On weight and wellness

Trigger warning: eating difficulties, anxiety.

‘Worrying about our bodies is a trap. It’s a great, big, ugly trick that keeps girls quiet and under-confident. It is used to keep them occupied and small and it stops them from being and doing whatever they want to be and do.’

I saw Laura Bates, founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, speak in Oxford earlier this month. The words above, from her new book Girl Up, resonate with me. I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t aware of the societal tendency to ascribe worth to thinness. I had a happy, loving childhood but that didn’t exempt me from seeing weight loss praised in magazines and the idea that fat is bad demonstrated by the slender bodies dominantly represented on television and in films. I observed the women in my family expressing dissatisfaction with their bodies, then dieting to try and fix “problem areas” that were never a problem at all.

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