Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Judging girls stems from expectations unfairly imposed by society

Last week I saw the resurgence of my favorite trend: videos of thin women eating like they have absolutely no will to live. Then these videos are retweeted by the rest of us irked thick queens to condemn the girl for treating “food as a personality.” 

It is incredibly annoying as a woman who is not the ideal size 2 to see pretty girls stuffing their face to no abandon and receiving praise. All while I would never hear the end of it from the people “just concerned for my health.” 

It is true that society is inherently fatphobic, and thin girls can enjoy food in a way that bigger girls will never be able to — which is enjoying their food unbothered. 

No one tells a skinny girl eating a whole pizza they’re “worried for her health” or they “shouldn’t show their body because it promotes unhealthy obesity.” I completely understand the frustration that arises when these girls treat liking food as a personality trait. 

But the thing is, girls are made by our culture to feel as if it has to be. 

Women are never supposed to eat as much as men, or as freely as men, or generally as plentiful as men. Diet culture goes back centuries, always disproportionately targeting women as its demographic, pushing whatever new body type the decade decided was ideal at any cost. 

Eating disorders affect women at a rate higher than men, and even without a formal eating disorder diagnosis, more women are expected to exhibit disordered eating or habits in their life at a higher rate than their male counterparts. 

In a study published by PubMed Central, it was found that when asked about the same occasion of eating too much, men reported “over-eating” while women mostly used the phrase “lost control while eating.” 

Even when men and women both sit down and stuff their faces, society teaches the boys that it is just over-eating or a big appetite, whereas for women over-eating should be something shameful and not a normal activity. 

Men get to enjoy food as a pleasure, but women can only enjoy food as a guilty one.

Girls are always supposed to eat less, eat right, look good and be mindful about food. It’s no wonder that we have turned what is literally a biological necessity into a personality trait — because we are taught that liking food is something that is niche and not just something that everyone human does. 

Boys get to eat their parents out of house and home and no one bats an eye because they’re “growing.” Girls get to hear from family members how they should “maybe think about that second plate” or “exercise after dinner to work all that off.” 

If society had just let us women eat in peace from the get-go, none of us would feel like actually enjoying and eating food was a novelty — we would just do it and go about our day. 

Next time you get mad at a girl for treating her appetite as a quirk, at least be a little more mad at the culture we created to cause this. 

And probably be thankful that not every girl in the world has an eating disorder with the way we’re taught to think about our bodies and our need for food. 

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