Fat-Talk Similarities Between Mean Girls And Clueless

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Coined by Mimi Nichter, fat-talk is a term that translates to conversations that revolve around negative feelings towards one’s body. Scenes from both Mean Girls and Clueless -- two highly influential films of their time -- depict the commonality of fat-talk within everyday life. Both depict petite, well groomed, attractive girls picking out flaws within their physical appearances. Feeding off each other in a cyclical cycle, the girls contribute negativity that not only illustrates dissatisfaction of their own bodies, but feeds body image insecurity upon their viewers. The issue is that body insecurity is shared by a large sum of our nation’s population, 80% of women to be exact (Ross, 2016). Viewers then watch the characters bash their flawless …show more content…

According to the Notre Dame Department of Psychology, when fat-talk occurs, social comparisons are created, forming a cyclical cycle of negative talk starting with one participant and ending with multiple (2012). When it isn’t being talked about, it isn’t so much an issue, however, when one person brings it up it metastasizes. Salk and Maddox’s study also supports this assertion. Their experimental design consisted of elements in which fat-talk was present and measured their subjects’ interaction, or where fat-talk was absent and measured their subjects’ response. The results stated that twice as many women contributed to fat talk when others were participating than if there were no participants. Therefore, this blatant depiction of body negativity within Hollywood and the media aid the contagion that is fat-talk and body …show more content…

Studies show that for both genders those with an inflated level of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating normalize their behavior by believing that most people share their experiences (Department of Psychology UCF, 2011). With perceptions that this behavior is normal for all individuals, public displays of this behavior only highlight and aid the epidemic. While many issues come with fat-talk, research has been done to explore potential solutions. For example, a possible solution is to reflect upon one’s use of fat-talk by recording in a personal journal the frequency of participation and what kind of affect it has on one’s mood/behaviors. It has been shown that palpable evidence of how fat-talk makes you feel can illustrate the negative impacts on one’s health. This will in turn help one consider the risks and benefits of continuing fat-talk, while further clarifying the role that it plays in your life and how to change your behavior (Royal,

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