30 Jul Have You Seen The #WomenEatingFood Movement?
How often do you request a photo of yourself eating food? Most women don’t make this request very frequently. So when a registered dietitian posted an unposed photo of herself digging into a sandwich, it went viral. The photo went against current societal norms and soon after many more women were posting photos of themselves using the hashtag #WomenEatingFood. Find out the importance of the #WomenEatingFood movement and how you can join in.
What is #WomenEatingFood?
Alissa Rumsey posted a picture of herself on Instagram eating a Publix sandwich. It wasn’t posed or curated, just a woman on the beach unabashedly enjoying a delicious sandwich. This shouldn’t be revolutionary– a woman eating a sandwich, sharing it with her followers. It shouldn’t be newsworthy. But it was.
Alissa noticed that the hashtag #WomenEatingFood only had a few photos. When you google women eating food, what comes up are women eating salads while laughing or posing next to a bowl of fruit. The media rarely represents women, especially in larger bodies, eating real food. Why is this revolutionary? “The majority of images that people see in media are of thin, generally white women — despite the fact that 67% of women in the United States are sized 14 and up” says Alissa Rumsey. Alissa points out that “when it comes to images of women eating food, the message this essentially sends is that it’s okay to eat if you’re thin, but we’re not seeing many images of people in larger bodies just eat and enjoy food.”
Linda Tucker, a fellow intuitive eating coach, points out that “we are swimming in a sea of perfection, filters, angles, and people pleasing when it comes to the images of food and especially women and food on Instagram.” If we do see a photo on social media of a woman eating “junk food”, they are “usually with phrases like “guilty pleasure” or “I earned this” or “cheat day” to justify or explain our food choices that don’t fall into the mold of “good girl behavior.” It all causes harm. It reinforces shame, fear, and arbitrary standards to live up to” says Tucker. Research shows that when you reduce guilt and shame around food and incorporate satisfaction with a healthy diet (all principles of Intuitive Eating), people have less weight cycling, less preoccupation with food, higher interoceptive awareness, less stress levels, and better digestion.
Alissa and Linda decided to encourage their followers to post photos of themselves eating food with the hashtag #WomenEatingFood. Slowly, the photos started trickling in of women eating donuts, hot dogs, cupcakes, and pizza. The hashtag now has over 1,000 photos in it.
The purpose of this movement is to change the narrative of how women are supposed to eat. “I’ve gotten so many messages from women sharing how inspiring and helpful it has been to see these photos. By sharing real photos of women eating – no explanation, no apology, no judgment, no perfection – we are working to normalize women eating!”
Share Your Photo
To join in, all you have to do is take a photo of yourself enjoying food — it can be any food you like to eat! Post it on Instagram using the hashtag #WomenEatingFood.