Sorority’s body image week fights perception

By Rob Bradfield
Staff Writer

When a woman looks in the mirror, there’s no guarantee that she’ll like what she sees.

Women are constantly bombarded by media and advertising telling them how to dress, how to act and how to look.

The pressure can lead to depression and eating disorders, but Thursday Baylor’s chapter of the Delta Delta Delta sorority is hosting a discussion and workshop aimed at changing women’s minds about body image.

Fat Talk Free Week is a national program of the Tri Delta sorority that encourages women to ignore the often unrealistic standard of beauty encouraged by pop culture.

Baylor’s event is at 7:30 p.m. today in the Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer School of Business.

In years past, Fat Talk Free Week at Baylor has focused on activities that promote women’s health and affirming positive body images, but this year the Tri Deltas are exploring the root of the problem.

“We’re hosting a discussion where we can center in on the reasons behind body image dissatisfaction,” Altus, Okla., junior Fallon Fausch, Fat Talk Free Week coordinator, said.

The discussion is designed to be a place where women at Baylor can come to explore their body image issues and learn about alternatives to pop culture beauty.

This year’s program is going to be for women only.

Fat Talk Free Week coordinators understand that body image issues aren’t restricted to women, but Fausch and the other planners have decided that the discussion at Baylor needs to be in a socially safe environment.

The Tri Deltas hope that through Fat Talk Free Week, more women across the country will feel better about the person that they see in the mirror.

Tri Delta has been sponsoring Fat Talk Free Week nationally for four years.

The program tries to get women to focus on the positive aspects of their appearance and avoid criticism of things that are beyond their control.

Participants in Fat Talk Free Week are encouraged to avoid thinking or talking about negative body image, and instead concentrate on positive features and overall health.

Palestine senior Hannah Abernathy, Tri Delta continuing education chair, takes these ideas to heart.

“There’s a difference between a healthy ideal and a thin ideal,” she said. “Beauty and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes and look different on everyone.”

This attitude is not held by many women in the United States. According to a video produced by Tri Delta nationally, 54 percent of women would rather be hit with a truck than be fat, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are worried about being fat.

During Fat Talk Free Week, the Tri Deltas try to reverse some of those ideas and get women thinking about what they call a “healthy ideal.”

The healthy ideal is central to the Fat Talk Free Week at Baylor and across the country.

Fausch said that having a healthy ideal is about “not having this stick figure or looking like whatever the biggest celebrity looks like­ — it’s what your body looks like when you’re healthy and having the right social interactions.”

Students interested in learning more about Fat Talk Free week are encouraged to visit http://endfattalk.org/.