Event Title

An Experimental Investigation of Responses to Fat Talk Versus Feminist-Oriented Challenging Fat Talk Scenarios

Presenter Information

Meghan Shippe, Dickinson College

Location

Stern Center Great Room

Start Date

19-4-2018 5:15 PM

Description

“Fat talk” consists of self-comparison, fears of becoming overweight, and harmful comments that involve degrading the body shape/weight of oneself or others, improving physical appearance, and eating and exercise habits. Fat talk is associated with increased eating disorder risk. However, because fat talk is normalized, viable alternatives to fat talk remain somewhat unclear. The current experiment examined responses to fat talk versus feminist-oriented challenging fat talk scenarios. Participants (N = 283 U.S. undergraduate women) were randomized to view either a fat talk vignette or a feminist-inspired “challenge” vignette as part of a larger investigation on these types of conversations. The current exploration focused on their responses (post-vignette exposure) to the question: “what would you say next?”. In the fat talk condition, positive body talk (38.2%), feminist talk (37.4%), and fat talk (26.8%) were the most common, whereas in the challenging fat talk condition, feminist talk (60.2%), and positive body talk (31.4%) were the most common, and fat talk was less common (17.8%). Moreover, the challenging fat talk condition resulted in less momentary negative affect than the fat talk condition. Although exploratory, current findings suggest that exposure to feminist-inspired challenging fat talk scenarios may be a useful alternative to fat talk and may confer less negative affect. These data highlight the potential utility of psychoeducation about feminist language and the emotional consequences of fat talk for ED prevention campaigns.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Comments

Advisor: Associate Professor Suman Ambwani

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Apr 19th, 5:15 PM

An Experimental Investigation of Responses to Fat Talk Versus Feminist-Oriented Challenging Fat Talk Scenarios

Stern Center Great Room

“Fat talk” consists of self-comparison, fears of becoming overweight, and harmful comments that involve degrading the body shape/weight of oneself or others, improving physical appearance, and eating and exercise habits. Fat talk is associated with increased eating disorder risk. However, because fat talk is normalized, viable alternatives to fat talk remain somewhat unclear. The current experiment examined responses to fat talk versus feminist-oriented challenging fat talk scenarios. Participants (N = 283 U.S. undergraduate women) were randomized to view either a fat talk vignette or a feminist-inspired “challenge” vignette as part of a larger investigation on these types of conversations. The current exploration focused on their responses (post-vignette exposure) to the question: “what would you say next?”. In the fat talk condition, positive body talk (38.2%), feminist talk (37.4%), and fat talk (26.8%) were the most common, whereas in the challenging fat talk condition, feminist talk (60.2%), and positive body talk (31.4%) were the most common, and fat talk was less common (17.8%). Moreover, the challenging fat talk condition resulted in less momentary negative affect than the fat talk condition. Although exploratory, current findings suggest that exposure to feminist-inspired challenging fat talk scenarios may be a useful alternative to fat talk and may confer less negative affect. These data highlight the potential utility of psychoeducation about feminist language and the emotional consequences of fat talk for ED prevention campaigns.