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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Buffalo chapter.

Girls who have grown up during the golden age of technology know all too well what unrealistic expectations are set for us. Models with blurred imperfections and hourglass figures are all we see on our feeds. This is especially harmful to girls who are in the midst of their formative year, where they are developing a sense of body image. This atmosphere on the internet is exploited by the ever-growing diet culture. 

According to Nadia Craddock, a body image researcher based in the UK, diet culture is “telling us there’s one way to be and one way to look and one way to eat… we’re a more worthy person if our bodies are a certain way.”  All over TikTok are fad diets and trends of ways to eat less, exercise more, and deprive ourselves of the nutrients needed for our bodies and minds to run effectively. The idea that by decreasing your food by a certain amount of calories to be healthy is absurd. Eating 1,200 calories a day is not healthy or sustainable. This industry thrives on girls hating themselves and it’s time we put a stop to this. 

Food is delicious and it makes me happy. It has taken me years to be able to say that. Historically, it has been my enemy, the bane of my existence. I loved it but hated myself for loving it. After every meal, I would look at my bloated stomach and wish that I could rewind time and stop myself from eating in the first place. Even today I still have thoughts that linger in the back of my mind after every big meal, despite my efforts to fix my broken relationship with food.  My advice for girls who relate to this experience is to enjoy food without guilt. These models and influencers on the internet are not the standards. It is okay to be a human being, and with those flaws and imperfections. It is okay to love yourself. 

Isabella is a Junior at University at Buffalo studying History Education and this is her second year in Her Campus. Her many passions include rainy days, reading, and hot coffee.