Diet Culture

Susan Stinson’s collection of writings explores the relationship that society holds on women’s bodies. Today, young people are spending an alarming amount of time browsing and posting on social media platforms and being exposed to unrealistically edited bodies.  Social media has become such a prevalent aspect of culture and the accessibility to online platforms has spread to a much younger and susceptible audience, it has made it harder to make distinctions between edited and unedited photos. In regards to Instagram specifically, it is an extremely unregulated platform; there are no guidelines and anyone can post essentially anything. This also means that it is up to individual participants to decide whether or not they let photos influence their own body image. Women try their best to make themselves look pretty in order to cater to social expectations. Therefore, digitally manipulating one’s body and photoshopping imperfections have become habits that women depend on in order to feel beautiful online.  Stinsons collection of readings made me feel extremely empowered as an individual who has struggled with diet culture. Two weeks ago Professor Ambwani came to one of my classes and spoke about the effects of diet culture. As I have gotten older I have noticed the vicious effects that social media can have on someone’s body image. I have compared myself and diet culture feeds body shame. We live in a society where living in a thinner body increases value and will help you live a happier lifestyle. Diet culture places thinness as the pinnacle of beauty and success. Stinsons and Professor Ambwanis’ messages are extremely important. Both encourage women to find love through their bodies, identities, and self worth. 


3 thoughts on “Diet Culture”

  1. I completely agree! Living in an age where anyone can manipulate images to fit society’s beauty norms is extremely damaging to people, especially young girls. I took a psychology class last semester and one of the units was on societal beauty norms and diet culture. It was a really interesting unit because sometimes I forget truly how many edited photos we see each day that play into this expectation to be super skinny. It’s harmful because the pictures we’re constantly exposed to are often edited, causing mostly younger girls to want to have a body type that isn’t even attainable.

  2. Hi! I really enjoy your post and comments about diet culture. I think its very important to understand how detrimental social media can be on a person’s mental health and body positivity. However I read something recently about how people should not force themselves to love their bodies but rather should accept their bodies for how they are. While I think this is a good idea it makes me question what acceptance means? Does it mean you’re happy with your body? I think acceptance can be seen as a step on the path to loving your body rather than the final goal.

  3. hi! This post was really well written and I related on a personal level. Social media is increasingly getting worse with images of fatphobia, my tik tok for you page is full of body checking and thinspo- it’s almost like the algorithm could sense that I was a young woman and put it there, I’ve never liked anything like that. Fatphobia is so deeply rooted in our culture that it is almost embedded in what it means to be an American woman. It seems like every woman on TV is either actively dieting or lamenting about needing to start her diet, a constant cycle of shame, and restricted eating. I’ve heard comments like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” my entire life from my own mother, my friends, and in media- glorifying thinness. Diet culture ruins the self-confidence of young women and promotes disordered eating.

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