A Diet Culture Rant

I have something I need to get off my chest. How long does it take for people to be doing the same thing over and over again and not getting the results they want, for them to simply stop?

How long does it take for people to stop berating their loved ones for not getting the result they think they should get?  I think I am mad at these people the most.

How cruel and misguided is diet culture, that it would rather have a woman starve herself and lose weight for the sake of looking good in a bridesmaids dress or a picture, only to regain that weight later, and the whole time making that woman feel inferior, miserable and not worthy?

How is it that people are willing to freeze, suck out or cut off parts of their body and risk death rather than spend another day in the body that they have? Who made them feel that way? They sure as hell weren't born thinking that.

When did busy body Barbara's opinion start to matter more than your child's (or sister's, co-worker's, friend's etc) feelings and sense of self worth? (No offense to any Barbara's out there.)

How is it possible that people out there are actually supporting and perpetuating these cruel tenets of diet culture?

Mothers who sigh that their daughters won't lose weight.

Husbands and wives who blame spouses for not losing weight.

Neighbors who tell neighbors they should lose weight for the sake of their health.

Friends who tell friends their partners will leave them if they don't lose weight.


How did we get here? How did we get to this place where we care more about what a person (your own child!) looks like than who they are and what makes them happy?

How often has your loved one already tried to lose weight? Do you know? Do you know how they feel in their bodies already? Do you think they haven't already thought about what you are pointing out?

What is it about dieting that makes us think that if we couldn't do it at age 20 or 30 or 40 that we will be able to do it at 50 or 60?

Again, there are biological reasons that we "can't do it" but if there was anything else you hadn't mastered after 10 attempts and 30 years, don't you think you'd move on?

That is how strong the pull of dieting is and that is how badly people want to look a certain way in order to please other people. 

It's always about pleasing other people. If you lived on a deserted island, you wouldn't care. 

It's not about health, because if it were about health, people would stop dieting before they starve their cells of nutrition and kick off a whole host of mental and physical health issues.

If your loved one was not picked for "The Voice" after 10 attempts, would you encourage them to keep trying? If they were not athletic, would you tell them to keep trying out for Varsity? If they were not artistic, would you withhold love or lecture them because they can't paint you a pretty picture?

Our body size is as mysterious and uncontrollable as our innate talents. I'd love to be able to sing on key but it's never going to happen.

It is not the dieter's fault or failure.

Diets fail 97% of the time with people gaining the weight back, often plus more, within 3-5 years of the diet.

So for every mother out there who wants their daughter to lose weight for the wedding, what you are really saying is you are not good enough just the way you are. How do you think that is helping?

People come in all different sizes and shapes. Shapes change over lifetimes. Shape and size is not something we can control like changing the temperature on the thermostat.

People want to lose weight to be accepted and loved by other people. We are driven and fueled by connections to others. Yet, people are making themselves sick, miserable and dead trying to achieve this.

Lightbulb! How about if we accept and love everyone no matter what their bodies look like? Then no one would  have to make themselves sick trying to change their bodies in order to please others.

No child would get on the path of hating their bodies if they were accepted in the first place.

No woman would spend 30-40 years losing weight only to end up twice as big and twice as miserable in the end.

How can people not see the simple solution that is sitting right in front of them?


Don't try to change people, don't fix them, don't tell them what they are doing wrong. Keep your eyes on your own paper and mind your own fucking business (please).

Teach your kids how to trust themselves and love themselves - there is no greater gift or a faster way to foster creative, resourceful and resilient children.

As Matt Kahn says - we need a love revolution. So gather your arms and use them for what they are really needed for - hugging the people you care about and loving who they are, not what they look like.