We've heard it all so much. How the American culture is obsessed with looks. Not just how anybody looks, but how women look, and that "ideal" women strive for- we always wish we were taller, skinnier, with thicker, more luscious hair. That last part might just be me.
As a girl we've been programmed to care about how we look and compare ourselves to our friends, to the new girl in school, to somebody on tv, to the model in Maxim. We all do it, whether it's out loud to our friends (usually in the form of snarkiness) or the negative "I wish I.." thoughts in our own heads.
Growing up I've been well aware of my own (usually poor) self body image. Like most women my weight fluctuates. Most recently I've been struggling over recent substantial weight gain, being the heaviest I've ever been and the most insecure about myself. It may be due to that fact that I am way more sensitive to the 'fat talk' we often do with ourselves and with our friends. The "I'm fat", "no, I'm way fatter than you" game. A couple of my best friends engage in that on a regular basis when we're together and I usually freeze up. I try really hard not to negative self talk in my own head, but to bond with my friends do I really have to negative self talk out loud? I'm well aware of my own health and weight, and having that self awareness is a good thing. Talking about it in a way that separates your outward appearance from your internal worth is also a very good thing. Of course I talk about not wanting to eat a certain way or wanting to exercise more or wishing I was x amount of pounds less on the scale (and joking about trying to find the skinny filter on instagram!) But the second I start with "I wish I had her body" or "Oh my gosh I look so gross in that photo!" I know I'm saying those things at the expense of having a healthy view of myself.
I struggle just like everybody else to feel good about the way I look. I have (many) days that I cry in my closet because I don't like the way I look in my clothes. But complaining about how I look to my friends only perpetuates that negativity, even if it's what I'm thinking in my head, but for me it just doesn't help. Eventually I plan to have children and I never would want them to hate themselves for how they look or to speak so negatively about themselves to their friends.
So my dear friends who were 'fat talking' last night: you're beautiful and I just want you to be happy and healthy- whatever that means to you. The end.