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Old 23rd March 2012   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2011
Posts: 155
Default Weight negativity causes depression

A while back, M. Lopez posted about a commendable campaign to stop "bodysnarking," which, as the word implies, refers to hurtful verbal attacks on curvy female figures.

It turns out that the efforts to stamp out their bullying practice are even more important that one might immediately think. Not only is bodysnarking harmful when it's levelled at others, but it's also crippling when it's levelled at oneself.

A new study has come to the unsurprising but significant conclusion that negative weight talk directly causes depression.

The crucial points:

Negative Talk About Body Weight Predicts Depression, Poor Body Image

Newswise — Washington, DC (March 22, 2012)- Commenting that you think you are f** may be hazardous to your mental health. Engaging in “f** talk”—the ritualistic conversations about one’s own or others’ bodies—predicts lower satisfaction with one’s body and higher levels of depression, finds a new study recently published online in the National Communication Association’s Journal of Applied Communication Research.

“These results suggest that expressing weight-related concerns, which is common especially among women, has negative effects,” said the study’s lead author, Analisa Arroyo, a Ph.D. student in communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “We found that f** talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”

The results showed that the more often someone engaged in fat talk, the lower that person’s body satisfaction and the higher the level of depression after three weeks.

What's worse, it's a vicious cycle. The negative talk leads to body unhappiness, which leads to more negative talk, and so forth:

Low body satisfaction significantly predicted saying more f** talk, the investigators found. In turn, saying f** talk significantly predicted increased depression over time and greater perceived pressure to be thin

All this misery -- for nothing. All this unhappiness, just because an alien, moneygrubbing cabal of advertisers and fashion elite have decided that the best way to exploit women's insecurities for profit is by brainwashing them into resenting their natural appetites and mistaking their full-figured beauty for unattractiveness. It's a truly criminal endeavour.

It's time to break this self-defeating circle. It's time to recognize the fuller female figure as ideally beautiful and to openly state that it is such -- both when women talk about their own curvy bodies, and when they talk about others women's curvy bodies.
Pamela is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2012   #2
Join Date: January 2009
Posts: 56
Default Re: Weight negativity causes depression

Having a site like the Judgment of Paris goes a long way in raising the self-esteem of full-figured women. In my opinion, the existence of such a site counteracts the negative effects of continually being exposed to thin-supremacist propaganda in media. When a plus-size woman has no role models, no outlet in which to view and celebrate the beauty of plus size, it can lead to body dissatisfaction and negative self-talk.

The importance of having such an outlet cannot be minimized in a society which relentlessly and ruthlessly foists plus-size hatred towards women. I recommend this site to many of my friends who are plus size and feeling beleaguered by all the negative messages swirling around them.

What is also important and worthy of note is that the site showcases GENUINE full figured models; no faux-plus models, no mixed messages!

It is not just the young, impressionable girls who are vulnerable to the curve-o-phobia we must endure, but older women as well, who are made to feel unattractive. As women age, they naturally put on weight. We are made to feel that something is wrong with us, that we must diet and exercise in order to be youthful and beautiful. This is what engenders dissatisfaction with our bodies, negative talk, and depression.

I will now get off of the soapbox, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a forum such as this.
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Old 21st April 2012   #3
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 633
Default Re: Weight negativity causes depression

I'd like to add an interesting perspective to this important discussion about the negative aspects of weight discussion.

Many plus-size sites continue to debate the use of the word "f**" as a term for full-figured women. While some attempt to reclaim this word, others, especially the Judgment of Paris, have always taken the position that it is invariably an insult, usually meant that way and taken that way, and thus is a supremely offensive term.

The following Web log post, by a commentator whose work was noted here last year, provides a fine perspective on just how harmful the word "f**" can be, and why its use must be condemned.

The entire post is worth reading, but this anecdote illustrates some of the problems with any use of the word:

The other day, as [Lisa] was making dinner in the kitchen, she told me, in front of her kids, how her “ass is f**” and how she can no longer fit into her jeans.

Later on, I asked her why she would speak negatively about herself in front of anyone, especially her kids, who she knows are grappling with major body image issues and as a result, have developed unhealthy and extreme eating and exercise habits. She looked at my confused face and said “I wasn’t saying their asses are f**, I was saying my ass is f**.”

Lisa didn’t notice how comments about her own body, in front of daughters who are currently dealing with this issue, could exacerbate their struggles with body image.

The use of the word impacts anyone who hears it, and if a mother uses it around her daughters, even if she doesn't target them with it (and heaven help her if she does), the effect is still harmful.

As the author further points out, the use of the word can have a pejorative effect in anyone's company:

When someone who is plus-size hears you say the word “f**,” what else are they expected to think except that you are including them in the insult? When it comes to someone who is not plus-size, but grappling with poor body image or an eating disorder, when you, someone this person probably respects and trust, hurls the word “f**” in front of them—this move could very well make them feel terrible about themselves…even if it’s not about or directed at them.

Another anecdote illustrates how the use of the word, even when it is directed by the speaker at herself, can be especially insulting to the speaker's full-figured friends:

One of her girlfriends will often use the word as an insult weapon against men and women: “He’s so f**, gross” or “Wow, did you see how f** she’s getting” or “Ugh, I didn’t work out this week, I feel f**.”

Melanie wondered, “Does she not see that I’m sitting there? That I am clearly a plus-size woman, usually bigger than the people she’s talking about. Doesn’t she think it hurts my feelings? How could I not think that she feels the same way about me? Hello?!”

When Melanie confronted this friend about her tendency to use “f**” as an insult, her friend responded, “Oh I don’t think of you that way, you know I love you.”

Yeah, but that doesn’t make things better…not at all.

Furthermore, not only is the word coupled with intractable negative associations, but, as the author points out, even the way it is spoken is invariably hurtful. It simply cannot be uttered in a soft, loving manner, and even if it could be, the prevailing use of the word throughout our culture is so negative that even an attempt to use it positively cannot dispense with all of the word's negative connotations:

This isn’t just about the use of the word f**, but it’s also about our tone when we do use it. As a society, when we say the word “f**,” we tend to say it with a forceful, angry inflection—whether we’re saying it about ourselves or someone else.

It is wholly unreasonable to expect every vulnerable young curvy woman, let alone schoolgirl, struggling with self-esteem and sensitive about her body, to suddenly become a fire-breathing activist, impervious to insults. For most full-figured girls, the word "f**" can only ever be felt as an attack, and the reaction will always be shame and humiliation.

Rather than trying to cram an agenda down curvy girls' throats, size-acceptance activists should have some sensitivity and compassion about the feelings of young women who are not as "liberated" as they are, and recognize that the word "f**" can only ever be taken as a badge of shame by many girls. Therefore, the word should and must be eradicated, and more genuinely positive terms used in its place.
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