Fat shaming is alive and well on our campus. We have all lived it firsthand, whether you realize it or not. The comments are so subtle that they fade into the background noise of our lives. I rarely hear a student describe another student as fat, but instead, women shame each other for their choices. I hear women say, “Are you going to eat that?” or “You’re getting another cookie?” as another woman picks up dessert in the dining hall.
It is bad enough that we often punish ourselves for our eating habits, but commenting on another woman’s choices facilitates a collective eating problem amongst our female students. I have seen young women come into college loving themselves and their bodies, but the negative comments of others push them to second guess their eating and exercise habits.
Fat shaming doesn’t only include shaming each other’s behavior. Have you ever restricted your eating because you would be drinking later that day? I have seen countless students count their alcohol calories as their food calories for the day. When I highlight these habits to women on campus, their faces usually turn red from embarrassment because they, too, are guilty of these habits.
College is an already competitive atmosphere, competing for the smallest waist or lowest calorie count should be the least of our concerns.