Dear women, men, girls and boys,
regardless of your age and gender, size and shape – let us all take a break (take a cake if you want) to honour the International No Diet Day. What is this day you ask? It’s your day to take a break from exhausting images, self-doubts, criticism (by yourself) and to say it’s okay. It’s okay whether you’re too heavy, too skinny, too tall, too short. Whether your breasts may be too small and your bum may be too big. It’s okay, cause it’s International No Diet Day – a day to remind us that there are different shapes and sizes in human bodies, no matter if day by day we are being told something different.
Already in 1992, this day was initiated by a British feminist and member of the so-called ‘Diet Breakers’, Mary Evans Young. Young experienced anorexia nerviosa and wanted to help people to overcome their difficult relationship with their bodies that most likely are going through physical and emotional pain and try to fit in what they consider as an acceptable body image. The origin of this image comes from a variety full of complex reasons, and one can’t blame the beauty, fashion or diet industries alone. It’s more of a combination of the social background of each individual. Those industries however do form opinion about beauty in our society.
A Cuban friend of mine got really angry a couple of years ago when we discussed the issue. Having grown up in a communist country where advertisements are mostly banned, he did not see the point in “telling women day by day that there is only a limited amount of beauty”.
Just now writing this article, I swear, my flatmate came to my room and told me she felt fat and ugly, as she has a date today. Why would he pick me, although there are so many skinny and pretty girls? Well maybe because that is not all what defines beauty, but movement, humour, sounds, smells, etc. etc. The worst thing is, there is no protection against those feelings. It’s everywhere and everyone is affected, even my skinniest and ‘model look alike’ friends are. For me, it’s one of the worst diseases in western society because this virus is created and spread “voluntarily”. And its contagiosity is immense.
I might have driven off the topic a bit, as Wikipedia reminds me that this day is about commercial diets, which are proven to be inefficient and causing unhappiness. Furthermore the initiators are trying to honour everyone who is constantly struggling with weight discrimination and size bias, fat phobia and the question of what a body needs to look like, to be right.
As some articles suggest, I would therefore pledge for a ‘No Perfection Day’, as right or wrong are misleading adjectives concerning beauty. I know it’s easier said than done, but just give it a try. After all, there is nothing more beautiful than a healthy self-confidence.