6.9.10

The Special Relationship

Eat six small meals a day. Drink two glasses of water before each meal. Only eat three bites of a meal that you like. Cut out all sugar, carbs, fruit and fats.
Interestingly celebrity diets, or mad eating disorder-type obsessions?
The line is blurring...
Via my lovely new friend (well, I've known about her blog for ages but I've a renewed love for it) Hannah at  We Mixed Our Drinks, I have had my eyes opened a little to the mental world of celebrity dieting. She illuminated to me an article in Grazia from a while ago about one of the many mental celebrity diet plans out there. I don't read any pages in women's magazines on diets, recipes or the scare-mongering or unrealistically inspirational articles (see this week's Is Your Laptop Making You Age?), so I'm glad Hannah picked up on this.
Apparently a revolutionary diet tip of Kate Bosworth's. Apparently she likes to make a delicious meal, and then only eat a few bites.
The media will happily jump all over this like sand flies and claim it's not anorexic behaviour, more total self-control, something that the women who want to fit into Size 6 designer dresses will have to be.
But I really don't think there's any difference. All these diets have the same components as anorexia - a woman (or man) wanting to lose weight, perhaps because they don't feel confident in how they currently are, perhaps for a big event, like a wedding, premiere or reunion party, or just to go to the beach. A woman (or man) who subsequently decides to cut down on the sweets and go for a run. Who then sees a nice diet plan in a magazine. Who then sees another alarmist article about how bad everything is for you. Who stops eating some more things. Who stops eating every thing. But who is thin. And who is phobic of becoming fat.
Sure, it's not all about stuffing your face whenever. It's about earning the right to good food, delayed gratification. But that just means not having a burger whenever we're hungry, for health reasons. It's not about not eating anything just so we can maintain control of that golden weight we want. The holy grail of the bikini body, the athlete's body, the body everyone wants to have or be with.
Is it really worth it? Is it worth distorting our relationship with one of the things we need to survive in order to be just a little more 'attractive'? Is it worth having such a controlled attitude to what we eat that we are unable to do something so simple as sit and have a meal with our family?
(Note - this image was a photograph from the current cycle of Britain's Next Top Model, shot as part of a campaign for BeatBullying. I don't like the image, the campaign or the model. I just couldn't think of a more fitting picture.)

5 comments:

  1. I dislike this obsessivising the media do about food and size. They seem unable to deal with the fact that you can be ANY size, and pushing the ultra-healthy diet. I am also very concerned with the lengths celebrities ended up going to - there must be some twisted food relationships.

    Bread makes you fat?

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  2. A brillaint post Red! I don't know how I hadn't seen it sooner. x

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  3. That's what I thought when I read Hannah's article...

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  4. Becoming vegan really improved my relationship with food. Previously, I treated food as the enemy, something that was going to make me unattractive and bad. But all the research I did into what nutrients are in which things made me realise what a good thing food is - it made me learn a whole new way of thinking about food from scratch. How many Westerners today relate to food as what it is - something that gives them life?

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  5. I see it as life-giving, and tasty!

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