As I am more and more awakened to recovery from my ED, I become more and more aware of the media messages that constantly bombard us with messages that “thin is the only acceptable cultural norm” (For the record, that is not my belief). Going to the grocery store used to be easy for me. I would get my safe foods, ignore my trigger foods, and avoid the stares I assumed I was getting (paranoia often accompanied my shopping trips). Now that I actually pay attention to the grocery store, I see the horrible message we are sending to our nation… emblazoned on our food labels, put into food adverts, and on our makeup products. I have already shared my thoughts on this obsession with the “perfect’ (fyi, there’s no such thing as perfect) body, but I wanted to show you. I fancy myself a freelance photographer and wanted to use that skill to share with you what I am talking about. Now, it is rather difficult to inconspicuously take a Nikon D5000 to the grocery and take pictures…so I had to use my cell phone. Therefore, the quality is not the greatest, but it gets the point across.
These chips promise the consumer that if they follow the company’s prescribed diet, they will be able to lose weight in as little as two weeks! Food should be about gaining the caloric fuel to function, not to lose weight. Also, companies should not make false claims about their product. The sad thing is, people buy this product thinking that, by eating it, they will lose the weight they think they need to lose to fit into some sort of cultural ideal. It is called brainwashing folks.
These pocket tissues are for sale at my local grocers. These TISSUES ask the user if they look fat in its packaging. These TISSUES are furthering the cultural ideal that fat=bad and that we should constantly be asking others if they think we are fat. Why should this shaming bleed over into our personal hygiene? Why is a packet of tissues trying to make me feel bad about the body God gave me? Better question, why am I allowing them to?
This is an actual bread for sale at my local grocer. For those who cannot read it, it says “Watching calories? Healthy Life Dieter’s Dream Come True.” This is the actual label on the bag of bread. When looking for my typical whole grain bread, this bag stuck out to me. I feel like it is guilting shoppers into feeling bad about their own bread choice and to buy their “Dieter’s Dream” bread. When, in reality, diets are not lifestyles. One cannot live their entire lives on a diet.
- This just made me sad. Where have we gotten in our culture that we cannot send our kids to school with an apple and a bag of pretzels in their lunchbox? In essence it is teaching them that everything should be processed…even apples. My family protests each time I ask to purchase organic fruits and vegs over the store brands…but I promise they taste a million times better and are so much better for your body.
L’oreal’s newest campaign because, Heaven forbid, we show our age or any other signs that we may, indeed, be human. Why are we so concerned about what age we appear to be? For the record, I am 25 and, when people ask my age, I tell them. What do I have to be afraid of?
This is a real cookbook I found at the store. Seriously? There should be no guilt in food. You should eat what you like, eat what is good for you and, above all, enjoy what you eat. Food should not have negative connotations associated with it. It is when we attach negative associations to food, we fall into the trap of becoming obsessed with food. I feel the same way about calling things, “sinful”, “skinny”, “diet”, etc. Why can’t we just call it what it is…food? Why should we be told to feel guilty about eating? Eating is necessary to the sustaining of life, why is that bad?
This is not from the store. This is in my life right now…despite my protests to the contrary (fyi, it is not for me). Look at all the
shit rules, weight watchers puts on food. And you can put it all in the convenient pink/black polka dot carrying case for ease of transport. I have my own thoughts on WW, but here is a really good opinion from a blog I read (click on the word “blog” to read the article) that I really agree with.
This came in P&G’s holiday care package this season (which is why I photographed it nestled under the tree). What kind of crap gift is this? It is like “Here, we know you’re fat…obsessively track your calories in this easily portable book of misinformation.”
Ok so, this blog was harsh. I get that. It is cynical. I get that. It is hypocritical. I get that too. I have fallen into the trap of trying to become the “cultural norm”…but that doesn’t mean I can’t work to help other people not fall into the same trap. You must work to become cognizant of the messages society is sending so as not to fall prey to their tactics of making you feel bad about who you are as an individual. You are more than your outward appearance. You are more than what society tells you you are. You are worth recovery.