Let’s talk about something important here. It’s called the craze on social media surrounding “clean” foods, which happen to (primarily) be vegan or plant-based. The problem isn’t the fact that y’all love avocado toasts and green smoothies and shit. Hey, I love them too! Why? Because they’re freakin’ delicious and they make me feel good. The problem lies in the way that this food is being marketed on social media to create shame, guilt, and avoidance over all other foods that don’t fit into the same category.
Don’t get me wrong here: I’m truthfully happy that you enjoy the plant-based foods you’re eating. Like I said, I ALSO eat plant-based meals. However, more often than not when it’s shared on social media it seems to only be “accepted” into a certain lifestyle. One of “cleanliness.” A lot of yoga. Weird beauty products that probably cost a shit ton of money. And that lifestyle seems to LOOK great on the surface. But, what’s underneath that pile of falafel or under that yolky egg?
It’s become this cult that you can only join if you also eat the same foods and preach the same message. The issue isn’t that you love eating nutritious and veggie-heavy meals. The issue is that it’s creating a standard for girls across the world to feel that their bodies aren’t worth it or good enough if they aren’t filled with foods that adhere to the clean-eating trend.
No amount of “Buddha bowls” or coconut fat balls that you consume tell me anything about your health. It is your RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD that says so much more.
Sure, I’d LOVE a matcha tea. They’re delicious! However, I’d also love a milkshake (and fries to dip into said shake, obviously). When we only see one sort of (food) lifestyle on social media, we are led to believe that anything outside of those “unsaid rules” is “bad.” Think about what this is creating for young girls (and adult females) everywhere: restriction and food guilt, when there doesn’t need to be either, and should not be either.
Great, I’m glad that the world is becoming more nutritionally aware. It’s important that we do fuel our bodies with nutrient dense foods, which DOES happen to be a lot of the food that is posted on social media. The issue isn’t the food itself. Please, keep eating your roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes. They’re actually great for you. Much health benefits. But, by all means, when will it stop going to an extreme here?
For what it’s worth: I will keep eating plant-based meals, but there is no way in HECK that I will be restricting myself from the other food I love. I have way too much of a desire to continue to live a life without revolving it around the “clean” food I’m eating or not eating.
What we (I) want to see on social media is your relationship with food.
A healthy relationship with food isn’t feeling ashamed or disappointed in yourself for eating something that wasn’t dairy free. A healthy relationship with food isn’t feel like you must become vegan, and not for animal welfare, but because it’ll make you feel less toxic in your own skin. A healthy relationship with food isn’t living in a safety net of certain “clean foods.”
All foods fit.
No amount of beautifully staged photographs of your buckwheat waffles tells me anything about how you view yourself outside of food. So, please, share more with me. Give me something else. Food is only a fraction of the picture, and unfortunately the way its marketed on social media has become consuming.
For now, I’ll keep eating my avocado toasts because they’re fucking fantastic. And I’ll also keep eating burgers, because they too, are fucking fantastic.