On the show

'Old talk': Is bashing your age the new 'fat talk'?

Oct. 4, 2013 at 12:25 AM ET

Video: Women have a tendency to put themselves down in order to commiserate with others, but Lucy Danziger of Self magazine and psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf say: Stop with the self-deprecating comments!

Do these jeans make me look old?

Self-bashing about your age may be the new “fat talk,” according to a recent study in the Journal of Eating Disorders.

Engaging in "old talk” may have the same mental impact on a person's body image as smack talking about weight, the study found.

The overall rate of old talk was lower than fat talk, with 66 percent of women reporting at least some indulgence in it, according to the study. However, while the rate of fat talk slowly decreased as women aged, it was opposite for women who talked about their age: Old talk only got worse as they got older.

“When we complain about our wrinkles and our gray hair, maybe it’s also a way of saying, ‘I wish I felt better,’” Self Magazine editor-in-chief Lucy Danzinger said Friday on TODAY. “But when you feel great, old is just an attitude. So I’m just saying it’s all about how you feel, and maybe it’s a signal if you’re feeling old that you need to take a little better care of yourself.”

The opposite of old isn’t new, or even young, Danziger said.

“It’s healthy and energetic,” she said, encouraging people to strive for their at every stage in life.

The aging process is like having a car, she said.

“You can’t necessarily get a new vehicle, but you can take really good care of the one you’ve got. Get sleep. Get exercise. This is permission to take better care of yourself – like high octane fuel,” she said.

And don't be so harsh on yourself, said psychologist Cathy Birndorf, who co-wrote “The Nine Rooms of Happiness” with Danziger.

“Be kind to yourself. I think when we talk like this to ourselves it’s not nice. We wouldn’t say this to someone else, but we say it to ourselves?” she said.

What do you think? 


TOP