Feel like you could stand to lose a few pounds? It’s probably best if you keep that to yourself.
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have found that women who engage in “fat talk,” or make disparaging remarks about their bodies, are considered less likeable by their peers.
In a new study, presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference earlier this month, researchers asked college-age women to examine snapshots of thin and overweight women, who either gave positive or negative statements about their bodies. The participants were then asked to rate the women on their perceived likeability.
Regardless of their body type, the photographed women who engaged in negative body talk were thought to be significantly less likeable, while overweight women who made positive remarks about their bodies were rated the most likeable.
In a press release, lead researcher Alexandra Corning noted that psychologists believe sharing complaints about one’s weight, diet or need to exercise is a way for women to bond with each other. But as her study suggests, this tactic can backfire.
“These findings are important because they raise awareness about how women actually are being perceived when they engage in this self-abasing kind of talk,” Corning said in the press release.
So quit bashing your body. Your friends will like you better for it – and you may wind up liking yourself better, too.