Today's #MondayMoan is something I've wanted to rant about for a while- dieting as a feminist issue.
I know the word feminist scares people, but hear me out!
So, we have this notion of an ideal woman and an ideal body. You know it, it's the one you see in magazines, music videos and walking down the Victoria's Secrets catwalk. The ideal woman is generally skinny and tall, with perfect hair and teeth and flawless makeup. But here's the thing- there is no perfect woman or body!
The notion of an ideal stems from the male gaze and women's need to appeal to men. All these images of the "perfect" woman are manufactured to appeal to men and to be desirable to men. As women we are supposed to always strive to "find a man" or "keep a man" and so we buy in to the ideal woman and buy into dieting as a way to reach "ideal".
Dieting behaviours perpetuate the role of women as the submissive gender in society. Why? Because dieting requires obedience. Women have always been (and still are in some parts of the world) expected to be obedient, and mannerly, and lady-like- to do as we are told. Dieting tells us that if we are obedient and do as we are told, we will be skinny and have the "ideal" body. Of course, this is NOT true, but it is easy to buy into it- add together societal pressure to appeal to the male gaze and find a man, and the clever marketing of diet culture and there you have it.
When we are dieting, we become completely preoccupied with weight, food, exercise and our bodies that we cannot focus on LIFE. And, diet culture teaches us that our weight and bodies are more important than everything else. SO we focus on dieting (to appeal to the male gaze) above everything else- but what about dreams, ambitions, health and happiness??
Dieting is a distraction. We have become so focused on our womanly duty to be sexy that we are missing out on achieving whatever will bring us true happiness.
True happiness is not being hungry all the time.
True happiness is not obsessing over every bite of food or every step walked.
True happiness does not come from the opinions of others.
True happiness comes from you doing what makes you happy.
Want to watch me talk about it? Check out my video!
Lots of love,
Little O x