Sparing long explanations, it is simpler to give you a clear analogy: for a woman to walk in Afghanistan with bare shoulders, bare knees, in tight pants and a sleeveless shirt is like showing up on New York streets in a thong, on high heels, and nothing else. That is not possible. In many senses not possible. That would end in exactly the same way in both examples. It is irrelevant that Afghanistan is an Islamic or supposedly backward country. A thong and high heels is an attractive, convenient attire, but how come nobody wears it in public in Western countries?
Share this article
A few weeks ago a friend called me to share what she deemed to be very disturbing news. Throughout the fall, our staff and volunteers will work with hundreds of pre-teen girls to encourage self-confidence, positive body image, and an appreciation of health and fitness. The study , which was published earlier this year in the Journal of Eating Disorders, surveyed over women between the ages of 18 and Participants reported on a variety of measures including age, weight, body satisfaction, engagement in fat talk and old talk, and eating disorder behavior. The researchers found that, while younger women tend to bash their bodies through fat talk, older women engage in similar negativity through old talk. Such body dissatisfaction — be it due to weight, age, or both — is associated with a variety of physical and emotional health problems, including low self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders. How many of them have even heard their YWCA mentors using such language? Why are we so dedicated to ending fat talk among girls and yet engaging in old talk ourselves? If we want to instill self-acceptance in the young women we serve — if we truly want to show them that all sizes and ages are beautiful — then we need to start with our own thoughts and speech. That needs to change.
Smarter editing with AI-powered editor. Faster results! Just click, drag or slide to edit.