Well Being

Don’t Tell Me What To Do: Diets Are For Feminists Too

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feminist dietJust last week, someone on Facebook accused me of perpetuating anti-feminist body hatred simply because I acknowledged that people diet with this post. It was very a frustrating charge to stomach because I don't think it's misogynistic to talk about dieting. It's something that people do whether or not we talk about it and it's counterproductive to give other women a hard time about their choices concerning their individual bodies.

We're critical of diets and weight loss culture because they prey on insecurities, take bodily autonomy away from women, and encourage kowtowing to the demands of the male gaze. Dieting is undeniably problematic, but then again, so is trying to boss other women around. There's a difference between making it okay for women not to diet and demanding that we don't do it at all. No one tells me what to do or what to eat: not men, not the media, and not other feminists.

If you're on any sort of diet for any reason, that's between you and maybe your doctor. You can be a feminist who doesn't eat carbs. If you're not acting like a dick to people who don't look like you or eat like you, it shouldn't be an issue.

  • Your body is not anyone's business. You do your thing, they'll do their thing and I'll do my thing. What goes in other peoples' mouths does not concern you.
  • Not all diets are weight loss endeavors. A lot of people are on diets for health reasons that aren't so shallow. You may think someone is depriving themselves to force their body to fit into society's bullshit narrow standards, but you never know. They could be on medication or have allergies or be an athlete. Not that the kind of diet or reason behind it should matter, some women may be dieting because they've internalized the pressure to be thin to please men and that's okay too.
  • If someone wants to lose weight, let them. We can criticize the pressure from society without criticizing other women for succumbing to it.
  • We don't need more reasons to feel inadequate. If you think some poor lady is depriving herself due to the crushing pressure to be skinny, why would you add to her idea that she's a failure?
  • Eating disorders and diets are different. Let's not take away from the gravity of eating disorders by accusing someone who chooses to eat vegan of being diseased.
  • Body shaming is body shaming…is body shaming is body shaming.  When we demonize dieting as a whole and the women who partake in it, we are also demonizing women people assume are on diets just because of the way their bodies look. Thin women don't have to eat cheeseburgers, just like fat women don't have to stop eating cheeseburgers.

Maybe I'm being a butthurt little baby, but can we cool it when it comes to policing each other?

P.S. I ate a package of Poptarts for lunch while I wrote this post, but tomorrow I might just try to eat something for lunch that isn't junk. Someone call the feminist phone and report me.

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