The previous post, and some of the comments on it, got me thinking hard about how to begin to change the culture around fat and how we perceive it.
I asked myself: What's the one thing I wish I could change around this issue? The answer: I wish I could change the way girls and women talk to themselves and others about their bodies.
I've posted about this before. And I've written about it in this article. Now it's time to do something about it.
So I have this crazy idea: What if we could disseminate a kind of pledge that young girls and women would sign, promising not to trash-talk about their bodies? Something like this:
I, __________________, pledge to speak kindly about my body.
I promise not to talk about how fat my thighs or stomach or butt are, or about how I really have to lose 5 or 15 or 50 pounds. I promise not to call myself a fat pig, gross, or any other self-loathing, trash-talking phrase.
I vow to be kind to myself and my body. I will learn to be grateful for its strength and attractiveness, and be compassionate toward its failings.
I will remind myself that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and that no matter what shape and size my body is, it’s worthy of kindness, compassion, and love.
Then what if we got some of their favorite role models to sign, and stand up and say why it's important? Folks like, I don't know, Sheryl Crow and Jennifer Hudson and Mia Hamm? Would you sign it?
See, I think sometimes if you change the story you tell yourself about something, your feelings follow along. So maybe if we change the words we use to talk about our bodies, our feelings about them will follow along too.
And then maybe kids like the 12-year-old in my previous post won't feel so anxious and conflicted about what they eat and how they look. And maybe some of the kids who are genetically predisposed to eating disorders won't develop them.
Maybe it's naive. Or maybe it's a good idea. What do you think?