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May 12, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

No Diet Day

Last Tuesday women everywhere stopped dieting for a day. Why?

Because in 1992, British feminist Mary Evans Young decided to stand up and fight the fact that more than half of women in Western countries have anorexia and other eating disorders. She came up with the concept of No Diet Day, an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. In the years since, No Diet Day has spread around the globe.

Aside from more serious issues such as weight discrimination, eating disorders, and victims of weight-loss surgeries, why the hell should we, as women, every day have to worry about what we eat and what we look like?

There is no ‘one’ right body shape, and Cosmopolitan magazine articles like ‘8 to 16, a size and dress for everyone’, don’t even come close to representing the range of beautiful women living on earth today. The most screwed up thing is that perceptions of what is beautiful change all the time. From Rubenesque women in the seventeenth century, through to Marilyn Monroe, women haven’t consistently been expected to be skinnier.

And just as bigger women shouldn’t be discriminated against, neither should skinny women. How many times have you looked at a tall, slim, statuesque woman and thought ‘bitch’? This is the bullshit diet industry turning you against other women! Forcing you to fight your own kindred spirits rather than fight the machine making you think that way!

The diet and beauty industry exists to sell product, and the result is that all women are kept down. Because if all day you’re thinking about why you didn’t order a trim flat white instead of a regular, you aren’t going to be very productive in achieving anything or changing the world.

Eating food is a joyous, delicious, sensual experience right up there with sex! Just like society used to deny women the right to enjoy sex, they now deny us the right to enjoy food. We need to re-claim back the right. You shouldn’t feel guilt or shame something that should be enjoyed by all.

No Diet Day is not about encouraging binge or unhealthy eating. It is just about encouraging eating.

The Women’s Group celebrated last Tuesday 6 May by handing out cake & brownies (yum) in the quad and chatting to people about the damaging ways women view their bodies.

If you’re interested in joining the Women’s Group, the next meeting is today (Monday) at 3:30pm in the Women’s Space, in the Student Union Building. Since Tanie Coombes from Bodysense didn’t manage to speak in the quad on ‘No Diet Day’, she’s going to come and speak to the Women’s Group at some point. The Women’s Group also have a Facebook group. Join!


About the Author ()

Well hello there. Eleanor was the Theatre Editor in 2007, now she writes the Women's Column and just generally minces about the Salient office. Eleanor is currently an Honours student in Theatre (with a touch of gender). She also has a BCA in Marketing but she tries to keep that on the d-low (embarrassing, because she loves academic integrity and also perpetuating the myth that she's a tad bohemian). If you've got a gender agenda, woo her by taking her a BYO Malaysian. She lies, if you show any interest at all she'll probably tackle you in the street and force you to write a column.

Comments (2)

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  1. what says:

    “more than half of women in Western countries have anorexia and other eating disorders”

    since when? the normal number listed is closer to 10-15% iirc

  2. Eleanor Bishop says:

    Source = Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth’

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