I Don't Care About Your Diet

Growing up fat sucks. I don’t remember a time in my childhood where I wasn’t wishing to be skinnier. I vividly remember playing games with my friend where we would pretend we were models and the first thing we discussed was how skinny we wanted to be. I remember being body-shamed by my P.E. teacher in fourth grade after she weighed me in front of my entire class. She proceeded to ask me if I was active at home to which I replied that I did competitive baton. She said, “I guess it’s not enough.” I remember being in fifth grade and proud when someone mentioned I had lost weight. Fifth graders DO NOT need to be concerned about their weight. Young women do not need to be concerned about their weight.

Everywhere you look is the pressure to be thin. Whether it’s models on the cover of magazines to Instagram influencers promoting laxatives, like Flat Tummy Tea. And when we fat girls finally get a sliver of representation, like Tess Holiday, they are constantly bombarded with messages about their health. Messages about how ugly they are and how they’re going to die young. God forbid a fat person eat on the internet. And yet, when those in thin bodies do the same it’s #relatable or #goals. Thin people on the internet can do whatever they please, and the only people that are allowed to call them out are other thin people. I never saw people calling out the influencers and celebrities promoting Flat Tummy Tea or diet suppressant lollipops until Jameela Jamil. Don’t get me wrong – I love her, but nobody took the disgusting effects of these products seriously until she, a thin person, started calling them out.

A person’s worth is not dependent on their size or their health. People in fat bodies are not less worthy than someone who is skinny. People in fat bodies deserve to wear bikinis on the beach, eat some pizza in public, experience love and have families. Our health is between us and our doctors. Our health is not up for public discussion. Our health does not determine our worth.

The rise of eating disorders in young women is scary. According to a recent study done by the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU), “half (51%) of 12- and 13-year-old females said they wanted to lose weight.” These numbers are scary. 12 and 13-year-old girls should not be worried about their weight and should not feel the pressure to be thinner. In a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, a group of researchers studied a group of 496 girls for eight years, from age 12 to age 20. The researchers found that “a total of 13.2% of the girls had suffered from a DSM-5 eating disorder by age 20.” These numbers are shocking and only show the pressure to be thin has harmed our society.

So, no I don’t care about your diet. Because intentional weight loss doesn’t work. Because diet culture has allowed two out of three young women to believe they need to lose weight. Because Jillian Michaels is a terrible person and The Biggest Loser has done way more harm than good. Because the idea that to be worthy, you must be thin is stupid. Because I love myself.

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