All people need to eat. We must nourish our bodies, but also, food bring a lot of joy. Is there anything better than digging into your favorite food and taking that first bite? Nope, not likely. But for many women, there is a lot of shame an stigma around food and eating. This takes a lot of fun and joy out of food, and appreciating food outside of its purpose as nourishment. And on social media, there are plenty of pictures of gorgeous looking food, but not that many pictures of the food actually being enjoyed. So that's why two women, Alissa Rumsey and Linda Tucker started the hashtag #WomenEatingFood.
Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, CDN, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and intuitive eating coach. She feels bothered by the fact that we don't often see people, but more specifically women on social media enjoying food. "We never see women just eating without any explanation, or any justification, or anything like that," she tells Refinery29.
As a result, she teamed up with Tucker, who is also an intuitive eating coach and they launched the hashtag. They see it as a way for female identifying people to show themselves actually eating without explanation or shame.
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I hear people say this all the time, myself included. Today for lunch I wanted an Asiago Bagel toasted with cream cheese 🤷♀️ I know there’s no protein and it’s full of carbs and dairy but it’s what I wanted and it was friggin amazing. When we categorize foods as good or bad, we’re really categorizing ourselves as good or bad, strong or weak, worthy or unworthy. Over the last month Ive found myself apologizing less out loud or to myself and I’ve found my internal monologue has quieted down as well. The bagels are just bagels now; I can eat them, love them, and not tie guilt to them. Work in progress. #womeneatingfood #selflove #bodykindness #eatfood #foodisfood #noguiltfood #intuitiveeating
We enjoy food. Shouldn't we be able to talk about it openly without feeling shame for it? There is so much pressure on women to do things behind closed doors. Because how dare we think we're allowed to enjoy a slice of chocolate cake or maybe a bowl of pasta? Nope, we're only allowed to eat acceptable foods (that's why there are so many stock photos of women smiling and eating a undressed salad.) Even though we're clearly eating more delicious, culturally diverse foods in real life.
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We live in a culture where women’s appetites are shamed. We are constantly being told to eat less, to deprive ourselves, and for God's sake not to let anyone see how hungry we are. One of the things I’ve had to learn (and am constantly working on) is that my hunger is A GOOD THING. 😃 Our appetite is our power! 💪 We need food and nourishment to do what we’re here to do in this lifetime- it’s beautiful and human and right. If we learn to tune in, our bodies will guide us to the food and energies that will serve us best in each moment. 🙏 For me, this means about 80% of the time I’m eating high vibe foods that make me feel energized and amazing, and 20% I’m eating foods that nourish my inner animal, like burgers and champagne 😂🥂🍔 . . . #womeneatingfood #wellness #wellnesscoach #healthcoach #coach #healthylifestyle #holisticwellnesscoach #healthy #healthybody #healthydiet #wellnessadvocate #wellnesscoaching #wellnesscommunity #food #highvibe #burger #healthyeating #balance #balanceddiet #champagne #hunger #power
More often than not, when we're seeing photos of women eating, they're thin and white. Obviously, these women exist, but they're not representative of the larger portion of the population. As Refinery29 points out, 67 percent of women in the United States are a size 14 or larger. So, these women are being told that they shouldn't enjoy food because they're not the accepted size.
Representation is hugely important to Rumsey. "That's what comes with thin privilege: you don't have to worry as much about blowback, [or what] people are going to say or comment to you, than people in larger bodies," she adds.
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Had a final meal in Niagara-on-The-Lake before heading back home after a dreamy weekend with my partner. There were so many good moments and laughs, I took my #mentalhealthrecovery walks each morning, and practiced #intuitiveeating with a lot of ease. . . There were barely any hungry-related grouchy moments, which is markedly different from any other trip we’ve been on. It’s been really hard in the past to eat regularly enough to keep me on an even keel. My partner can got for HOURS without stopping to eat, like sometimes 8-10 hours. 🙀 . . By paying attention to my hunger cues and eating when I START to feel hungry I felt calmer and made thoughtful choices around my food allll weekend. And, I don’t even really remember what I ate, since food has less interest for me now that I have more food freedom I’m “allowed” to have anything I want, anytime. I don’t need to keep track mentally of the food to gauge how “good” I’ve been. Ugh #dietculture. I do remember one thing 🍪 People, at one point I ate 3/4 of a cookie; I only wanted that much 🤯 . . I’m in limbo with my #recovery and my return to work, but more about that when I am ready to share! . . Tasty #friedchicken with beans and coleslaw on a biscuit at @ravinevineyard . . . (I would’ve plated it differently to showcase the beautiful biscuit along with the chicken but that’s being picky. Flavour was 👌🏻) . #supportlocal #eatlocal #food #notl #niagara #omnomnom #niagaraonthelake #ontario #restaurant #travel #coupletravel #mentalhealth #selfcare #health #nourish #foodphotography #allfoodfits #antidiet #haes #intuitiveeating #womeneatingfood #foodie #newlyweds #weekendgetaway
It's Rumsey's hope that the hashtag #WomenEatingFood will encourage the conversation around women's bodies and food to shift.