The internet has been a buzz with the popularity of the instagram account ‘You Did Not Eat That‘. The account has only been up and running a few weeks but it already has over 100,000 followers as well as being featured in major publications online and in print. Basically, the premise of the account is that it re-blogs pictures of famous, thin, bloggers/models eating decedent desserts or greasy foods.
I get the anger that’s behind the creation of the account. I really do. I don’t think most of it comes from a place of jealousy, but from a place of disgust at the new “idealised” image of womanhood. Now women are supposed to be effortlessly thin, with an appetite that can pace any man’s. Some bloggers even famously admit to buying food solely for use as props and then throwing it away. Some pretend to eat like crazy while actually be really careful with what they eat, making their throw-away diet tips quite dangerous, in reality. But…..
I think this is a dangerous veer deeper into the realm of shaming women about what they eat, and about their bodies in one go. It feels like another attempt to police my behaviour and body image as a woman. And that is something that the world doesn’t need. The more you police what is going into someone’s mouth, the more awareness they will have of every morsel they are eating, along with a heightened sense of guilt. Judging a person’s diet based on how they look doesn’t make sense. I’m no stranger to poor body-image, and this smacks me of feeding the fire. You can be overweight and healthy, just like you can be slim and unhealthy.
Frankly, I am exceedingly biased on this issue. Part of me would hate to show up on the account. It’s embarrassing. And I don’t want to be embarrassed of what I’m eating. If I was reading a recipe post from an overweight blogger I would never think it okay to comment, “If you only eat salad why are you fat?” However, on nearly every recipe that I post on this space I get a very good-natured comment wondering how I manage to stay slim. I eat cookies, I eat cupcakes, I eat potatoes, I cook with butter, I love bread. But not every single day. At this point in my life, I am okay metabolism-wise; as long as I am eating in moderation, having a dessert after dinner isn’t a big deal. Yes, some days I eat hyper-creamy pastas with bread and wine. And yes, somedays I just have salads.
It helps that I do most of my own cooking/baking from scratch. It’s easier to take care of your body when you know what ingredients are in your food. You know what you are indulging in more specifically. Eating out is a treat for me, and I rarely eat fast-food. (I’m not fast-food shaming, there just isn’t any close by me. I love McDonald’s breakfasts.) I don’t go to the gym, but I do lead a fairly active lifestyle. Basically, no one knows what goes on behind close-doors in my home food-wise, so why make assumptions about other bloggers or models or celebrities?
I think that it should go without saying that everyone, even the skinniest amongst us, indulges occasionally and that’s okay. And everyone occasionally cuts back on what they are eating.
In short, food doesn’t need to be any more angst-ridden than it already is. Leave food alone. Today I had a bowl of ice cream. Maybe tomorrow I won’t. And yes, I ate that.