“I would rather die than go on a diet like that.”
“This meal looks very depressing.”
“Great diet. Having energy drinks and chewing some fresh air!”
“Her plate has a ton of food to feed an entire family….of ants!”
“How are you eating that? I thought you always ate clean!”
“Intermittent/Keto/OMAD is the best diet for you.”
What is it about another person’s plate that provokes us to make our own judgment about them? I bet, we all must have found these above-mentioned comments (or alike) in someone’s “What I eat in a day” blog.
Food is the key factor that can help us connect not just with people, but with our own health and mind too. However, there’s something more psychological than that which riles us to shame others for eating a certain way that does not match up to their own definition of “good eating.”
For instance, a vegetarian is more like to criticize a meat eater for not being in the “good books” when it comes to eating. That’s a perfect crime to commit by making someone else feel like a murderer for eating meat or feeling elitist about going vegan or vegetarian. The weirdest thing is that a vegetarian’s idea of a perfect meal could be old-fashioned oats or bagels with butter which has absolutely nothing to do with health.
Another factor that triggers people is having strong opinions about our food choices. What feels right for you, might not feel right for someone else. It’s almost as if we are back in kindergarten with our insecurities on our sleeves.
That brings me to a whole new chapter in “food shaming” and that is the aesthetics part of it. Instagram is full of it. Almost everyone feels over-enthusiastic about posting what they had in the day if it qualifies the “aesthetics test”. But, there’s nothing wrong with it either.
The matter of concern is getting bombarded by unrealistic and over-immaculate pictures of salads, buddha bowls, smoothie bowls, and let’s not forget those satisfying baked goods. The minute you look at their posts during your lunch hours, their purpose is solved (which is to make you feel sh*t about yourself.)
Honestly, there’s no perfect way of “styling” your food because you’re not a food stylist. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet that everyone must follow devotedly. All in all, it’s okay if your food does not look like the Kardashian of the foods as long as you are happy with it.
It could be quite frustrating to see people not adhering to the strict standards of what “healthy eating” looks like, but shouldn’t we all agree to the fact that it is quite subjective too, our relationship with food?
What we eat is personal; it is unique and has emotions attached to it so strongly that it might provoke unhealthy responses.
Giving a lesson or two about health is quite alright, but it’s ultimately their business to decide what goes on their plates.
And if you actually want to help someone develop a healthy relationship with food and their own selves, tell them to listen to their body’s own tiny cues. That could be really rewarding.
The correct approach to this is eating whatever feels right for your body and let no one else tell you otherwise.
Feel free to drop your thoughts about food shaming. I’d love to hear!