Dear Stylist, please stop promoting disordered eating!
Posted on November 8th, 2018
A recent feature in Stylist on the “eating rules” & habits of 3 employees has struck a nerve & I feel compelled to comment!
These individuals had cut out all kinds of food groups as part of their “eating rules” including might I add very nutritious ones, yet they claimed to think about food all of the time & plan it meticulously! The idea of not being a foodie but just consuming food for fuel was also battered around & what they ate grotesquely different from what most Londoners, forget the UK might consider “normal”.
I don’t want to go into all the specifics because I feel it’s triggering AF & highly irresponsible of Stylist. Whilst I don’t want to directly criticise the employees themselves (we’re all drowning in diet culture), it should never have been allowed to print.
It’s the total glamorisation of disordered eating & given the average person reads Stylist on their commute, should they be vulnerable it may spur more severe consequences. Had my 16-year-old self read this article, I cannot express the damage it would have done to my recovery, legitimising all my eating disorder thoughts & behaviours. This is not a rant, this is a plea to magazines & bloggers to PLEASE take more responsibility for what you put out there.
I also wanted the opportunity to address a few things through the lens of well, common sense!!
1) If you’re restricting food, it’s going to be on your mind 24/7 because your body is HUNGRY!!! It’s a normal physiological response to starvation & countless studies have proved this because we need food to stay alive, I wrote an article about it here. If you feel like you’re addicted to food or permanently craving it, maybe just eat it!
2) From a purely nutritional perspective red meat, dairy & poultry are rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron & zinc. You don’t have to cut them out to achieve better health.
3) I’m just going to say it again, if you’re not coeliac or have a gluten intolerance you don’t need to avoid gluten. It’s just a protein!
3) Rules are made to be broken. You don’t need to impose rules on your eating habits, you’ll break them & feel guilty for absolutely no reason, which can result in a loss on control around eating. Also no “guilty pleasures” when it comes to food, you don’t ever have to feel guilty for eating, like you don’t feel guilty for breathing too much oxygen.
5) Saying we should only eat for fuel is like saying we should only have sex to procreate. Stop being a party pooper & enjoy life!!
Stylist, I love your magazine but please THINK about how this kind of information is consumed & by whom. Whether an individual is already vulnerable or in a good place, we should not be glamorising tightly controlled & restrictive diets.
Health is so much more than simply food & nutrition, don’t forget social & emotional health, the joy that comes from a slice of pizza or a cocktail.
Love Isa x
Image: Thought Catalogue