You might not have heard of the term diet culture before, but you’ve definitely come across it. ‘Diet Culture’refers to beliefs and myths about food and weight. Think skinny teas, detoxes and fad diets. Diet culture has become so ingrained in our society that we often don’t notice it anymore. It disguises itself as ‘concern trolling’ or the ill-founded assumption that thin will always equal healthy. At its core, diet culture is toxic because it teaches us that we have to change our bodies to be acceptable and accepted in society.
Diet culture has been on the out for a while now, yet it still manages to permeate our lives and our social media feeds in particular. The new year is the time to finally rid ourselves of the toxicities of diet culture for good and we have three steps to help you do it.
Learn to spot the sneaky ones
Diet culture is everywhere! It can be sneaky, and it will often be where you least expect it. Photoshopping and airbrushing is diet culture. Fat-shaming and fat-phobia is diet culture. Detoxes and fad weight-loss products are diet culture. If something is telling you to lose weight and change your body to look a certain way, it is probably diet culture.
Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow
Now that you know how to spot diet culture, you can unfollow it. In September 2019, Instagram implemented new policythat restricts users from seeing posts advertising weight loss products. While this was a step in the right direction, there is still plenty of diet culture being propagated on the platform. Next time you see a flat tummy shake or an appetite-suppressant lollipop, click unfollow. They don’t work, and you don’t need those lies on your feed or in your life!
Follow, follow, follow
There are plenty of inspiring anti-diet culture accounts on Instagram that provide information about the dangers of diet culture and advocate against it. Make your Instagram feed a positive, informative and diet culture-free zone by following accounts such as @drjoshuawolrich, @madalingiorgetta, @i_weigh, and @bodyposipanda.
There’s lots to learn and unlearn when it comes to diet culture but armed with this new information you can go into 2020 without fear of diet-culture, of fat-shaming or detox teas. Good luck!