The year is 2019 and the human race has never been more introspective and considerate. After decades of single-use plastics, we’re finally saying no to waste. We’re paying attention to greenhouse gasses and climate change. Gay marriage is no longer ‘a thing’, and we’re aggressively looking at the discrepancies between races and genders. In some ways, (most) humans have reached peak woke-ness. It seems almost laughable, then, that we still need to remind people not to comment on how others eat.
In the age of social media, everything is on display for the world to see. So, it’s understandable that most people feel entitled (and safe) to say anything they want about other people.
Recently, social media queen, Chrissy Teigen, spoke out about coming to terms on her ‘new normal’ body, saying that people often ask her how she eats the way she does. While she brushed it off by saying “I love food!”, she also went on to talk about postpartum depression caused her to stop eating (and, thus, was the skinniest she’s ever been). Hearing her say that she’s 20 pounds (nearly 10kgs) heavier and has never been happier is a reminder that we don’t always know what someone is going through.
In the same breath, praising someone for being ‘thin’ can be a dangerous road to go down, especially if you don’t know their backstory. They could be severely depressed (as Teigen admitted she was), engaging in unhealthy habits or sick – losing weight could be the furthest thing from their mind.
The body positivity movement has been monumental for people today. Not only are we finally paying attention to and giving bigger bodies the love and appreciation they deserve, but they’re becoming more mainstream – which sounds bizarre, as the average person certainly isn’t a size zero. Yet, somehow, we’re still equating thinness to healthiness and assuming that every person who eats ‘healthily’ or exercises, is doing it for the end goal of losing weight.
Singer Demi Lovato reminded us of this when she hit back at an article that commented on her full figure in the headline. As someone who’s open about her struggles with eating disorders, Lovato is proof that being thin is not something we should strive to achieve, and that we are worth more than what we weigh.
Perhaps with the acceptance of all bodies, we can also accept that food isn’t our enemy and that some eating trends, such as mindful eating and even clean eating, are still methods of control and can trigger disordered eating. Yes, we should all chew our food, eat at a table and pay attention to the moment we’re in, but that fixation on the types of foods we eat can still be a negative one and these lifestyles might work miracles for some while wreaking havoc for others. And, food doesn’t only need to be seen as a reward, or something to be earned. If you want the brownie, eat the brownie, maybe don’t eat the whole box – but certainly, don’t feel guilty or like you have to ‘make up’ for it. Similarly, not all ‘health’ food is inherently healthy for all of us. Some people have faster or slower metabolisms, diabetes, thyroid issues, for example, which can all impact how we need to eat and how our bodies react to certain foods.
The point is, don’t be an asshole and judge how someone else chooses to eat or live their life.
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