For several generations now, we have all been drilled with this one single and mundane notion of there is a very “right” way of eating if you want to achieve a body that is very healthy and attractive. And we are also told that having a body as such will help us lead a much more fulfilling and meaningful life. The reality of this however is of a completely different tone, isn’t it?
And in at least a decade or so the word “diet culture” has been in the spotlight forever, isn’t it? And what time of every year does it trend the most? It is certainly at the dawn of the New Year! This is when every other person around us including us want to take earnest pledges to tone, shrink, chisel, or in general, alter our bodies. And this previous year of 2020, owing to the breakout of the novel coronavirus, we saw an even more increase in the number of people taking to following a certain specific type of diet to up their immunity game. Some did achieve their body goals, but some simply couldn’t, and this led them to begin eating even more and puff their bodies with all things harmful and bad in the long run. So, all we’re trying to say by mentioning so much is that you need to just stop now and wait right there!
We truly think that you need to firstly, “Detox our bodies from all the bad choices that we made” This whole concept or the language simply implies that our body has been poisoned by latkes, cookies, eggnog, etc. and that there is an urgent need to administer an antidote! Most of us step on the bandwagon of diet only to cheat on it and say that “Oh! I’ll make up for the cheese board I’m sharing with friends now” or “I’ll burn off the calories I’ll be gaining on because of this” We think that diet culture is all of this—it is about following a diet, talking about cheating on it only to be left with a much more damaged health and body and this is so intricately woven into our culture that most of us just fail to be consciously aware of this! Let’s dig a little deeper into this “diet culture” that the world has been following and gain consciousness over the same as well.
So, What Exactly Is Diet Culture?
Diet culture has so many facets and definitions, but if you ask us in a nutshell as to what it would mean, then we’ll tell you to consider it as a set of beliefs that holds thinness as the God and then equates it with health and moral values. And this dear reader has become a very dominant culture in today’s time. It’s just that we fail to notice as it is almost like the water we swim in!
Diet culture is this lens through which we view health, beauty, and our bodies. It is a lens that colors out the way we need to look and feel through our bodies—it is highly intriguing! And in this world of diet culture, people are given this special status of their bodies are thinner, eat always the right things, they are considered to have the correct will power and the right attitude to lead a healthy life.
All this being said, did you know that the success rate of diet stories is just 2% and that the remaining 98% of the stories are all about failed attempts? Considering this, there is no way that you can say a body is healthy only if it has undergone any weight loss! And there is an anti-diet movement that has been formed whose aim is to urge the people out there to question, examine, and ultimately say “no” to diet culture. This is what has given rise to the “body positivity” movement which is trending on all social media forums right now! People have started boycotting the before and after transformation pictures that used to trend once upon a time on social media. The problem here isn’t about following a particular diet, it is about the various choices that diet culture pops in our lives which seem like the right choices we are taking towards a healthy lifestyle but in reality, they are nothing but the wrong choices!
Here Are Some Examples Of Diet Culture
Have you seen how every man and woman end up adoring the Barbie figure? And how most people think that when a woman’s thighs touch each other, they are not healthy or attractive? And oh wait, have you wondered why companies that sell shapewear never go on a loss? These are all nothing but different examples of diet culture. It is in the very essence of diet culture that seed into us the thought that when you feel hungry, instead of feeding the body with much-needed food, we need to push the hunger away by drinking a no-calorie glass of some liquid. We are asked to believe that our body isn’t really hungry and that it’s just a sign of thirst that our body is going through. Have we ever woken up, looked into the mirror told ourselves that we love our body, we love our skin? In fact, we feel horrid at the sight of ourselves in the mirror and say things like let me start a diet to feel better!
What Is So Harmful About Diet Culture?
The anti-diet followers claim that diet culture harms each one of us who are unhappy with our bodies, more so among those of us who have a larger body frame. Here’s a look into some key issues that diet culture poses to each one of us:
- It Spreads Discrimination
A majority of us have some of the other childhood memory of being fat-shamed because of our weight, right? People are mocked and bullied because of their weight issues. And this discrimination concerning weight impacts accesses to some of the most important things in one’s life—right from finding a partner in life to getting a well-deserved job. It is extremely difficult for a person who is fat to live a happy and fruitful life in the diet-driven society of today!
- It Fuels Businesses To Make Money By Cheating You Off
Americans spend thousands of dollars into attaining the results that diet culture promotes every single year. The weight loss market in America seems to be growing by several notches with every passing day, forget about a year.
- It’s A Stage To Make You Feel Like A Complete Failure
If you try and understand a diet on scientific terms, then weight loss diets just don’t work out practically! There is a lack of research or let’s say no research at all that shows any particular diet style or product that promises weight loss 100%. Had there been an existence of any such thing, we all would have been notified about it by now, isn’t it? This is precisely why research claims that 98% of diets in the world today have recorded that many percentages of failure.
- It Distracts Us From The Actual Societal Issues Around Us
The individual culture that we all belong to dictates that if we are not thin it is not just a fault in our body but it is a fault as a human as well. Diet culture preaches that we eat those pre-workouts and post-workout drinks and means to get out of the larger frame when it comes to our body first stop however, it does not pay attention to all those societies and communities in our world which lack basic amenities like simple fresh fruits first stop
- It Normalizes The Norms Of Disorder Eating
You see, disordered eating is a medical condition. Disorder eating isn’t a condition in you just because you are fat or you have a larger body frame first stop disorder eating is in fact more related to a mental health condition. So, what diet culture says is that if you are someone who has extra weight and is meant to lose weight, then you fall under the category of people who have the disordered eating condition.
How Does One Resist Diet Culture?
Diet culture is nothing but fostering a way of toxic lifestyle amongst us first stop if you want to stay away from getting into diet culture, you will have to continue to pay heat to intuitive eating and also consider looking into health at every size of your body not just when you have gained weight or if you are fat. Never rain at the modifying structure of your body instead aim at transforming your body into a healthy body irrespective of its size and shape.