International No Diet Day

I just found out it’s International No Diet day.

My feelings on ‘issue days’ aside, I am pleased that this day exists. There are too many women out there who have very twisted relationships with food. Because of the strange, unrealistic expectations placed on us by society, the media, and even ourselves, we think we need to be shaped like the women generated by Hollywood, no matter what our natural body shapes are.

For many women, our relationship with food has crept into our very language. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I’m going to be good and not have dessert,” or, “I was so bad this weekend. I had a burger and fries!”

Food, which is a biological source of fuel, has become a moral issue. For God’s sake, people, morality is not about calories or carbs! Food should be about pleasure and nutrition, not about getting to a size 0. Hurray for International No Diet Day! Eat what you want and damn Cosmo magazine!

On the other hand, International No Diet Day also angers and saddens me. Do the women in Somalia care about diets? I’m guessing not. Afghani women? Not so much. Tanzanian women? Also not so bothered. There are so many women who are more concerned with staying alive through crushing poverty and war than they are about the cellulite on their thighs.

So while some of us feel guilt and shame while contemplating the dessert cart, other women, other human beings on this planet, other mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, are desperately trying to stay alive.

The differences between what we have and what they don’t have should be our source of shame. Not a goddamned slice of New York cheesecake or a slab of lasagne.

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