Dietland & Discussions about Harmful Diet Culture

[Image is a book cover. It says "Dietland" in white font. In the middle, it features a cupcake with a top of a grenade on it. The author's name is at the bottom where it says Sarai Walker"

CW: Fatphobia, Dieting.

Weight loss products are everywhere. On average, we spend 20 billion dollars per year on weight loss products. The way we market weight loss is destructive to mental health, physical health, and financial wellness. I was convinced the key to happiness was being smaller, but even though I have my insecurities, I generally like how I look. Dietland is an honest depiction of what it’s like to wander NYC and to be fat. This book wasn’t what I had expected, but I still think it’s worth a read because it’s eye-opening to how we treat people who aren’t skinny.

Dietland depicts the daily struggles of Plum Kettle. She hides her appearance behind baggy clothes and is quiet. She is dreaming of her weight loss surgery that will turn her into “Alicia”. Alicia is the skinny, beautiful woman who gets dates all the time and probably has a handsome boyfriend. Plum gets connected with feminist icons who teach her what beauty truly means and how to accept yourself.

That seems so corny, but I love how Plum develops throughout the book. She becomes such a badass in the end. She’s confident and proud of her body and I think a lot of women including myself struggle daily with this concept. It sickens me that as a culture we have become so mean. Many of us often assume someone’s health status based on their size when that’s frankly none of our business.

Steering this post back to harmful diet culture, the diet industry tries to make people (men are included in this discussion too) feel bad about themselves so they purchase these products that may not even be healthy anyway! Our bodies aren’t designed to lose weight quickly. Under my ACSM (American College of Sport’s Medicine) Certified Personal Training Certification, it’s healthy to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. These products are saying 5-10 lbs. in a week… it’s not reliable or safe.

To end this post, put Dietland on your bookshelf and be kind to each other. Don’t assume someone’s health status and be proud of the natural beauty that we all radiate.

7 thoughts on “Dietland & Discussions about Harmful Diet Culture

  1. There’s a great book called Dumplin’ that is a great love yourself as you are read if you ever want to try something fictional and body pos related 😀 I’ll have a gander for this one!


  2. This post is provoking deep thoughts, but am struggling to articulate them without sounding patronising, so I will simply say, this is a good post and leave it at that.


  3. Pingback: 2017 End of Book Survey | Bizarre Brunette

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