When I hear the words “I’m on a diet” these days, somewhere deep down inside, I half expect to be hearing the words from an adult, who maybe has a very unhealthy lifestyle and would like a change. But it has been proven that this is not the only case, for when I look up, I find myself staring into the eyes of a girl or boy my age.
Statistics have said that 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder. It is also proven that girls aged 13 to 14 are trying to slim. 1 in 10 teenage girls has an eating disorder, medical experts have warned.
Some say that statistics mean nothing, but I see that sadly, it is all true. When you are in a room full of 30 girls every day, you begin to wonder just how many people are suffering under that eating disorder. Maybe one of your friends has an eating disorder, or is on a serious diet. It could be anyone of any age.
I went to celebrate my friends’ birthday by going to see a film. Instead of paying the ridiculously expensive price for a box of popcorn, we decided to go the Co-operative. Most of us go to the sweets section, deciding whether to get that packet of crisps or whether we should get those mini-eggs. But one of us decided to stand by the fruit and vegetable section, staring with what I would say a content look on her face. So is this what it has come to? Such a minor move but so effective.
Can you have a relationship with food? I have been asking myself this for quite a while. One may think this question is funny, laughable, and unserious. I guess it is if you look at it in a different context. How can you have a relationship with food? People who do not understand the deeper meaning of this must come from a different world. I, as a 15 year old girl, will have a big relationship with food. The emotional side of this relationship, for instance, is that I can’t concentrate on something important when I am around cake or pizza because I am too busy wondering whether I can have another slice of cake or pizza, and what affects this will have on my life. Why don’t we all just listen to Kate Moss because apparently: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
Different parts of our society and social media do not make us feel any better. In my opinion, it is all rather messed up. It seems that dieting and eating disorders are something that one should be congratulated on if it is not part of their lives. Moreover, it appears that people, in particular celebrities, are looked upon as more inspirational and admirable than other celebrities if they say they love food, or if they say that eating is something they really enjoy. Why is this case nowadays? I came across a picture of the supermodels Cara Delevinge and Candice Swanpoel. It is a photograph of them pretending to devour boxes of pizza, eating junk food, having a good time. Someone captured this: “The fact that they had a Victoria’s Secret shoot the day after this makes this even more amazing and admirable.” Well, there will always have to be a level of respect for someone else’s opinion but couldn’t you say that the fact that this moment was photographed means that it was set up anyway? The way I see it, is that you only have to whisper the word “Diet” or say something along the lines of “Pizza is my best friend” and boom, you are seen as someone to look up to and admire.
Dieting and glorifying certain things are very complicated subjects to explain. It is not always about the statistics. They tell the truth, but do not include the horror, the real things that people see in everyday life. Congratulate people. Look up to people and admire them. Just don’t demoralize people who also need help.
Written by Zoe Thompson.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
One of the most striking, truthful and almost farfetched statements I have ever heard was “I think we need to end racism before we achieve feminism.” Just let that sink in for a moment. Now I know that so many people will have different opinions about this, but when I heard my friend say this, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my opinions on certain things.
For example you could argue that the main objective of feminism is gender equality, and that is without a doubt 100% true. However within the feminist movement there are historical and social constructs that segregate us into races, giving one race more privilege than the other. That race happens to be the white race. It’s just little things that have huge effects on female lives starting from a surprisingly young age. The epitome of beauty in the media has always been European or white. Images of white women dominate the media, especially roles or depictions featuring desirable or beautiful women. The media often praises these privileged, white women for speaking the need to end gender inequality, and improving the lives of young girls of colour – without realising that they are standing on the shoulders of giants. I find it uncomfortable to be encouraged to look up to women who speak about lives that bear no resemblance to women of colour.
So is it racism that should be overcome first, or feminism? Taking account the fact that some women have fewer rights than other women within the movement because of their ethnicity, lifestyle or stability of their countries economy.
Written by Zoe Thompson.