Diet Culture Diary

Monday, Dec. 6th at Davidson College:

This afternoon, I am mindlessly scrolling though Tik Tok and come across a string of videos under a new trend. This particular trend includes somber background sounds with the user staying in frame of the video. The user then types out multiple text boxes which describe the current obstacles they are facing onto the screen while editing. The point of the video is supposed to be a “there it is again… that funny feeling” vibe, with this user’s season of life being home to bad habits and thought patterns resurfacing. Several of the texts I saw included sayings like “my bad relationship with food is coming back” or “the pressure to lose weight” or “feeling trapped in my own body.” The comments under this videos are proof that the user is not alone in this particular experience, in fact, the idea of food and the need to restrict oneself from it is anything but a rare occurrence within the Tik Tok community. The beauty standards of today, the lacking representation of all body types in the media, and the shortage of healthy attitudes circulating on weight all contribute to this phenomenon.

Tuesday, Dec. 7th at Davidson College:

On this day, I began watching the fourth season of Selling Sunset on Netflix, which is a show that follows The Oppenheim Real Estate Group and the women who work there. It highlights the seemingly luxurious lives these women lead and the extravagant homes they sell along the way. One element that I have been noticing that is increasingly lacking is the representation of people who do not either fit the beauty standard, or do not fit into the smaller sizes that all of the characters seemed to maintain. This exclusion of different body types is not uncommon, unfortunately. It can be detected in almost every form of TV, and if they are included, they are portrayed as a “before” image, or a life that is inherently less. We know this is true because we phrase body types that do not fit the mold, or the set “beauty standard” as “different” when, in actuality, they are normal and more common than the unrealistic standards, they are just not popularly projected as desirable in the media.

Wednesday, Dec. 8th at Davidson College:

This day, I was searching online for at-home, easy workouts that work to strengthen core. After I few clicks, I started noticing how the headlines of articles started to change and become increasingly toxic. There are sites dedicated to providing “helpful tips” for losing weight fast, but the actual methods posted for doing so do not seem at all helpful or healthy for a person to attempt. Public platforms that list these habits as effective are promoting detrimental eating habits. Someone in recovery for an eating disorder may find such easy access to these sites and the wrongful messages they send especially damaging. The impact diet culture has on the media we consume is seen across all boards, and does not aid in the movement of body positivity in the slightest.