Men Will Never Understand Diet Culture.

For years, I have been working on untangling myself from the throes of diet culture and fatphobia.

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

It wasn’t easy. Doing so required so much mental restructuring, research, and Instagram unfollowing. It required reexamining my personal biases and coming to terms with my own shortcomings. It required changing the lens through which I see the world.

But I did it. I continue to do it. Now, I have a healthy relationship with food. I have a healthy relationship with social media. And any time I see an ad for a new diet or liposuction or coolsculpting, I look the other way.

So when the topic of fatphobia came up in conversation with a couple male friends, I was shocked at their views.

“If fatphobia is being scared of being fat,” one of them said, “Then I’m fatphobic.”

“I just can’t support a practice that takes years off of your life,” the other said.

I was stunned.

It was hard for me to listen to them speak of a topic we clearly disagreed on. They shared my political views and even my sports opinions, but not this. I felt betrayed, almost. I didn’t feel like I could form a strong enough argument to convince them of my views.

Now, though, I can. So here’s what I would say to them if I could go back to that conversation:

So next time a woman speaks up about her qualms with diet culture, listen.

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