Letter to the Editor

Published Letters to the Editor

Author: Melissa Martin, Ph.D.

Re: Females and “fat talk”

How often have you talked about dissatisfaction with your body to female friends? How often do you compare your body with TV models and celebrities? What self-disparaging things do you say about your body or the bodies of other females? “Women have unintentionally become their own worst enemies through their engagement in “fat talk”–critical dialogue about one’s own physical appearance, and “body snarking” or criticism towards other women’s bodies.” A 2019 book called “Fat Talk” by Denise Martz, Ph.D. focuses on conversations of women and girls about weight, size, shape, and appearance.

Fear of Fat “Eating healthy fat is necessary for production of estrogen, which is responsible for fertility, brain development, organ sustainability and maintaining healthy bones. Simple. So, not eating any fat or severely restricting is not reasonable or healthy and not effective as a long-term weight loss measure,” reported a 2013 article in Psychology Today. And fat helps us to absorb important vitamins. Fat keeps you satiated since it digests more slowly. It’s time to let go of our unhealthy fear of dietary fat. America is a culture with fat phobia which creates size and weight prejudice. Stop making dietary fat out to be the villain. Stop the weight hate. End America’s obsession with diets. How can Females Stop Fat Talk? The “Fat Talk Free Week” international eating disorder prevention campaign pointed out that fat talk is a key contributor to body dissatisfaction. And research shows that engaging in fat talk may contribute to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. The pledge that participants are encouraged to take states: “Today I promise to end Fat Talk in conversations with my friends, my family and myself. Starting now, I will strive not for a thin-ideal but for a healthy ideal, which I know looks different for every person, and focuses on health not weight or size. I will celebrate the things about myself and the people in my life that have nothing to do with how we look.”  Martz slogan for teen girls is “Friends don’t let friends talk fat!” The first step is to be aware of fat talk. The next step is to change fat talk conversations and educate your friends and family about fat talk. “I look so fat.” Sitting around and whining about your weight while engaging in fat talk is not helpful and can be harmful to body image and self-image. “These jeans make me feel so fat.” Stop hating on fat. And stop the fat talk.

Author: Chuck Weaver State Senator, 37th District

Re: Fairer Maps in Illinois

The Illinois Constitution establishes how our state government is supposed to work for the residents of Illinois, as well as prevents elected officials from abusing their power. However, our current system of drawing legislative district boundaries clearly favors the politicians instead of the people. The current redistricting system in Illinois allows one party to draw legislative boundaries in such a way as to significantly influence the partisan makeup of a district. This gerrymandering allows politicians to steal the election before the voters even go to the polls, and shape the direction of our state government and public policy for decades. Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4 would place the question of fair maps on the ballot for the next statewide election. So far, however, entrenched political leaders haven’t allowed similar bills to advance, despite a nationwide call for fair map plans from members of both parties. We are asking Illinoisans to speak up and help put a fair maps amendment on the ballot for the next election, giving voters the power to pick their legislators instead of letting lawmakers pick their voters. To voice your support for fairer maps in Illinois, you can sign a petition on my legislative website at http://senatorweaver.com/. We have the ability to fix this problem. Working together, we can put a bipartisan redistricting referendum on the ballot for the next election so the people of Illinois can decide this question for themselves.

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