“I was craving ice cream but I decided to be skinny.”
“This shirt makes my arms look huge.”
“She is so skinny, how does she do it?”
Fat talk – negative words we say to put down our own bodies – is sadly an all too common conversation topic today. An overwhelming number of both men and women report regularly engaging in fat talk with their friends and family. Once you start noticing it, you will hear it everywhere – women in the bathroom or a dressing room trying on clothes, men at the gym wanting to gain more muscle, high schoolers scrolling through heavily filtered, staged, and Photoshopped pictures on Instagram, and on TV, on the radio or in magazines.
It’s no surprise that fat talk is damaging to our self-esteem, and normalises the ridiculous standard that men and women must be dissatisfied with their own bodies. So how can we take a stand against fat talk? One way is to notice what the fat talk achieves in your relationships. Are you fat talking to try and fit in with your friends? When a friend shares their own insecurity, do you feel obliged to put down your body in return? Instead of bonding over body bashing, bond over voicing your concern for your friend when they put their body down. Does it give you an outlet to vent your frustrations about your looks? Instead of being frustrated at your body, express anger over the media’s fake images and the pressure to have an unrealistic body. Soothe and comfort your own body by treating it with kindness – enjoy time outside, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and good, whisper a thank you to your body for all that it does, and how it allows you to experience the world, to hug and dance and enjoy what life has to offer.
Does fat talk sound familiar to you? Do you want to feel more comfortable in your body and feel good about the way you look? You don’t need to settle for feeling negatively about your body. Have a chat with a healthcare professional to start building a healthy body image.
Lauren Chee (M Clin Psych, BSc (Hons – First Class)) is a psychologist who understands the importance of forming a genuine and caring therapeutic relationship with each individual she sees. Lauren is registered with Medicare and is also an approved practitioner in the NSW Workers Compensation System.
Lauren has experience working with both children and adults within schools, private clinics, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. Her warm and supportive approach helps her clients feel comfortable exploring their concerns in order to develop practical strategies to reach their goals. Some of the issues she has helped her clients with include depression, anxiety, perfectionism, adjustment to significant life change, self-esteem, grief, learning difficulties, and school and work-related stress.
In her work, Lauren recognises the individuality of each person and their story, and provides uniquely tailored treatments to support her clients. By being committed to the latest psychological research, she is able to equip her clients with evidence-based skills and knowledge that can lead to positive and lasting change. Lauren is a dedicated and approachable psychologist with a passion for helping her clients live a life in line with their personal values.
Lauren has a special interest in:
- Anxiety Disorders e.g. Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Health Anxiety
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Skills and Assertiveness
- Parenting and Attachment
- Child Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Learning Difficulties e.g. ADHD, specific learning disorders
- School-Related Stress
- Christian Counselling
Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time in nature, discovering new music, and sharing delicious meals with her friends and family.