Just in case you missed it when it was going around last year…
But consider this for a moment. Perhaps once we are adequately fed, diet becomes far less significant in determining how healthy we are. Maybe almost insignificant. Could it be that when our bodies have enough macro and micro nutrients available most of the time, other determinants of health kick in. The houses we live in. The stress we are under. The pressure of financial and social inequalities. Stigma, abuse and mental illness. Social isolation. And a million other factors with the capacity to make us sick.
The Angry Chef on diet science.
Most of the women I know wake up much earlier than men to get ready, and spend much of their time and money on complete nonsense like manicures and pedicures, hair treatments, and waxing. Women bleach their bumholes. THEY BLEACH THEIR BUMHOLES. This is how far we have gone with our pursuit of perfection, that we are no longer satisfied with the natural colour of an area almost nobody in the world will ever see. We have to be thin, but with big breasts and bottoms, gravity free, spotless, hairless, ageless, light skinned but always with a year round sun kissed glow; we must be fun and eat pizza and drink beer but also completely cellulite free and we must all have tiny noses and enormous eyes and lips but with skinny faces, but our skinny faces must never look gaunt and old.
And after all this, and after all the work we do, that we do as much of as men, ON SUBSTANTIALLY fewer calories than we probably need, we get judged more and paid less anyway.
[…] We spend our lives in pursuit of the approval of others when we don’t yet even really approve of ourselves.
Jameela Jamil weighs in.
Obvious content warning for Jamil’s post, which deals with weight and body image issues, and has an image of a pretty brutal1 self-portrait she did at age sixteen.
- Albeit pretty damn good. ↩
The annual glut of diet books are pretty formulaic. Take an established star, preferably one who has recently lost weight, and get them to create a diet plan based on their “journey”. Dishes are cut from a standard list of “stuff considered healthy these days”, so be prepared for endless incarnations of avocado, a recipe for Mexican scrambled eggs, and a dizzying array of spiralised vegetables. Most present a complex set of rules and restrictions, with recipes so aspirational and unrealistic for everyday living that most people will fail. It moves from something that happens to you, to something you can buy with enough effort. Modern diet books are the wet dream of neoliberalism, with a side serving of courgetti.
Anthony Warner hates your Mexican scrambled eggs.
Hey, so y’all remember how Steve Jobs went through that thing where he’d only drink, like juice smoothies, and that poor nutrition due to his refusal to eat Regular Food probably exacerbated the cancer leading to his death? Well, he’s hardly the only Silicon Valley exec to do that sort of thing. Hell, it’s practically a trend.
Here’s a fun exercise: Open that article and see how many times the “biohacking” of the mostly-adult-male SV elite is referred to as “anorexia” (or even “orthorexia“). See? I’m sure none of you are surprised. Apparently disordered eating is only disordered when it’s done by teenage girls. For adult men, it’s “productivity”…
[Dietician Renee] McGregor’s main concern about clean eating, she added, was that as a professional treating young people with eating disorders, she had seen first-hand how the rules and restrictions of clean eating often segued into debilitating anorexia or orthorexia.
“But I only see the positive”, said [“clean eating” advocate Madeleine] Shaw, now wiping away tears. It was at this point that the audience, who were already restless whenever McGregor or I spoke, descended into outright hostility, shouting and hissing for us to get off stage. In a book shop after the event, as fans came up to Shaw to thank her for giving them “the glow”, I too burst into tears when one person jabbed her fingers at me and said I should be ashamed, as an “older women” (I am 43), to have criticised a younger one. On Twitter that night, some Shaw fans made derogatory comments about how McGregor and I looked, under the hashtag #youarewhatyoueat. The implication was that, if we were less photogenic than Shaw, we clearly had nothing of any value to say about food (never mind the fact that McGregor has degrees in biochemistry and nutrition).
Bee Wilson on the “clean eating” cult.
As Wilson mentions in her article, I suppose if there’s one upside, it’s that the prevalence of bullshit clean-eating fad diets has made it much, much easier for people who have actual food intolerance and allergies–particularly ones gluten- or lactose-related–to access a broader range of tasty and appropriate options. So, yanno. There’s that.