
Fat Talk Free Week is almost over. My question: What happens next week? Will the students who pledged to abandon “fat talk” for seven days return to their old ways, criticizing their inevitably imperfect bodies and finding flaws in every pound and tight fit? I can’t help but think that the pressures of our college lifestyles will force “fat talk” back into daily dialogue. The student group Reflections, which introduced Fat Talk Free Week to Washington University, is a positive force on campus. However, as a visible resource at Wash. U. working to raise eating disorder awareness, the group is alone.
This week, we have seen the underpass painted to denounce our “fat talk.” We have watched students sign a giant board outside the DUC, pledging to stop talking negatively about their bodies and start accepting a healthy, balanced lifestyle. These events, part of Fat Talk Free Week, were sponsored by the student group Reflections and are a much-needed public step toward fighting the prevalence of unhealthy body image at Washington University.
For one week, “fat” is the new F-word. From Oct. 19-23, Washington University will participate in a national “Fat Talk Free Week,” in which participating students will sign pledges agreeing to think positively about their bodies.
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