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The Girl Dinner Controversy: Let’s Talk Unfiltered

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

Trigger Warning: The following article talks about eating disorders and body image.

“This is my meal. I call this girlllll dinner, giiiiirl dinnnner, girl dinner!” Sound familiar? Well, this audio has been viral and used on TikTok religiously since the month of May. Olivia Maher is a content creator and the founder of what is widely known as “Girl Dinner.” She claimed in her video that the medieval-like display of bread, cheese, grapes, pickles, and wine on a board was her ideal dinner.

The idea behind a “girl dinner” is to throw random food combinations together of what you crave in that moment (requiring almost no effort or cooking) and having it for dinner. Although featured foods vary from person to person, the controversy arises when a growing number of creators’ viral videos featuring their own “girl dinners” have minimal food on their plates. Some meals range from a few fries with a side of Diet Coke to simply a box of someone’s favorite crackers with a dip. You may wonder, is it really that deep? Some say most videos are harmless, while others argue they promote eating disorders. Well, here’s what the experts said after the #girldinner gained the attention of TikTok users, raising the question: Why is diet culture so normalized in our society, especially towards women?

The video below has almost one million likes, meaning a can of corn for dinner is being glorified to nearly one million people. All these likes and praise can imply that people can relate to not eating enough. There is nothing wrong with a pretty charcuterie board. But the conversation emerges as people claim this is all they have for dinner, resulting in the debate of whether “girl dinner” can be considered an actual meal or not. Whether the people who post these eat this way every day or just once in a while, it still may be insensitive toward people who struggle with eating disorders. While people choose to have a small dinner, some genuinely can’t eat a large amount. Therefore, idolizing not eating a lot on social media can strike a lot of different opinions and perspectives. These are the “ideal” go-to dinners that are being put on display for others.


could eat 10 cans of this on its own

♬ original sound – karma carr

Researchers have argued that the media may play a significant role in the increase in eating disorders and intensify the pressure around having a perfect body type. In addition, some dietitians claim that “girl dinner” highlights “the false assumption that women should eat smaller meals than men,” questioning why it had to be specifically called a dinner only for girls and not boys.

Diet culture never seems to emphasize aiming for the right amount of macronutrients and calories an adult body needs. Instead, it tends to worship unrealistic calorie intakes that can affect both one’s physical and mental health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends females ages 19 through 30 require about 1,800 to 2,400 calories per day, depending on activity levels, body, and age. So, for me personally, even when I am not craving a big dinner or am not too hungry, I know that to have a balanced “girl dinner” I need to have just the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Some see this trend as a low-maintenance meal, while others see it as a snack for dinner. Either way, #girldinner broke TikTok with over one billion views, and everyone’s recreations vary from person to person. However, if you or someone you know struggles with eating disorders, there are free resources you can contact when needed.

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I am a junior at Florida State University double majoring in Media Communications Studies & Editing, Writing, and Media.