Everything else

Eating: A Manifesto

Stick this on the fridge.

Illustration by Ruby A.

It would happen at least twice a day: I’d be wiping the counter at the coffee shop, pulling espresso shots, making new drip coffee—and I’d feel it. It was always a different woman, but always the same scene: a woman in her mid-30s to mid-60s, hovering over the glass pastry case, staring at the brownies. I’d head over to help her, wiping my hands on my apron.

“Can I getcha something?”

I could predict where we were going with my eyes closed.

“Oh. Well. No,” the woman would say quickly.

“OK.” I’d turn around, put cookies on a plate, put the plate into the pastry case.

“Well…”

I was waiting for it. Here it came.

She’d lean over the counter and say, “Those raspberry brownies sure look good.”

“They’re delicious,” I’d say.

“They look delicious.”

“Yes.”

“And fat-free, too, right? Hahaha.”

“Ha.”

“You know, I have been good,” she’d say, with a faintly creepy, conspiratorial we’re-just-two-girls-in-this-together-right-honey tone.

“Mm-hm,” I’d reply.

“You know, I could maybe split a brownie, they’re really too big for one person, don’t you think? Maybe I’ll just have half.”

“We don’t sell half-pastries.”

“You don’t? Really? Seems like you could do brisk business with, y’know, women—hahahaha!—who just want a little bite. It’s so big, really, I’m not sure I could eat that much. Hmm. All right. I mean, I’m gonna be kicking myself for this later, but sometimes a girl just needs a snack, you know what I mean?”

And there would be a line backing up out the door of the coffee shop and she’d still be dithering and I’d want to like rip my hair out and scream “JUST EAT THE FUCKING BROWNIE OMG YOU DON’T NEED MY PERMISSION AND YOU DON’T NEED TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT WANTING SOMETHING HOLY SHIT.”

I mean, if you feel guilty about just eating a brownie that you want, what else in your life do you want that you’re not expressing?

Aghhhhhhh.

Girls and women of the world, could we stop apologizing for wanting and eating food? Because this is one of the most ridiculous things that we do collectively as lady-people, and not only does it annoy the shit out of me personally, but it is also INCREDIBLY SAD. Could we stop feeling “guilty” for wanting an effing brownie? Or a plate of fries? Could we stop actively seeking permission from our friends to go ahead and “be bad” and order the cheesecake? Could we all just go ahead and order whatever it is that we feel like eating, instead of saying, “Oh, I feel like a pig, you guys are just getting salads”?

Because—now I know this will come as a shock—WOMEN EAT. We get hungry. We get hungry for pizzas and Double Stuf Oreos and nachos and ice cream and giant French-toast breakfasts, and you know what? WE DON’T NEED TO FEEL BAD ABOUT THAT.

Here I am making a vast and sweeping gender stereotype, but do you ever, ever hear dudes say “I just want a little bite” or “This is so bad, you guys, but I totally ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s last night”? No! Because it’s OK for men to eat! Men get hongray! Men need frozen dinners called “Hungry-Man”! Men need Manwich! Boys are allowed to grow into men, but “attractive” women in our culture are expected to stay at pretty much an eternal pre-adolescent weight. What’s society’s current ideal man look like? Fit. Big muscles. What’s society’s current ideal woman look like? Thin. Really thin. No hips. No belly. Hairless except for the head. Basically a 10-year-old girl with boobs added for sex appeal.

You see it everywhere—every café, every restaurant, every kitchen across the country. Women bargaining with waiters and friends about whether or not they should get a side salad or fries with their entrée. Women making demeaning jokes to one another about their desire for food, like “Once on the lips, forever on the hips” and “Well, it’s midnight, so technically your body doesn’t know whether it’s today or tomorrow, so the calories zero themselves out, hahaha” and women bonding with one another over their shared guilt! You’re being bad and getting the chocolate cake? Ooh, now that you’re doing it, let’s both be really bad, and I’ll order the key lime pie and we won’t tell a soul, will we? It’s just us girls!

Why are we apologizing for wanting food? What the hell? BODIES NEED FOOD. WE DIE WITHOUT IT. Food tastes good! And we’re programmed to crave it! Sure, some food is healthier than other food, but what is up with punishing ourselves for wanting pickle chips? Why is it acceptable—nay! encouraged!—in our culture for women to feel guilty and publicly “admit” our guilt for wanting to eat a cookie? Why are we rationalizing our “bad behavior”—you know, our EATING—with statements like “I’ve been really good lately” or “I’m gonna need to walk this off later”?

It makes me insane.

I want this to end.

I want women to allow themselves to want food. I want women to be hungry and ask for what they want to eat without apologizing. I want women to stop looking for permission from others before they eat something that is not a carrot or spinach. I want my friends to get the chili fries if they want the chili fries, and not say something like, “It all goes straight to my ____” (hips, thighs, butt, etc.). I want to see a girl sink her teeth into a huge cheeseburger and fries and not cut the burger in half to save some for later. I want my mother to allow herself more than one small square of dark chocolate per day. I want women to take pleasure in food, without punishing ourselves for wanting it.

Hear me, womenfolk: I want all of us, everywhere, to stop apologizing, stop rationalizing our behavior, and just eat the damn brownie already.

179 Comments

  • Aurora July 23rd, 2012 3:08 PM

    Krista I love you so much for this <3 I hate hearing my girlfriends bargain with themselves over food 24/7. I feel like screaming, "We're only 14, guys. It's a sleepover. Doritos won't kill you."

  • la fee clochette July 23rd, 2012 3:11 PM

    “Shit or get off the toilet.”

    Thanks for this article. Apologizing is overrated!

  • ViolentDreams July 23rd, 2012 3:11 PM

    Amen amen amen,…………… Ive been trying to hid it for so long, but actually im, really, not, above, food

  • runningfilm July 23rd, 2012 3:11 PM

    THANK YOU. I don’t even know what else to say besides THANK YOU. I’m a high school distance runner and all of us, guys and girls, eat. We don’t feel guilty about it, we talk about it all the time, et cetera. New people are still all like “Oh wow you must really have to run hard to work all that off, right?” and we’re just like, “I ran eight miles today. I don’t care what I eat or ‘work off’. Eff you.”

    • Aurora July 24th, 2012 8:27 AM

      Oh, I know right! I run cross country and during lunch, people are like “you are going to get fat.” and I’m like “yeah, NO, im going to run A LOT today. I NEED FOOD. I DON’T CARE WHAT U THINK.”

      • Jen L. July 29th, 2012 9:59 PM

        I’m a distance runner too! I used to get shit for being smaller, but not I just ignore it. I think that the “food as fuel” mentality is interesting… Like I definitely enjoy my food, but it is mainly a tool to help me run. If that makes sense. Rookie runners unite!

        • elizab August 22nd, 2012 2:35 AM

          This article and comments were…. elucidating. I’m a ballet dancer, and I get mostly the same thing. Everyone’s always shocked that this tiny ninety-seven pound girl just ate half a pizza and two brownies, especially when some other girls eat only half a slice. But I like eating, and my weight is fine with me . Also, if I go two hours without eating, I start to have trouble standing up, and that’s no fun. Quick-metabolisms unite with the runners!
          I understand that other people don’t need to eat as much as I do, but it’s strange to hear about it like this,

    • madelin3 September 21st, 2012 5:13 PM

      Of course you can eat whatever you want, you’re a runner…

  • lollylolly July 23rd, 2012 3:20 PM

    I feel like society is yelling at me to NOT eat a brownie, and you’re yelling at me to YES eat a brownie. Either way I’m being yelled at, which I’m not crazy about.

    • Krista July 23rd, 2012 3:43 PM

      Hm. That’s true. I didn’t mean to make you feel like I was yelling at you. I just have some very strong feelings about this particular issue, it’s me on my soapbox:)

  • Susann July 23rd, 2012 3:27 PM

    Amazing article! And I love the illustration!

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • clairee July 23rd, 2012 3:28 PM

    I do think having healthy eating habits is pretty important and we shouldn’t be consuming chili cheese fries and cheeseburgers all the time, but agreed, when it comes time to truly enjoy a brownie or a cookie, don’t feel guilty and fully enjoy it! You know you don’t do this every day, so don’t beat yourself up over it and savor the delicious food!

    http://modalityblog.wordpress.com/

  • Hannnah July 23rd, 2012 3:30 PM

    I FEEL THIS TOO and admire your use of caps lock. Although I do also give into that feeling sometimes of “oh well if you guys aren’t having any, I won’t…” – even if I don’t actually say it out loud (some people seem to think that lunch out is acceptable without dessert?! I’m FRIENDS with some of these people??!!)

    But the other day I did accept a free plate of surplus barbecued sausages, chicken and burgers offered to me by an army chef while I was on holiday – and did it taste GOOD or WHAT.

    Great article, Krista!

    • Krista July 23rd, 2012 3:40 PM

      “I FEEL THIS TOO and admire your use of caps lock” miiiiiight just be the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.

    • lishbish April 12th, 2013 3:23 AM

      Man, the caps lock was the best part.
      Also, reading about the raspberry brownies CAN I HAVE ONE IN MY MOUTH NOW PLS I PROMISE THAT I WON’T SAY SOMETHING DUMB ABOUT HOW GOOD I’VE BEEN LATELY

  • Starfish July 23rd, 2012 3:31 PM

    But if you just eat the damn brownie already, over and over and over again. You will get very fat. My eating habits are shit. I wish I had the willpower to never eat again. If I where thin, I think I might be perfect. But I’m not, so I’m just a fat fuck up. UGH. I don’t want to binge. I want people to like me T__T and I want to be able like myself.

    • Elizabete July 23rd, 2012 3:47 PM

      Please stop this! It makes me sad to hear this ;_;
      You won’t be perfect if you are thin, you don’t need the willpower to never eat again. Maybe you should eat a more balanced diet, so that you’d be okay with one brownie, but if your’e really so depressed i really suggest getting help from a psychiatrist or at least talking with mom/friend, really, gurl.

      http://melodyfairitale.wordpress.com/

    • lyss July 23rd, 2012 3:50 PM

      Brownies in moderation! Brownies that are good for you because you buy them at like, Whole Foods and they’re made with tons of organic shit, or just–full fat brownies ‘cos you only get one lifetime to eat brownies!

      You are probably brilliant and perfect and gorgeous just the way you are, babe. And there are gonna be people who like you and people who don’t, but it won’t have anything to do with the way you look, or how big your butt is.

      So eat lots of brownies because chocolate gives you Endorphins and Endorphins make you happy and happy means you can admire yourself for how you are.

      Being skinny or fat doesn’t mean shit, I promise.

    • Moxx July 23rd, 2012 4:29 PM

      Please please please listen
      I know it feels like it helps to do this, but it doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t. And it’s hard to stop. Don’t binge. Just don’t. And if you do, DO NOT PURGE. Force yourself not to. Force yourself to accept the consequences of your choices, and you will learn to make better ones. I know it’s difficult to go back to having a “normal” relationship with food, and I don’t know if it’ll ever be a normal” thing for me again, but you need to try. Step back and think about it. Weight negative and positive consequences.
      I know it feels like what you’re doing will solve your problems, but it won’t. You will just feel worse about yourself and people won’t like you any more. Think about it. Think about how you view people. Do you think they judge you the same way as you judge yourself? Take time to think about it.
      If you feel good, you don’t binge. You don’t binge, you don’t purge. You don’t purge, you feel better.

    • Tyknos93 July 23rd, 2012 4:30 PM

      Come on now, don’t feel that way. There are plenty of women who are large and lead fruitful and healthy lifestyles!

      The author of this article is talking about nitpicking on ever little thing you eat especially if you want it. It’s not a crime to like food and to have a delicious chocolaty/ moist/ salty/ starchy treat every now and then!

      I’m sure you look very beautiful and your size should have NOTHING to do with it :-)
      Beating yourself up and having ridiculous standards about what your body should look like (unless it is a health condition) needs to become extinct.
      I know where you are coming from:
      http://blazoningpens.blogspot.com/2012/07/kinda-short-story.html

      Hopefully in time you will not feel so bad about your body. ♥♥♥♥

  • sparklenight July 23rd, 2012 3:33 PM

    YES. It would break my heart when I worked in the student shop and virtually every other female student who bought chocolate, sweets or crisps would apologise with “oh my god I’m such a pig”.

  • anindieeducation July 23rd, 2012 3:34 PM

    THANK YOU FOR THIS. The other day I did two 7m bike rides, one in the morning and one after my mum got home and then ate loads of ice-cream. THE GUILT. But really if we stop feeling GUITLY about it then we probably wouldn’t have to endure the whole abstain-BINGE thing. Men just eat what they want and do what they want and I think we need to follow suit. I’m off for A BISCUIT

  • Elizabete July 23rd, 2012 3:35 PM

    Boo, this is a tough one.
    I have been struggling with anorexia for 2 years and was restricting what i ate for dinner since i was 13, you know, eating about six is wrong, every women knows that! Every magazine says that! Now i am almost recovered ( i don’t know if it’s possible to be fully recovered ) and it makes me sad to hear girls saying that they are fat, 99% of girls i know have jokingly or seriously called themselves fat in front of me while in reality they are not only normal, but really skinny! Anorexia is so common now and it is awful,awful, awful, it is a nightmare, the skinnier you get the fatter you feel.
    So, girls, please eat well ♡

    • Delilah July 23rd, 2012 7:44 PM

      It is possible to fully recover from ana. Trust <3

    • Pashupati July 24th, 2012 7:18 AM

      I wish you the best for recovering!
      Maybe you could make some art even if it is ugly (not saying it will be ugly or that ugly art can’t be interesting, ugly-beautiful or.)
      Because when you’re trying to get better it goes round and round in your head sometimes (not only anorexia) and sometimes making something visual as opposed to writing can helps… I don’t know, I used to try writing stuffs and it triggered me, when I do something visual it doesn’t.
      Keep going!

      • Elizabete July 24th, 2012 12:20 PM

        Thank You!
        However i am already recovered, i say “almost” because i was in hospital just a few months ago and it’s too soon to manifest healthiness! I agree about that art thing – i used to do art therapy and it was really helpful, even more helpful than music therapy i was prescribed to before :)

        http://melodyfairitale.wordpress.com/

  • rosiesayrelax July 23rd, 2012 3:38 PM

    Ah, I’m forwarding this onto my sister. She has a full on relationship with food and it’s like, chill out, it’s food!!

    Escaping Jackie

  • missmadness July 23rd, 2012 3:38 PM

    I work in a coffee shop and know the EXACT scene you described. It also happens with whipped cream. Everyday.

  • Claire July 23rd, 2012 3:39 PM

    Mixing food with morality is annoying as hell, but I’m not sure that this piece is entirely helpful. While I applaud you for condemning the mindset that equates food with guilt, I disagree with your “eat the damn brownie” theory. Whether I deprive myself of a certain food or gorge on it (or settle on a happy medium), isn’t that my prerogative?

    • runningfilm July 23rd, 2012 3:46 PM

      I think she’s referring to this specific (though widely seen) scenario. If someone very obviously wants something very badly, and they’re afraid to have it because they think society will judge them for it, then they should “eat the damn brownie” and disregard society.

    • Krista July 23rd, 2012 3:47 PM

      It so is. I just want women to feel “not guilty” when they make their choices, whatever that choice might be.

    • Pashupati July 24th, 2012 7:33 AM

      Yeah, it felt kind of condescending… like a slap in the face. In fact I didn’t read it fully (so don’t know if it stays condescending or not) and went straight to the comments which are interesting. At least it strikes a great conversation and now I know I don’t want to work in a bar or restaurant.

      • Pashupati July 24th, 2012 7:41 AM

        Though, I don’t get why so much comments about the flaws of this article needs to throw in stereotypes about youth or put-down teenagers to make their points… it doesn’t help.

  • La Fille July 23rd, 2012 3:45 PM

    It really depends on why you want to eat. If you eat because you’re hungry, that’s okay, but if you eat for an emotional reason like being bored, sad, etc, that can be quite dangerous. Food should merely be fuel, not a reward or a punishment.

    The reason our bodies crave high calorie foods is because they are the most likely to sustain us in case of starvation. It has nothing to do with morals or willpower and everything to do with biology.

    I agree with the article that people should eat whatever they want to and it’s wrong to feel guilty about food, but I’m not sure that the opposite extreme to eat without abandon is correct either. If you’re eating it, just enjoy it because it’s delicious food instead of having to feel bad about it later.

    • faithdarwin July 23rd, 2012 4:16 PM

      I really disagree with the “food should merely be fuel” ideology. I have read this just-fuel idea on a lot of blogs purporting to be teaching women how to be “healthy” or have a healthy relationship with food. As humans, food can have a really important social role tool. It brings people together; during holidays, or during family dinners, in cafeterias or dining halls. Or even just inviting friends over to bake! Eating food together helps us connect. And it can also just be extremely pleasurable, and I think that enjoying how food tastes is an important part of having a healthy relationship with food. I also really believe that much of the time food that is better for you actually tastes better (give me a meal with fresh, homegrown, local vegetables over a fast food hamburger any day!), but unfortunately our society has created this falses dichotomy wherein things that are “healthy” are perceived as less pleasurable, and things that are highly processed and contain a lot of high fructose corn syrup and saturated fat are considered what tastes good, but we’re also made to feel guilty for wanting these things.

      Not all of this is responding to your comment, it’s just responding to the idea that “food is just fuel,” which I think can sometimes be almost as harmful as the “food that tastes good is bad for you” idea.

    • Moxx July 23rd, 2012 4:23 PM

      Yes! I think this is definitely an important thing to think about also.

  • creaturefeature July 23rd, 2012 3:54 PM

    It drives me nuts too that people feel like they need to rationalize eating…when I was in the fifth grade, a friend “confessed” to me that she weighed 100 pounds, and asked if I thought she was fat. The FIFTH grade.

    • Maddy July 23rd, 2012 8:39 PM

      I remember feeling huge when I hit the 100 lbs mark around that time, just because of the number. So yeah, I started thinking about that stuff in 5th grade, too, then stopped caring in 8th grade and subsequently gained weight which I hate now. But I think nearly all young women and women have had these obsessive or unhealthy thoughts or habits relating to food, exercise or a justification of the two.

  • magicbeanbuyer July 23rd, 2012 3:59 PM

    YESSS. THANK YOU. I love this! God I am friends with a person like this and I literally can NOT go out with her to lunch it drives me insane. So thank you :) ALthough I agree this isn’t for everyone. Like I myself am currently giving up the “damn brownie”, like fast food, all that additive shit, processed things. NOT because of body image or that I need to worry about being fat (for a 14 year old, a healthy 130 thankyouverymuch!) but because I recently reread Fast Food America and awful horrendous things happen to people and animals in slaughterhouses, where there is little or no government regulation and all the things companies like that do just makes me SICK. So, I LOVE that this is encouraging girls not to feel guilty about eating how much of whatever they want, it’s just that whatever I want is starting to mean local farmers markets, etc. Not that I can’t enjoy a pint of (homemade!) ice cream when it comes down to it ;)

  • atticus July 23rd, 2012 4:06 PM

    I love the idea of thoughtless eating. And I hate society for telling me I can’t. But you gotta admit, it’s a heck-of-a-lot easier to follow if you’re skinny. Some of us just aren’t as lucky

    • lylsoy July 23rd, 2012 7:40 PM

      Well, being skinny doesn’t equal to being healthy! In different decades there have been diferent beauty ideals, and unfortunately we live in one where it’s all about being skinny.. In the 18th century being round and curve-y was in!
      I am quite skinny, but I do not try to rely on my looks, because they won’t last. But a healthy relationship to your body and food will last :)
      Eat as you like, gurls! There is not such a thing as an unacceptable, fat body! Rock your curves <3
      http://gossipgonzesse.blogspot.com.au/

    • Emily D July 24th, 2012 9:18 AM

      ooo man, totally feel you on that…I have several friends that are just really thin, and it’s not because they don’t eat- it’s just their build. My body isn’t quite the same way…definitely have a pair of sizable thighs…but I’m coming more to terms with the ‘rock your curves’ thingy I suppose. Go Marilyn!

  • bethkins26 July 23rd, 2012 4:13 PM

    YES YES YES oh my god.

  • smilingrottenflesh July 23rd, 2012 4:17 PM

    Yesss I hate those conspirational scripts along with media’s portrayal of women having this naughty affair with food. I can eat a brownie without having to justify it by spouting off a narrative about sexual desire for baked goods. Ugh, I’m such a sucker for it too! I saw a commercial for chips the other day in which a woman opened a bag (of chips, in case that wasn’t clear) all excited and anticipating – to a TITILLATING extent! – and for a second I totally bought in to the idea and wanted to buy those fucking chips so I could have my own special, fun moment pumped with somuchemotion that it rivals actual human relationships.

    Also, relevant for reasons:

    http://pinterest.com/pin/134756213819771584/

  • Lorelei July 23rd, 2012 4:21 PM

    I used to feel the exact same way. I would scoff at my friends when they made comments about feeling like a pig for eating a cookie in front of a guy or having fries instead of a salad….But now I kind of do the same thing to myself. I don’t know why either. And I’m kind of freaked out about it. I used to be so confident and sure of myself. I could eat whatever I wanted and not feel like “a pig” because I knew I wasn’t one. I know I’m not fat or overweight, but I can’t stop myself from self-shaming. Like what’s so hard about eating the brownie without feeling bad about myself afterward? I don’t know.

  • Moxx July 23rd, 2012 4:22 PM

    I feel that this article raises a very good point and that it’s very valid and very relevant, but I wish that this sort of argument (which I agree with) didn’t always end up coming with a EAT JUNK FOOD AND COOKIES AND CHEESE FRIES AND BACON thing, as if women who don’t eat those things because they don’t feel like it are said to be the “sad, boring, salad type” or whatever. Of course women should have the freedom to eat what they want and not feel guilty and not have to make excuses. But this means they should be allowed to eat “good” things too. Both ways. I know a girl who is very, very skinny, and when we go out to eat and she orders something like vegetables people feel like it’s ok to go WHY ARENT YOU HAVING A BURGER and EAT SOMETHING and OH MY GOD WHAT A SAD CREATURE, ALWAYS COUNTING CALORIES and this sort of thing.
    I think it should go both ways and that women should be able to eat whatever they want without judgement.
    But this is a co owls subject, and it’s difficult to say everything about it in one article.
    But either way, yes, I agree wight the main message, and thank you for publishing this, because it is true! C:

    • Moxx July 23rd, 2012 4:33 PM

      I meant complex, not co owls. Oops

      • pialuna July 23rd, 2012 5:26 PM

        First of all: I agree with your comment wholeheartedly. Secondly: “co owls” is now officially my favorite expression. :)

  • no_aloha July 23rd, 2012 4:31 PM

    While this certainly is true, I like to listen to my conscience when it tells me not to eat something. I’ve been obese most of my life, and I come from a family with a history of heart disease, diabetes, etc. I’m finally in my healthy weight range, and I’m proud of the fact that I can listen to that inner voice and make that healthier choice.

    I think those guys who feel guiltless about eating and drinking whatever aren’t really concerned about their health. Many other men are just as food conscious as women who know that health is important, especially if they too have made a lifetime of unhealthy choices that lead to weight problems.

    Now, that’s not to say that I don’t indulge in my favorite things from time to time. But shouldn’t we all follow our instincts? I think many of our mothers told us: “If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.” I think it’s really all about having a positive relationship with food, which is what I think you are trying to say here, Krista. Thank you for this article!

  • Impybat July 23rd, 2012 4:39 PM

    Great article, and thank you for writing about this! I tweeted about this just the other day, in fact–”I get tired of hearing people talk about food in terms of “good” or “bad”. Eating is not a morality play.”

  • HarrietIsAPirate July 23rd, 2012 4:47 PM

    As always with your articles, Krista, I absolutely love this. However I particularly like this one as feeling guilty about eating is something I have a massive problem with.

    I don’t feel comfortable eating in public, especially if nobody else is eating, because I’m worried people will think I’m greedy or fat or something. Which is ridiculous and irrational because nobody is actually noticing and I’m not at all overweight and usually I don’t give a crap what other people think, but when it comes to food I do. I feel like a hypocrite because I talk about body acceptance and loving yourself and not caring about others opinions of you, but I can’t seem to practice what I preach.

    • Maddy July 23rd, 2012 8:45 PM

      Yeah, I get really awkward when eating or drinking in front of people I don’t know. Not because of the guilt thing, but because the sound of swallowing or motion of spitting out a cherry pit becomes exaggerated. Haha, tmi, I know, tmi.

      • TheAwesomePossum July 25th, 2012 1:42 AM

        Not tmi at all. It’s actually really cool to hear that other people go through the same thing.

        Another scenario is when you’re eating with someone who has impeccable table manners and you become super self conscious about putting your elbows on the table, etc.

  • Tiffany July 23rd, 2012 4:50 PM

    this is really great. very honest i totally agree, thank you so much for this!!!!

  • portiachalifoux July 23rd, 2012 4:59 PM

    Absolutely on your point about women feeling guiltless about eating food.

    But not so much on women feeling free to eat manufactured food products.

    The science is inexorably leading to overwhelming evidence that whole, fresh/minimally processed foods eaten to satiation in culturally acceptable settings is healthful and wholesome (punny).

    And the science is also leading in the direction that manufactured, highly processed food PRODUCTS are strongly associated with all sorts of maladies.

    Does your bistro/cafe offer fresh fruit or veg at checkout? Do you have to navigate the rocky shoals of candy, cookies and other gran-based sweets at your grocer before you get to the fresh fruit and veg, diary and meat displays?

    Do you have advertisers’ coupons for fresh whole foods or manufactured food-like products?

    It’s not so easy now, is it?

    We keep putting all of these unhealthful, should be rare treats, in front of people, with their attendant aromas, feel good environments, and low pricing, and then we wonder why it is that people choose them over more wholesome, but less immediately appealing whole foods.

    Show me a raw carrot and celery stick that wafts an aroma as tempting as a slice of warm pie, and I’ll grant you your annoyance at someone’s dithering.

    Otherwise, put out the fresh fruit in front of the raspberry brownie, talk up the fruit and shut up, already.

    • kendallakwia July 23rd, 2012 10:41 PM

      thank you. having a healthy relationship with food is much harder that this article is making it seem.

  • connie July 23rd, 2012 5:05 PM

    i agree we should eat what we like and not be ashamed of it, but i think, now more than ever, it is very important to know what you are putting into your body. even foods advertised as low fat or diet friendly or ‘ good for you’ are often just as bad and sometimes far worse than the big mac burgers and krispy kreme donuts of this world. i think the idea is to be smart about food; know what youre eating, the portions you need for your lifestyle, etc. before you decide what foods are ‘bad’ and what are ‘good’. that’s my goal for now, anyway. n__n

    • connie July 23rd, 2012 5:09 PM

      sorry, by “just as bad” and “far worse” i meant in added sugars, preservatives, potentially dangerous ingrediants ( such as aspartame), artificial colourants and flavourings, and not much nutritional value to speak of.

  • Mags July 23rd, 2012 5:06 PM

    OMG this drives me absolutely BONKERS!!!! My co-worker used to do this and I just wanted to rip my hair out just like you. Gahhhhhh! It’s the worst. I personally don’t ever say anything anymore about food and sometimes when other people say it I’ll call them out on it.

  • July 23rd, 2012 5:23 PM

    Women shouldn’t feel like they need to eat or not want something. If they want the brownie, just eat it unless of course you (like me) have dietary issues that dont allow you to do so. You shouldn’t feel like you need to eat more or less because others tell you to.
    Gi against the grain and eat the brownie (or skip it because you are allowed to not want to eat it for whatever reason).
    http://thelunalovingbookworm.tumblr.com/

  • highheelsandsneakers July 23rd, 2012 5:51 PM

    honestly, this is just SO true. I have a lot of friends who should read this. I mean, of course you watch your figure now and then, girls will be girls, but the world won’t end because you gained two pounds. Enjoy your food already.

  • weetziebatcoolcat July 23rd, 2012 6:01 PM

    Mmm… Now I want a brownie.
    But seriously though, I noticed this trend of being guilty about eating in sixth grade. My friend and I would walk to the local Baskin Robins and get a normal cone of ice cream, and she’d be like, “lol, we’re so fat”, even though it was a hot summer’s day, we didn’t have ice cream often, and we were a healthy weight for our age. SRSLY? EAT THE DAMN BROWNIE.
    Thank you so much for this.

    http://in-retr0spect.tumblr.com/

  • Abby July 23rd, 2012 6:09 PM

    First of all, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Women need to stop feeling guilty for eating.

    A few people in the comments have said things to the effect of not wanting Rookie to encourage eating unhealthily, but I don’t think that that is what this article is trying to convey. I think that all Krista is trying to say is that women shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to indulge sometimes, or even just eat normally! Eating out or having dessert isn’t necessarily indulging, but women feel guilty for it, and that needs to stop. I think this article is just trying to encourage a healthy relationship with food.

  • burn-your-flesh July 23rd, 2012 6:10 PM

    I wouldn’t feel guilty for wanting junk food but OH GOD if I actually ate everything I wanted I would be so unhealthy and lazy and lethargic. . .and I’m a vegan so thats saying something.

  • Maggot July 23rd, 2012 6:17 PM

    I agree with this, but sometimes I just want a salad and people look at me sadly and think I’m dieting. No, go away. I just want a salad because ranch.

    • arriving July 28th, 2012 1:48 PM

      “i want a salad because ranch” is something i say to myself regularly, because, ranch.

  • truepenny July 23rd, 2012 6:20 PM

    I agree and disagree. I mean, health is important to me and so if I ate brownies every time I want them I wouldn’t feel good – like, physically. I’m not saying I’m beyond all the bargaining and emotional aspects, but I feel like people sometimes go with the opposite way and have this kneejerk “OMG you’re SUCH a GIRL just EAT THE BROWNIE!!” And it’s like…I just want to be healthy, guys. Please don’t make turning down this brownie harder than it is. My hubby is in the same boat and its so much harder because there’s this “real men don’t think about calories” idea. Anyway, kind of a separate issue, but related. Sometimes it’s ok not to eat the damn brownie too.

    But whatever you do or eat, it shouldn’t be a judgement on you as a person. Eating a brownie isn’t a “sinful” thing to do. If you eat the brownie, do it, enjoy it, don’t apologize for it, and then move on with your life. Food and morality aren’t really related (unless you are stealing the brownie from a homeless child, or something, I guess).

  • silversgoodforme July 23rd, 2012 6:47 PM

    I relate to this so much. My friends at school never eat anything at lunch, but always assure me they ‘pig out at home.’ They seem to delight in putting themselves and others down, with this weird cycle of guilt and pride in the fact that they eat less than other girls. Girls in my class just have such bad body issues – it’s got to the point where about a third of the class will skip school on days when we have swimming because they’re so self conscious of what they look like in their swimming costumes

  • taste test July 23rd, 2012 6:53 PM

    I loved this article, but I feel like it was wasted on me because I completely agreed with it. the people who really need it are all the people it made me think of as I read: my mom who eats nothing but salad at restaurants and ogles my food but refuses vehemently when I ask if she wants some, my friend who never eats salad dressing even if she’s out of other salad toppings because THINK OF THE CALORIES, my other friend who once threw away half a bowl of homemade mac ‘n’ cheese because it was so creamy and probably-fattening that she felt disgusting for eating it. I hope they get what this article is trying to say someday, because food is super delicious and it’d be sad to go through life hating it out of guilt. I’m not saying it’s bad to eat healthy, but a lot of the time, women keep choking down food they hate and acting like Martyrs For Beauty or something when they could be finding healthy food they enjoy and learning about how buying a brownie when you really fucking want one doesn’t make you unhealthy or a terrible person.

  • jill July 23rd, 2012 6:58 PM

    OH MY GOSH THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the problem with society is that women are programmed to think that fat=unhealthy/really really bad, when it is not too healthy to be too skinny either!! geaiojklghneadhnvjkvbhgjead

  • Freebooter4Ever July 23rd, 2012 7:00 PM

    I’m sorry rookie, but no. Usually I let the occasional arrogance and entitlement of this magazine occasional, since, you know, when I was a teen I was arrogant and entitled too, but this is going to far. Your argument here, “just eat the damn brownie already!” screams victim blaming. Have you ever been anorexic? The LAST thing you want to do to someone who has food problems, no matter how large or small those problems are, is order them to eat something. My god this article completely triggered me, as a girl who struggled with anorexia for almost ten years since I was 14 years old, so bad that I’m shaking and sick right now. I can’t believe a place that claims to be supporting girls of all types would publish a piece that rails on other girls for being Annoying’ about food.

    • mulberry July 23rd, 2012 8:02 PM

      Just to offer another opinion, I also struggled with eating for many years (ED-NOS) and found this article inoffensive. This is ABSOLUTELY not an attempt to devalue the above poster’s point–I see her point and do think it’s important to consider that when people express guilt about eating, it’s often just the tip of an extremely complex iceberg of reasons for feeling that way, many of which are not reasons that can be turned off like a switch.
      However, when I read this, despite my years of very heavy issues with food, I saw it as an entertainingly ranty and well-intended reminder to take a deep breath, relax, and let go. Different people have very different stories about their relationships with food, and I know that personally, this is a message that would have been HUGELY helpful to me in my younger years. It’s a reminder to me about the importance of perspective, and about the value of loving yourself. Living out each day by finding the joy in as many moments as possible, whatever those moments may entail, has so much more of a beneficial and lasting effect for me than rigidly trying to fit my life (and my body) into a cookie-cutter shape.

    • KaylaWillowbee July 23rd, 2012 8:08 PM

      A-fucking-men, dude.

    • Anaheed July 24th, 2012 6:29 PM

      Yes, as a matter of fact I have been anorexic, and I didn’t get what you’re getting from this article at all. Krista seems to me to be asking women (including herself, I’m sure) to stop bonding over our FOOD GUILT and acting like it is a cute awesome club to be in. She’s asking for an end to feeling like our character is determined by our food choices. Which seems like a healthy message to me.

      I’m sorry that it triggered you, of course. We do our best to not let any of our articles get triggery, but of course it’s impossible to predict what is going to trigger someone.

  • meredithwho July 23rd, 2012 7:05 PM

    I have named this the “Liz Lemon Effect,” where feminists, as myself, feel like because society tells women they should be healthy that being unhealthy is freeing oneself from societal pressures. I don’t think that’s the best message we should be sending. I don’t think that if I go to McDonalds whenever I want means that I’m “wining” and an oppressive cultural standard is “losing”, I think it just means I’ll have type 2 diabetes when I’m 30.

    • kendallakwia July 23rd, 2012 10:27 PM

      fuck. yes. you win an award.

    • faithdarwin July 24th, 2012 2:13 AM

      I think your point about the Liz Lemon Effect is super smart/interesting, but there is a huge difference between “healthy” and “extremely thin.” Society does not tell women they should be healthy; society tells them they should be beautiful and thin, and that if they are not starving themselves, that they are doing something wrong. This article is encouraging women to eat what they want, not to eat just unhealthy foods. I think the author is using brownies and fries and fatty foods as examples of things that women deny themselves because of societal pressures look a certain way, and because they (we) are taught to feel guilty for craving these things — not because we are taught they are unhealthy.

  • Freebooter4Ever July 23rd, 2012 7:06 PM

    And reading these comments makes me want to cry, because so many are blaming other girls for not eating. Very rarely is food avoidance a simple matter of ‘eat a sandwhich’, more often its: if I eat this sandwhich, I will lost control of my body and gain weight, but if I focus on the feeling of hunger and not eating this sandwich, I can not focus in -insert issue here-.
    Please, have some sympathy for girls, and for how engrained society’s value of thinness is, and how easy it is to turn to that when everything else in your life seems upside down and it is the one thing you can control.

  • zaphiros July 23rd, 2012 7:12 PM

    THANK YOU for writing this!!! I try to eat healthy because I’m a swimmer and I need to have good energy in my body, but I eat at least 3500 calories a day because I burn so much energy. People always comment on how much I eat and it’s SO ANNOYING!!!! Food is delicious

  • bookworm123 July 23rd, 2012 7:23 PM

    I think I like food too much to have an issue with this (the only thing stopping me from eating a batch of cookies is the fact that I will get sick.)

    BUT, Krista, I feel the exact same way! Eat what you fricken want, unless you actually need to watch what you eat for legitamite health reasons!

    I wish I could give this article to a girl I met at camp ; a girl who, after revealing that she ate cereal for EVERY SINGLE DAMN MEAL FOR THREE WEEKS (because everything else had calories, or she was incredibly picky) refused to have pasta because “it isn’t healthy.” IF YA WANT THE PASTA, EAT IT.

    I realize that was a liberal use of CAPS LOCK, but God,

    • bookworm123 July 23rd, 2012 7:42 PM

      that mindset can really get to me!

      Pardon the spazzy post(s).

    • hantom July 24th, 2012 8:03 PM

      I wonder if that girl had an eating disorder? :/

  • InColdBlood July 23rd, 2012 7:23 PM

    Yesss, thank you for this! I used to frequent this amazing bakery (well, amazing until they were bought out…) and every time I’d get stuck behind some woman making the same jokes you described.

    And then I have a bullemic friend who also edges into anaroexic territory, and it’s just so depressing to hear herself beat herself up over her ‘gigantic’ 97 pound frame, which actually looks close to emaciated.

    I just wish we could feel good about eating. I mean, preferably we don’t get unhealthy in either direction–a balanced diet is still good to understand and implement–but…just dang,man.

    On my own end, my father constantly made comments on my weight, despite me being average with merely a not completely flat stomach (seriously, i actually measured how huge it was–less than 2 inches over my waistband! When I was bloated, at that..!) My body shape was never gonna be sticklike, it naturally stays at 38/31/37 and 150ish lbs, but it really hurt. So I lost seven pounds. And he said I was stupid for so much weight. Later he apologised, but then he got mad at me for crying over it. but it was tears of frustration, yo. >:(.

    And now I’m back up to 148 and he still calls me fat while slapping the parts he thinks are jiggley or whatever. argh. And he himself is medically obese, but his nick name for my mom–who’s maybe slightly overweight, but it looks alright on her and who cares anyway?–is fatso/porkstress. She clearly minds, I clearly mind, and he doesn;t even care when I ask him to stop.

    …sorry, this kinda got off topic. D:. though, I guess advice in this would be coo!

    • Maddy July 23rd, 2012 8:53 PM

      I’m so sorry that you have to go through that with your dad. Him calling you names and slapping you really sounds like verbal or psychological abuse, though. It must be hard on both you and your mom. I’m not the best at giving advice, but just remember that you are not your weight and there’s a whole community of people (both online and off) who care about more and support you. :)

  • InColdBlood July 23rd, 2012 7:25 PM

    And the annoying part is, I do walk quite a lot…up to 5 or 6 miles daily, barring illness and such. It’s just…frustrating. And I can’t shake the insecurity completely, much as I want to.

    • Eryn July 23rd, 2012 8:00 PM

      In your first comment you implied you know you are not overweight, so somewhere inside you, you know that you are perfect and beautiful just the way you are!!! And I garauntee that it is true. I really hope that you can eventually know that your own opinion is much more important than anyone else’s. I know it must be difficult, as you are recieving judgement from a parent, but I believe that within you is the strength to ‘shake the insecurity completely,’ and believe in yourself enough to know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU. And if you are healthy and able to particiapte in life, then that is fabulous. But your size doesn’t matter. Someone else’s ideal is absolutely NOT what you should be going for, and I believe you know that, don’t you? A flower is no less beautiful because it is shorter than the rest.
      Also, you could talk to him about it. Just about how it makes you feel. A heart to heart. Perhaps suggesting building healthy (healthy, nothing to do with weight) meal plans with and for the whole family?
      I’m sorry if all of this is completely wrong and irrelevant, but I just want you to know that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. If you are happy and healthy nothing else matters. <3

    • Runaway July 23rd, 2012 11:14 PM

      What you’ve said here about you and your dad reminds me of the relationship I’ve got with one of my friends. Not long ago she made a joke implying I was ugly. It made me feel awful. I’m in my twenties now, but growing up I was painfully shy and insecure. I didn’t like myself as a person and I didn’t like my body either. Because of that, sometimes I made mean comments about other people.
      My body insecurities disappeared when I fell in love for the first time and discovered that the guy was attracted to me, too. It turned out he wasn’t a good person, but I’m forever grateful to him ’cause after that I no longer felt bad about my body; in fact, I learned to love it. I even started to believe people when they pay me a compliment and the need to criticize others for their bodies or the way they acted vanished. In fact, now it gets on my nerves when other people around me do it, even if they’re just talking about celebrities. I hate it!
      I’ve known this friend of mine since high school. She was as insecure as I was. The thing is that while I have evolved, she’s still stuck at that phase and she still needs to put other people down to feel good. She’s always thought she’s fat and recently she has lost a lot of weight. Also, she’s been with a guy who clearly was bad news for 7 years. She recently broke up with him. She told me it has taken her so long because she feels ugly and thought that she’d be completely alone without that guy.
      What I’m trying to say is that when other people put you down it has to do more with them than it has to do with you. Just try to remember that!

  • jenaimarley July 23rd, 2012 7:32 PM

    This makes me cry.
    Such vivid truth.
    Thank you, Krista!

    • jenaimarley July 23rd, 2012 7:33 PM

      Also I AM going to print this out and put it on my fridge.

  • KaylaWillowbee July 23rd, 2012 8:04 PM

    The “eat the damn brownie” sentiment falls entirely on deaf ears, and is not helpful. It’s nice and all, but this is the sort of response that women with eating disorders (a rather large majority of us) see as nothing but empty. Instead of saying “but i wish everyone could get along and nothing bad would ever happen and women wouldn’t feel guilty about food!”, maybe you could actually be of service and provide helpful NEDA links and therapy alliances? Bitching about something and using guilt as a pejorative solves nothing.

    • KaylaWillowbee July 23rd, 2012 8:06 PM

      There are very obviously young women seeking advice and help on this subject in this thread alone, and you are not equipped to respond so why did you open this floodgate of discussion? Young people are impressionable and should at the very least be provided with a starter kit of healthy responses.

      • KaylaWillowbee July 23rd, 2012 8:21 PM

        Oh wait, one more thing! You also trivialized an entire section of eating disordered individuals : MEN. Good job “smashing the gender binary”, Rookie. Hire older writers. Or at least more socially aware ones.

        • hantom July 24th, 2012 8:13 PM

          I don’t think the article is about eating disorders, more about the (pretty gendered) phenomenon of ‘being good’ around dessert (a feminized food), for example.

    • Freebooter4Ever July 24th, 2012 8:20 AM

      Thank you!!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I felt so alone.
      I too went through an extreme bout of eating disorders and watched a number of my fellow therapy patients destroy themselves despite being told every day to ‘just eat a sandwich’. This tactic doesn’t work and does more harm than not, because usually food is just the excuse not the cause.
      I wish they would have explained how to be a friend and ally to an EDO sufferer rather than thrown insults and guilt at them.

    • Mags July 24th, 2012 12:36 PM

      I don’t think this is targeted toward girls with ED, but to women in general who are always making excuses not to eat even one small piece of chocolate or something because they feel intense guilt over it, usually because society makes them feel like they should constantly be on some sort of diet.

  • carolita July 23rd, 2012 9:12 PM

    I totally get this, and have always thought women should not beat themselves up over what they eat — I say if you eat it happily, it’ll be better for you, better digested, better all around. But I kind of take a tiny bit of goodnatured exception to Krista wanting her mother to eat more chocolate. Why is it only good if someone eats whatever/whenever they want? Some people like to eat sparingly. When I only eat chocolate sparingly, I’m not apologizing. I’m just eating chocolate sparingly. That’s because I don’t like to feel dependent on or enslaved by my food, and even more imporantly, I like my treats to remain special. I’m the girl who, in the fourth grade, could make nibbling one nacho chip last about five minutes. I just like treats to stay special. For example, I can’t eat cookies or cupcakes every day. That makes them not a treat anymore. But the same goes for salad. I get tired of salad if I eat it every day. When I had to gain weight and eat pie and donuts every day, I got real sick of pie and donuts after a couple of weeks. I let the food apologize to me, dammit.

  • AthenaP92 July 23rd, 2012 9:19 PM

    I am so glad you posted this. Even though I don’t vocalize my guilt over eating “bad” foods, I definately beat myself up over it. I’ve been working on it though, and reading this really helps. Thank you.

  • Ketmie July 23rd, 2012 9:34 PM

    It’s so frustrating to read some of these comments. This article is not saying, “EAT UNHEALTHY FOODS!!!” It’s pointing out how sad it is that women, often perfectly healthy women, will deny themselves or feel guilty about eating ANY particular type of food. It’s about body image and self-esteem. Social pressures. Feeling like eating at all is a terrible crime.

    Please stop obsessing over the brownie and losing sight of what the article is actually about!!

    • raftingstarlit July 24th, 2012 4:21 AM

      Best comment on this page! I was just thinking the same.

    • Mags July 24th, 2012 12:37 PM

      THANK YOU!!! This is spot-on! I think the article is being entirely misunderstood.

  • fairy_grrrl July 23rd, 2012 9:39 PM

    When I got to this part: “You’re being bad and getting the chocolate cake? Ooh, now that you’re doing it, let’s both be really bad, and I’ll order the key lime pie and we won’t tell a soul, will we? It’s just us girls,” I started laughing, not because it was funny but because it’s so true. I almost feel like if I say “Oh my god, what if we get whipped cream???” to one of my friends in a sarcastic way, they’ll giggle hysterically and say “WHAT IF WE DID” completely seriously. I recall one Halloween when I was in 8th grade and I got a second helping of food. My friend raised her eyebrows at me and said “wow, that’s a lot” in a really condescending way. The fact that these things start so early is upsetting.

    Great article!

  • peanutbutter July 23rd, 2012 9:52 PM

    It was extremely heartening to read over all the comments on this post and find such eloquent and sensitive discussion of the topic. After reading the article, I was all fired up to throw in my two cents about the flaws of what Krista is saying, but I quickly found that my thoughts had already been voiced by others, in a constructive and mostly non-inflammatory way. While the article may have slightly missed the mark as far as I’m concerned, the following discussion has revealed just how special this Rookie community is.

  • kendallakwia July 23rd, 2012 10:32 PM

    I’m sorry, but this reeks of girl-hate. Honestly, I’m really disappointed with Rookie right now. My friends and I take pride in indulging with food, but we all have to realize that unhealthy foods are unhealthy. My family is fat. We have fat people health problems. It’s not helpful AT ALL to tell me I should “indulge” when indulgence means poor health.

    • Mags July 24th, 2012 12:39 PM

      This is not promoting poor health AT ALL. It’s just trying to shed light on the fact that women often guilty about eating anything, anything at all, regardless of how many calories it has, or how good/bad it is for you. It’s about how warped most women’s relationship with food is.

  • woahkayitslauren July 23rd, 2012 11:42 PM

    I love this. I catch myself all the time, especially since I’m trying to lose weight, feeling guilty for eating. But I know it’s not a healthy mindset.
    I should be able to eat a goddamn brownie without worrying about it. If I want the brownie, then I’ll have it. It’s not like I’m eating 20 of them everyday.

    But instead I’ll eat one, barely be done chewing and automatically feel guilty for enjoying it. Like, I’m such a terrible person because I just ate a dessert that was created for people to enjoy and I did exactly that. Like I’m suddenly going to gain 20 lbs and get diabetes.

    It’s just not true. But it’s so hard to stop something that’s been ingrained in your mind for almost your entire life. Most of my friends eat portions that would barely sustain my 10 pound cat, and it’s depressing that they can’t enjoy an ice cream cone when we’re at the beach. And it’s depressing that I won’t enjoy an ice cream cone because I don’t want to feel guilty for getting it/see them glancing longly at it.

    And after reading all these comments, I think people are missing the point. Krista isn’t saying “go out and eat unhealthy foods all the time because you want to and eat whenever you want and stuff your face.” No, what she’s trying to say is we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying food.
    We should live free from food-guilt.

  • Maddy P July 24th, 2012 12:36 AM

    I swear this article made my night. Finally someone says what I have been thinking! I just find it very funny how in the Marilyn Monroe days there would be articles in the paper saying “Can gain 10 pounds? Tired of being skinny? ” (Seriously I have the picture) and now its “Want to lose those last ten pounds? Hands off the desert!” (I laugh at these headlines and eat a cookie for good measure to make the magazine knows I don’t take orders from them. )

  • EvaLavender July 24th, 2012 12:45 AM

    OMG FUCK YEAH! I HATE IT TO DEATH when people starve themselves to “look good.” It’s like, DUDE YOU IDIOT. A fucking BROWNIE is not going to make you gain 10 pounds. You will literally poop it out within a few hours. And quite frankly, eating salad all the time isn’t going to necessarily make you skinnier. You look the way you look so deal with it and learn to love yourself because of the way you look because you look like that because YOU WERE MADE TO LOOK LIKE THAT. If you weren’t supposed to look however you look, you probably just wouldn’t have been born. I just hate society and people who are like “can’t eat fatty foods, don’t wanna get fat.” I just want to slap them and force feed them.

    • mulberry July 24th, 2012 2:13 AM

      It’s understandable to be frustrated by something that seems counterintuitive to you, but try to remember that often people who starve themselves and worry about getting fat have a lot of reasons for feeling the way they do. I think the original article brings up a good point, and is sassy/blunt without being too terribly aggressive. However, I also think it’s really important to keep in mind that railing on others whose mindsets are different from our own doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run.
      It’s cool to put differing opinions out there, to blatantly disagree with one another, and to change our own opinions as often as we like when faced with new ideas. This is one of the neatest parts about being a human! I think in order to create a supportive environment for discussion and growth, though, it’s important to check ourselves when we speak and make sure the way we present thoughts doesn’t immediately alienate others. It’s easy for really good discussions to turn into arguments.
      I was personally a little put off by the slapping/force feeding comment. But! I don’t think that means you are a bad person or anything. I like that Rookie provides a forum for people to share their thoughts, and for others to say, “yeah, I think that too,” or “I totally think you’re wrong” or anywhere in between, and the general mood throughout everything is that we’re all here just kind of trying to figure things out, and so it’s okay to be right or wrong. Or to realize that a lot of the time there might not BE a right or wrong, just a lot of different perspectives. Holy long comment, batman!

      • Lea July 24th, 2012 3:13 AM

        Yeah, I agree with you, slapping/force-feeding people is kind of extreme… Fat people who go on diets are really brave cause it’s not fun at all, it takes a lot of will. And if someone has a weight problem, they should be able to fix it without others accusing them of not “liking themselves the way they are”, because being over/underweight can affect your health. Just speaking my mind here.
        It’s an interesting discussion right?

        • hantom July 24th, 2012 8:00 PM

          I wouldn’t really say going on a diet is brave? Idk, dieting is pretty much what you’re *expected* to do if you’re fat. I’d say being fat and saying you have no intention of dieting is more of act of bravery.

  • Skylar July 24th, 2012 1:45 AM

    Ummm I found this really disturbing. I’ve always loved rookie and usually treat everything that’s written here like a bible but this kinda offended me. Shouldnt you be supporting other peoples decisions about food? You’re judging them for having annoying eating habits. I’ve had issues with eating and my body and I’ve been in the spot of the lady couldn’t decide if she wanted “the damn brownie”. Things like deciding whether to eat or not aren’t so easy for a lot of people.

    • lollylolly July 24th, 2012 8:24 AM

      yeah, my mom is the lady who can’t decide if she wants the brownie, and this article made me feel like, HEY STOP YELLING AT MY MOM!

  • ValeCrts July 24th, 2012 2:25 AM

    Thanks Krista for this wonderful article! it had to be said :)

  • Lea July 24th, 2012 3:04 AM

    Wow this was great! I always love your articles Krista.
    Although I have never have watched my weight (I’m naturally quite skinny), some people have told me to “still be careful” when I came to talk about food. I don’t care at all but it gets on my nerves. I wish people didn’t feel obligated to add “but it makes you fat” every time they finished mentioning something yummy. Some women guilt trip other girls who don’t care about calories and enjoy good food by telling them they’re going to put on weight. I think that’s because they feel like those girls are not respecting social rules AND are happy, whereas THEY are miserable because they eat stuff they don’t like, just to fit in the social norms. Although healthy food can be actually really yummy (fruit!), I think it’s scandalous that women are pressured by the media because then they go and be bitches to the ones who don’t care about those shitty (and ineffective btw) pre-summer diets in Elle or Cosmo.

    So thank you again Rookie for screwing those magazines. And for being so damn great :)

  • streaked lights July 24th, 2012 3:10 AM

    I have to show this article to my friends now! Whenever we go out, I’m always the only one getting the dessert, or eating the whole plate (you’ll never catch me with a salad!) while my friends have their meager portions.
    And while that isn’t necessarily bad to not want to eat much, you shouldn’t torture yourself! If you want it, HAVE IT.

    http://www.anooshadraws.blogspot.com

  • gabriellelynne July 24th, 2012 3:25 AM

    I think that this post should have a trigger warning on it for any disordered readers that Rookie magazine may have.

  • cristinitza July 24th, 2012 4:52 AM

    Now all I can see in the front of my eyes is a brownie. I’m going to the supermarket. Who’s coming with me?

  • Aly July 24th, 2012 5:01 AM

    OOF! This is perfect perfect perfect! Whenever I go out with my gal-pals they always look around nervously when ordering/buying something unhealthy. Like some special police task force is going to come arrest them for eating ice cream. I love my friends with all my heart but sometimes it can be SO frustrating to eat out with them for that reason. Great article though! Maybe I could get them to read it…

  • Rhianna July 24th, 2012 6:40 AM

    Over the past few weeks, I have pretty much just let myself indulge and really enjoy food again from literal years of restricting on account of when I was young (around 11) I was obese. I soon developed an eating disorder which saw me get to a low weight, yes. But at what price? A 12 year old girl living off black coffee? A 12 year old girl never letting herself enjoy anything for fear it would make he “fat” again?
    I can still remember the day I turned 13. There was food and cake. I had never felt so much guilt in my life for having perhaps 150 cals of cake icing.
    I never got to a low enough weight to be classed with anorexia, but if certain events like the death of my grandmother whom lived with and the heart attack of my grandfather; my last remaining relative, I would have kept going but I realised our mortality.
    I realised that starving for 2 years made irreparable damage to not only things like my stunted height but to the concept of eating all together. It’s taken me from the age of 13 to now at the age of 16, a few weeks ago to realise that yes; while indulging has made me gain a few pounds, overcome my fear of eating out (and at some points binge on oreos) food doesn’t define us, and shouldn’t define us whatever end of the spectrum we as human beings are on. I do know men who also restrict and diet, they are just quiet about it so that is a bad generalization as is the 30-60 as I’m sure you would agree; our generation is one becoming far more obsessed with food.
    If you want the browine, eat it. If you don’t, don’t eat it.
    Do whatever makes you happy, and healthy.

  • Yanthe July 24th, 2012 9:00 AM

    I totally agree – but the equally annoying flip side of this is everyone assuming you’re lying when you genuinely don’t want that brownie.

    I’m not a sweets person – I just don’t really like them that much. But other women don’t let you get away with that – they assume you need or want ‘permission’ to eat something, and basically force it on you.

    Sometimes I really do want a salad. I’m not depriving myself – I’m not controlling myself. Once you let go of the idea that you’re NOT ALLOWED CERTAIN FOODS the desire to have it all the time fades, too.

    I wish we would stop policing each other’s eating habbits, on both sides of the fence.

    • Mags July 24th, 2012 12:42 PM

      I totally agree. The policing of eating habits has gotten so out of hand. I’m not big on sweets either. I just don’t crave them like a lot of others do, and sometimes people assume that I won’t eat sweets because I’m “watching my weight” but I’m totally not.

  • Emily D July 24th, 2012 9:21 AM

    Great article! It’s totally my issue with nachos at the movies…every single time…

  • dandylioness July 24th, 2012 9:26 AM

    huh- I love the fact I never do this. I love food. I try to stay fit and healthy because I want to have a strong body that will serve me well throughout life, but ya know what NOTHING will stop me from having good food when I want it. Why not? It’s one of the plesures to the 5 senses!

  • florans July 24th, 2012 12:49 PM

    Rookies brasileiras ! o que acham de organizarmos uma rookie road trip brasil? interessadas?

  • purrr July 24th, 2012 1:16 PM

    i was eating when i read this lol

    http://angie-moon.tumblr.com/

  • RockHatesMiriam July 24th, 2012 1:33 PM

    Its kinda sad that an article about the simple act of eating can cause such a huge debate. The fact of the matter is that ITS YOUR BODY AND YOU CAN PUT WHATEVER YOU WANT INTO IT! (provided you give yourself the right nutrients to keep your body healthy).

    http://www.pompandceremony.blogspot.com

  • Ginny July 24th, 2012 2:18 PM

    Oh my god I LOVE THIS. Thank you.

    I want to send this to whoever came up with that stupid commercial where the lady is like “SHOULD I HAVE A DELICIOUS SLICE OF CHEESECAKE, OR SHOULD I HAVE YOGURT? Maybe I can eat celery after I have a small slice and also jog simultaneously because I will die from this delicious treat”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wzkKs0TOTs

    (rant over)

  • maddercarmine July 24th, 2012 2:51 PM

    1. I totally agree that it’s the worst thing EVER when women feel that they have to rationalize and feel guilty about their choices. Especially if you are “eating the damn brownie” occasionally while still maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active etc. etc.
    2. Like other commenters have said, I think the problem is that this issue has become too polarized. You’re either winning by not giving a fuck about modern beauty standards or you’re losing by wanting half pastries, saying ‘lol i’m so fat’, and wanting to be skinny.
    3. The thing is that being overweight is as unhealthy as being underweight and honestly, I think they’re both responses to the same weird culture that America has around food. We’re constantly being screamed at to be thin, but then walk into the supermarket and listen to the ads on the radio and it’s all ‘double cheesy deluxe frosted sugar nuggets’.
    4. It’s every person’s responsibility to be proactive about maintaining good health. That’s everyone- man, woman, and teenage girl. We as teenage girls are in an especially noxious web of bullshit though when it comes to food and advertising. Some very clever people have really effectively managed to wrap the brownie up with all sorts of emotions. We need to assert our individual needs and not allow giant corporations to dictate the way that we feel about the most elementary act of putting food in our mouths.

  • Eline July 24th, 2012 3:04 PM

    Really really REALLY not feeling the body remark towards thin women here.

    Not up with the yelling and lack of decent point to this post either.

    Women sometimes feel the need to do that because society not only pressures women to be thin but pressures us into the dichotomy of either a Madonna figure that transcends body, or a Whore figure which’s only purpose is its body but only for sex. Case in point women are often dehumanised in many different yet subtle ways.

  • Alienor July 24th, 2012 3:35 PM

    THIS IS AWESOME

  • tankgrrrl July 24th, 2012 3:35 PM

    OH MY GOD THANK YOU. My mother is like that constantly and always has been, and then she wonders where I got my restrictive eating problems from. I catch myself doing this all the time, calculating exactly how much I’ve eaten today and if it’s “okay” to have another cookie. It’s awful. When I see my mother thinking that she needs to lose five pounds because oh god she weighs 110, when I see myself imitating her, agonizing over the size of my dinner, it makes me want to cry.

  • SweetThangVintage July 24th, 2012 4:50 PM

    THANK YOU! I work at a cookie shop, I hear it every day.

    One time I said “Sometimes you just need to treat yourself!” And the lady was like “That’s the thing, I treat myself too much”

    I diet because I am an athlete, and because I feel good when I eat healthier. But I still have ice cream and cake whenever I feel like it. I think sometimes you just gotta eat summ suagaar! Food is energy, I’m encouraged to eat a lot by my team. (Speed skating is my thing, btw, its not like I’m bulking up for football lol) (but if you are, more power to you!)

    I once told my friends that I wish I could eat as much as a man. Because food tastes so good, I wish I didn’t get full so fast!

  • serendipity July 24th, 2012 4:54 PM

    Every time I go out with my friends the same story … I am a thin girl and every time is like, “Oh, you can eat whatever you want without getting fat …”

    So… CAN YOU!! I eat everything, but not all the time, do not do much exercise, but I walk every day …. but I never do, is to feel guilty. My mother taught me that … is the worst thing you can do. If you do something, enjoy! Life is too short to do something and feel bad about it … :D

  • Moxx July 24th, 2012 6:18 PM

    Ok can I please say that the “don’t deprive your body of nutrition” thing makes absolutely no sense as an argument? Brownies and sweets and such have pretty much no nutritional value. To deny yourself sugar is not the same as to deny yourself proper nutrition. In a “perfect” diet (diet as in eating habits every day, not a lose weight diet), there would be very very little sugars. Sugar never occurs naturally in the concentrations that we often have it (like in desserts and sweets).
    But of course duh we like sweet things and fatty things because they taste good and our bodies want these things to stock up and all and sometimes foods are part of our cultures and it’s not simple at all, and if you want to have it, you should, but you’re going to have to face the consequences.
    The things you choose to do are your fault, so don’t whine. Ask for help, maybe, but don’t bitch. Just think. What do you want? Want to eat fatty things as much as you’d like? Go ahead, your body. But don’t get mad if it makes you gain weight, because that’s what stuff can do! Calories in, calories out. It’s how things work. Take responsibility and make choices according to the results you’re after.

    Please please please people don’t make these polar things like either you eat shit all day errday and are a liberated person who doesn’t care about norms or you are a slave to norms and eat rabbit food every day, because this reinforces all of these norms that we want to soften and fix.
    There is a healthy, reasonable middle ground. Moderation may not be fun, but it’s usually what works best, I feel.

  • teebie July 24th, 2012 7:35 PM

    It has completely different connotations for thin and fat women. In movies and TV, it’s often endearing or even sexy when a thin woman eat food, especially if it’s a large amount of food and “junk” food. See: Lorelei and Rory Gilmore. It’s charming that they can eat so much and they don’t gain an ounce! The charm is that they can do this without being fat.

    Fat women don’t have this luxury. We are expected to always be attempting to lose weight. If we do “go ahead and be bad and order the cheesecake” we often get dirty looks shot at us. We are expected to apologize for wanting food.

  • rachaelly July 24th, 2012 7:54 PM

    Giiiiiirl! I love this! I firmly believe that food is one of life’s pleasures and I want more women to do what you are talking about – not feel bad about it, goddamnit!

  • loonylizzy July 24th, 2012 8:19 PM

    two words: AMEN SISTA.

  • icedcoffee July 24th, 2012 10:45 PM

    A love note to girls on diets (just because)

    Sometimes I find out that people (women(girls)) are dieting because they want to love themselves or they want others to like them, and I want to reach my hands across the empty air between us, slice through every petty piece of female competition and naive hope for outside validation, and put my palms to their palms, lace my fingers through their fingers, rest my forehead on theirs and ask:

    Whose body is this touching mine? (yours)

    Which parts of it do you live in? (all of them)

    Who gave you permission to live in those parts? (none is needed)

    There are these edges to this thing you live in,

    breathe in,

    hope in,

    love in,

    despair in,

    and they are edges, they jut up against no one, they steal nothing, they do not need to ask for anything from others, they end where they end and they are yours.

    There is no other body inside your body that deserves more love

    than the one you already occupy.

    I want to hug you and say: You begin where I end and I begin where you end and the amount of space between is nothing, and nothing never matters.

    • mulberry July 25th, 2012 11:55 AM

      This made me want to cry…not in a bad way, though. Thank you : -)

  • Moxx July 24th, 2012 11:08 PM

    Ok last comment because or else it is too much but I think that the fact that there are about 847274 comments on this article proves that this is a touchy subject for a lot of people, mainly women, who feel strongly about it.
    I think it also proves that having such a weird and often unhealthy (possible in many ways) relationship with food should not be a normal thing for women, which I think was the author’s original intention.
    AND I THINK THIS IS TRUE BECAUSE DEAR HELL IS IT DIFFICULT
    difficult in a lot of ways because of so many things all of the time and it’s difficult to adjust or not adjust or choose things correctly.
    Life is difficult and food is a part of life and life is already difficult so why make food more difficult than it could be
    I’m not sure that I’m making sense but that is what I wanted to say and anyway I agree with some people above and think it’s cool that discussions happen. I just wish sometimes people wouldn’t get angry and say certain things but that happens and I guess it’s alright but it still could be avoidable because I think no one here wants to make others sad so we should depart from the base of “no offense intended just good things” and all and it would be less unpleasant sometimes but that’s ok I guess
    Oh if my english teacher read this she would probably weep
    But it’s the only way to get it all written in time because I forget and it moves so fast
    whatever grammar and punctuation
    I do what I want.
    Line
    Skippings.

    Ok that’s all.
    Greetings from soon to be insomnialand, good night to those who won’t be awake to read this in a few hours.

  • kirsten July 25th, 2012 12:25 AM

    Dear Krista,

    You are the best.

    Love, Kirsten

  • nicholo94 July 25th, 2012 12:48 AM

    Its sad because making women feel bad about what they eat is just another way to co trol them and make them feel guilty about themselves. I completely agree with everything said in this article. I also hate how women dont eat a lot around guys because they dont want to be judged, honestly, if the guy likes you enough, he isnt going to care how much you are eating

  • ivoire July 25th, 2012 6:30 AM

    Hm, so when do you know to JUST EAT THE BROWNIE and stop eating the brownie because I might get a heart attack?

  • Rae0320 July 25th, 2012 7:14 AM

    I have to say I’m really, really not a fan of this article.

    I don’t think I could be classified as overweight but I’m not really skinny either. I’d like to drop a couple of pounds because at the moment I’m not sitting in what is considered a healthy weight for my size. I used to be really fit and exercise a lot and I want that healthy body back.

    I do not want to lose the weight because of what ‘society expects of me.’ I don’t want to go about it in an unhealthy way. I want to lose it for ME!!!!!

    It is about health. Long term health. Now, I understand that the aim of this article probably WASN’T to tell everyone to eat shit constantly. But by saying, it’s always OK to eat whatever the hell you want, in fact, SHOUTING it, kind of seems counterproductive to a lot of peoples needs. I want to be healthier. I want to be happy with my image in the mirror. If you can eat whatever you want and be body confident and happy, then I salute you. But I feel lethargic and shitty if I don’t eat the right (healthy) foods – my skin gets worse, etc etc. And I’m far too prone to say, ‘oh, go on then….just one more slice of pizza..’

    EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and I personally don’t want to feel guilty if I dither over a brownie purchase. This article makes me feel guiltier than I would have before!!! Sometimes people legitimately want to diet for THEMSELVES, not some bullshit societal expectation. I don’t want to be patronised. If its your job to serve them – get on with it – and be polite.

    Sorry for the rant..

  • AnguaMarten July 25th, 2012 10:37 AM

    i really hate the common thread that women and girls are just empty vessels waiting to be filled by the media. i think it’s a disservice to our gender to assume that we don’t make any of our own choices. obviously, we don’t live in an egalitarian vacuum, so the choices we make are influenced by the patriarchy. but can we give women some goddamn credit and treat them like human beings who consciously choose a certain course of action, instead of acting like we’re just pawns of society who gobble up everything cosmo tells us?

    food issues are sad. i know because my mom and many of my friends have them. i know because i cannot remember a time when i wasn’t insecure about my body–even in third or fourth grade, i thought i was fat.

    in this society, to be a woman is to be insecure. that’s an issue unto itself, and one that saddens me greatly.

    i think this article is angry, and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. anger can be healthy. i am angry at the society that tells beautiful girls they aren’t good enough. i am angry that women are supposed to see food as the enemy. as an indulgence. as “bad.”

    i don’t blame individual women for having trouble with food–certainly not women with eating disorders–but i think it’s important for all women to consider why they’re doing something. why they’re scared to eat. eat the damn brownie if you want the damn brownie, because your body is nobody’s but your own!

    i’m all in favor of exercise and healthy eating, but i refuse to get pissy about it until men are held to the same ridiculous standards.

  • cloudy.mind July 25th, 2012 11:13 AM

    do you know what I’ve just done? I put aside my laptop, got up and ate a spoon of cherry ice cream after I said ‘f..k you, dukan diet! I need a break’… I feel much more better and motivated!! thank you rookie!!

  • asleeptillnoon July 25th, 2012 6:55 PM

    I immediately thought of this very annoying commercial after reading this article http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uuPdxHuk2c

    At the time, I was on vacation so I actually started watching television every day and they would play this during every commercial break. It drove me insane!

    I will eat what I want, when I want it. Whether that’s a juicy burger, a slice or two of cheesecake or a giant salad. I don’t fear “being fat” anymore because being fat is not the most horrible thing in the world. You can be fat and be “healthy” and happy. Life is too short to not eat what you want to eat just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do as a women.

  • lazydaizy July 25th, 2012 7:03 PM

    you said it sister, rock on!

    i always hated lunch time, just eating whatever the cafeteria served, pizza, fries, pudding, chicken sandwhiches…

    when one of my friends would bring a yogurt and steal some of our food, herself starved. or complaining about how she ‘ate four pieces of pizza last night’, and her thighs are suffering.

    it’s insane! no one ever gained weight from eating an ice cream cone, heck even a whole tub, at one sitting. if anything, it was better to just eat whatever you wanted, instead of painful vegetables All of the Time.

    sure you want to be lean and fit into all your cool trendy get ups (that’s pretty much 99 percent of why i want to stay healthy) but life is no fun when you tack on unnecessary worry: about eating an extra slice of cake instead of necessary worry: calling your mom when you feel sad and want to talk to her instead of a piece of sad looking stale cake…

    lovely article sista :p

  • corinne July 26th, 2012 1:46 AM

    Weight was always an issue in my house because my mother was always overweight. Therefore, emotions got attached to food in sometimes very negative ways. I loved this article because to me it doesn’t scream “hey, eat everything you want always no matter what, k?”

    But rather it encourages us as females to ignore society’s constant attachment of negative emotions to food. Advertisers know that women have what is generally a more complex relationship with food and use it to their every advantage. They do this to keep us in a state of victimhood so that naturally we buy their shit. It’s very cruel and, unfortunately, very effective.

    Love your body. Listen to it. Give if what it needs. If that is a healthier diet so you feel healthy, rad. If its a brownie because that’s just what your body desires in that moment, bitchin’. It changes constantly, but it will always tell you what it wants. Don’t apologize for it or your choices, ever. Because when you do, you devalue yourself as a human and as a woman.

    Much love to all of you ladies, of all sizes and appetites.

  • mateeah July 26th, 2012 11:54 AM

    amen sister!!! if you’re going to indulge do it with NO guilt… guilt does NOT make food taste good anyway :D

  • Katze July 27th, 2012 7:33 AM

    Wow. THANK YOU. This sure made my day.

  • barista July 27th, 2012 2:57 PM

    Dude, I’m a barista and i just want to give you the BIGGEST HIGH FIVE EVER. we do not do half pastries, we do not haggle prices, we do not get you every damn thing in the shop, WE ARE NOT MARKET STALL OWNERS WITH WAITRESSING SIDE-JOBS.

  • loligon July 28th, 2012 9:39 PM

    *huge giant hug* I love you. I know, we’ve never met, but still. Thank you for writing this!<3

  • AkephalonMuse July 29th, 2012 12:21 AM

    I’ve never had an eating disorder (but am a bit of a disordered eater), and this “Hmm, yrh, have I been good enough to eat this?” just shouts ‘DANGER’ to me. It’s an obsession that can’t lead to good results.

  • AlissaClarine July 30th, 2012 6:25 AM

    This article is one of the best Rookie has ever posted, and I really do think every girl should read this. I was very oblivious to the fact that this is a form of body shaming until I read this. My senses are now hyper-alert when a lady says “I’m glad the dessert menu doesn’t show the calories, or I wouldn’t eat it!”. I told her I would eat my molten lava cake even if I knew how many hundreds of calories it held. You could hear women gasping across the U.S.

    Thank you for posting this.

    http://narclo.blogspot.com/

  • GlitterKitty July 30th, 2012 5:38 PM

    First off, I understand what you’re trying to say here. You’re trying to tell us not to feel guilty about eating unhealthy foods. I think that’s great and no one should ever feel guilty about eating; it’s not healthy. But I don’t think “if you want the brownie, eat it” is exactly the right message. Because I know some of us (including myself) would eat 1000000 brownies a day if we ate one every time we wanted to. I think there is a fine line between enjoying life and having poor eating habits. No need to feel guilty about it but eating properly is extremely important.

  • MrAleksanderSharp July 31st, 2012 10:24 AM

    THIS IS SO PERFECT. Oh, my God, I’m so sick of my friends not eating food they LIKE and WANT because they’re “fat”. Um, you’re also twelve years old! It’s okay!! YOUR METABOLISM IS HALE AND HEARTY!!! Often I’ll try to explain that no, I don’t think you’re fat, but I see nothing wrong with BEING fat, and you don’t have to avoid sustenance like the plague, but then my friends’ll usually act all offended. I NEVER SAID YOU WERE FAT!!! I SAID IT WAS OKAY THAT YOU WANTED TO EAT ANOTHER PIECE OF PIZZA!!!!!!

  • Tranq August 1st, 2012 4:28 PM

    Take it from a recovering waif: Restricting is addictive. Soon it won’t just be the desserts, it’ll be the sandwiches, breakfasts, and eventually even the salads that make you feel “guilty”.

    Appreciate the feeling of hunger. Prolonged malnourishment causes a loss of awareness with your metabolism. Trying to nourish your body without ever knowing when you are hungry is extremely difficult.

    Ladies. Feeding yourself is also about feeding your spirit. Why would you ever put your soul on a diet?

  • onewithahippiesmile August 2nd, 2012 3:00 PM

    this is definetely one of my favourite posts on rookie! ur just amazing krista, thank you! loved it, I just can’t stand all these girls that are so afraid of gaining weight, I mean, that’s not what matters in life, and besides no one needs to be thin to be beautiful! I think everyone should just eat what they want, that’s nothing wrong about it! we can’t be slaves of a sick beauty pattern that means nothing, and hide our wishes because of it. I hate those girls who keep calculating calories and feeling guilty about eating sweets! you are absolutely right! <3

  • Eugenie August 4th, 2012 8:18 AM

    I told myself to eat the damn brownie, and now I am fat. So I feel sad about that and then eat another brownie. It’s a tough situation.

    However, I am grateful that my teen years were pretty free of this crap. Sad that it’s no longer the case for this generation.

  • modaboutyouu August 4th, 2012 8:25 PM

    Oh… and I just printed this out to stick on my fridge.

  • reckless-serenade August 7th, 2012 7:54 AM

    THANKYOU

  • Dearbh August 14th, 2012 2:59 PM

    So glad you wrote this. I hate eating with my mum and older sister because it is a never ending guilt-fest. Consarn it, food is awesome, I like to eat it and I don’t think I should feel bad about it! Although I never say anything as my mouth is usually too full of delicious food for me to make coherent sentences.

  • BlueJ August 19th, 2012 11:48 AM

    Guilt is an over indulgent emotion. If you would not be happy with the results of an action, then do not perform said action. Then, move on.

    If said action would make you happy AND not hurt anyone in the process, then do it and carry on with your life. There are many adventures/options/oppurtunities waiting after the one you are currently facing.

    I feel there are many things that we waste our time with, by feeling guilty. It is as if we think that feeling guilty is enough punishment for the “transgression” we are about to commit, when really, there is nothing wrong with what we want. This is of course applicable to the context of craving an item of food or something of the like. As I said previously, as long as it hurts no one else, there is no reason to feel guilty.

    Yes, food is vital. No, there is no point in feeling guilty about wanting to eat many of the gastronomical wonders that all the clever foodies of the world have imagined and made manifest. That is the point of thier existance. To be wonderful.

    Just as there are many other things that exist in this world that can make life wonderful, other than food…

    If you want to eat things that are calorically dense but maintian a healthy physique then get involved in excercise that you love so much that you crave it just as much as you do the food wonders that seem to cause so much tribulation.

    MODERATION. It is the road to contentment, which could very well bring you to your version of utopia.

    Kind regards

    BlueJ

  • EmmaF August 21st, 2012 4:51 PM

    Just THANK TOU. Calories became one of the most important things ever in so many minds. (in mine too, actually, and it’s driving me crazy.) <3

  • nc August 21st, 2012 5:04 PM

    thank you for this article! i agree that there is some sort of expectation for women to eat less, and because of this we become internalized with this idea that a beautiful woman is a thin woman, and i think it is important to be able to have a society where women are able to eat however much they want to because FOOD IS SO GOOD. i have struggled with this idea myself, feeling that i was only beautiful when i ate a very small amount of food. and now i struggle with my friends who often don’t eat, and i have to explain to them that eating is a natural bodily thing that everyone has to do survive! so why not enjoy it, right?

  • Pega-Jizz August 22nd, 2012 9:38 AM

    This is the best thang I’ve ever read.

  • Marilia September 5th, 2012 5:41 PM

    i just love this article, just so accurate, thank you for writing this!

  • raquellabella September 12th, 2012 1:32 PM

    Gah, I hear ya! I just wrote something similar to this on my blog, actually. I have a scrumptious candy bowl on my desk at the office, and you wouldn’t BELIEVE the angry vibes I get from keeping it there — from women and men alike!http://www.raquellabella.blogspot.com/2012/08/complicated-candy_15.html

    It’s just ridiculous that people feel the need to seek public approval for something so simple as eating something delicious when they want to. And it makes me sad. Why can’t we just enjoy the good things?

  • pinnedtothepage September 12th, 2012 6:02 PM

    Many thoughts brewing, but most irrelevant is the only one I’m writing down. I agree with this woman that has been shamed here about they should sell half a brownie. I love sweets and will most often choose to eat the damned brownie; however, the damned brownie invariably makes my stomach hurt, because that’s too much fucking sugar.

  • PatP October 1st, 2012 9:38 AM

    Haven’t read all the comments yet and I’m hoping I’m not the only on thinking, maybe she just wanted half a brownie?

    Maybe it’s not guilt.
    Maybe everything today is just too big!
    Maybe a little restraint is okay.

    Why do we analyze everyone and everything?

    We don’t all make choices based on what the world thinks of us, or who we should be.

    I need to lose weight because heartburn keeps me up at night. I’m concerned about my health. Maybe I said yes to the brownie one to many times.

    And…I know of several men’s weight loss groups. They don’t go there to look a certain way, they go there because they want to see their kids grow up, they want to be able to go to sleep at night without snoring so loud they shake the house, they want to be able to walk their dogs.

    Hmmmmm..

    PatP

  • indramaria October 3rd, 2012 9:38 PM

    I agree that being guilty over eating is horrible and needs to stop. I shouldn’t have to grow up in a society where I need to fret over eating pizza. I deserve better, and I refuse to feel bad about eating what I want.

  • EdieSedgwick October 9th, 2012 1:08 PM

    Thank you.

  • dizziestdaydream October 12th, 2012 5:47 PM

    An “Eat the damn brownie, already!” mentality got me to be about 50lbs over weight when I was a senior in high school. Thankfully, I lost that (plus a couple pounds) by the time I graduated college.

    What helped me lose weight was scaling back to a “Eat the damn brownie… sometimes….. and freakin’ move, already!” mentality.

    I’m now 25 years old (My lord, but Rookie is amazing. Where were you when I was a teenager??? Oh right… kindergarten.)… and I know people on all ends of the spectrum. Tiny people who eat like racehorses, big people who eat like birds. Girls who break my heart when they call their perfectly normal 13 year old body disgusting and fat. And normal sized people who have worked REALLY hard to be normal-sized (from either extreme).

    There are definitely healthier choices than a brownie, and I’m not saying we should all agonize over every decision. But some people really can’t live with abandon and eat every brownie that crosses their path.

    I know that wasn’t the message of this article either, but it is important to remember that regardless how we feel about someone’s decision…. it is theirs to make! (Though as an ex-barista, I feel your pain, lady.)

    I do absolutely agree that if a person has generally decent eating habits, you really should just eat the damn thing.

    Now, I’m off to make some brownies. :)

  • Soycrates November 10th, 2012 1:38 PM

    As someone who has recovered from anorexia, I’m really disgusted by this. You can’t just yell at people and tell them what to do with their food – you need to give people the ability to do that for themselves. So whether the women is wish-washing back and forth over that brownie or not, mind your own business.

    There are people who can just eat one brownie and go on with their day. Then there are those who will be negatively impacted by small choices, and I was one of those people. When I got out of the hospital for an eating disorder, I had people – just like this – telling me to just eat the goddamn food. Watching EVERY LOOK and movement I had when faced with food. It’s terrifying to know that someone is intently watching and judging, just as you have, about our food choices. It can drive you insane, that’s for sure. And then, I caved into their pressure, and it seemed like almost instantly I was overweight again, having unhealthy attachments to food, an unhealthy fixation – one that was much worse from when I was going in the other direction, the skinny way.

    It makes me sad that so many comments are like “OH MY GOD YES GIRLS JUST UGH STOP WITH ALL THAT YOU STUPID JUST EAT FOOD MMM GOOD HAHA”. It makes me realize that the same attitude people will have towards anyone with an eating disorder will not change: that somehow, just because I’M having trouble with my body and my choices, YOU are automatically granted access to control what I do, judge what I do, tell me how to act.

    No. A thousand times no.

  • Sister Moon November 17th, 2012 10:20 PM

    I thought this was such a great article! It was really funny and entertaining! I know and fully understand the point you were making about wanting to get rid of the concept of girls feeling guilty about eating certain foods. However, some of that guilt might also stem from the feeling that those foods are unhealthy and will make you feel like shit later. I know that I feel that way whenever I have candy or something greasy, I feel it in my body. It’s like my stomach is having a hard time digesting all the fat. And a lot of foods are just loaded with sugar and chemicals. When I have a lot of sugar, I get bad headaches. That’s all :) but I agree that the media pushes girls to be really skinny and all.