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Can We Leave Diet Culture In The Early 2000s, Please?

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it over (and fucking over) again. And considering trend after asinine “trend” (i.e. “legging legs”) is insidiously seeping back into casual conversation, it’s looking like we’re doomed to repeat the god-awful, horribly named “heroin chic” era, because too many people forgot how absolutely awful it was. And if something doesn’t change soon, I might scream so loud into the abyss that I create a rift in space time. (I love Star Trek; sue me.) News flash: A body should never be a trend. Wearing hair bows is a trend, not… our legs. I mean, that’s creepy for one thing. Come on.

I also need to ask, what year is it again?? Jon Stewart is going to be hosting The Daily Show, so it is a little confusing, but the zeitgeist is changing and fast. Seemingly overnight, a lot of plus size influencer accounts have turned into weight-loss accounts, and some plus-size accounts claim they’ve been targeted by semaglutide companies for paid product promotion. For the longest time, I was skeptical, saying, “It’s always been this way,” but I was dead wrong. Thinspo appears to be back with a vengeance, and low rise jeans coming back can go straight back to hell, thank you very much.  

My plea to you, randos of the internet, is this: Please, can we leave all this diet culture shit in the early 2000s? Do you know how hard millennials have had to work just to exist? I was bullied for my body size in middle through high school, and I look back at photos of myself like what in God’s name was wrong with all of us?! Listen, nobody should be fat-shamed, but… dear lord, if i didn’t just look like a very thin size 14. 

Gen Z, I’m calling on you, please, I know you’re busy and very cool (seriously, I love you so much), but can you please help your very tired millennial counterparts? I won’t go back. I can’t go back. 

Diet culture is a language women were given as a means of communication and connection, while simultaneously oppressing us. I mean, honestly, props for being as diabolical as it fucking gets. But we’ve done this before. It doesn’t end well. It ends in time lost, disordered eating, poor self-esteem… Do I really have to say all this?? Come on!!! Don’t fall for this!!! I’m going to steal this line from someone — I forgot who said it first — but anytime you have a negative body image thought and fantasize about restricting your food intake so you can become smaller, just ask yourself, “Who profits off me thinking like this?” IT’S NOT YOU!! It’s some dude named Mike who would cheat on his wife if he could, but who has no game. Don’t give Mike more money. 

And maybe this is a bold face plug, but I don’t care: We need online safe spaces that don’t contribute to this hulk-ified diet culture. Let me come out of the author’s closet right now to say I also manage the Betches account, @everythings.fine (FORMERLY @dietstartstomorrow — they wouldn’t let me change it to Diet Starts Never because I guess we are all on our own journeys or whatever). But I can promise you that I will never make you feel like you have to change your body over there. I vow to never promote weight loss. Same thing goes for the podcast I co-host with Emily Lubin. So if you’re also feeling the diet culture fatigue, come hang out with me where everything can be fine, if only for as long as a super dumb Reel about cereal or whatever we are laughing about that day. I know, I yelled a lot in this article, but let me just close by saying: I love you.

Lauren Hope Krass
Lauren Hope Krass
Lauren is a a stand-up comedian and the content manager for Diet Starts Tomorrow as well as the co-host for the DST podcast. She got her start in comedy in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina. Her material ranges from the ridiculous to the brutally honest with an ability to put a body positive spin on jokes. Now one of New York's hottest comics, Lauren performs nationwide for Comedy Festivals, Colleges, Cruise Lines and Clubs. She also loves cheese. Give her cheese.