Diet culture is everywhere. I know that now more than ever, now that my eyes are opened to it and I am able to recognise it for what it is – a set of arbitrary rules and beliefs around weight, food and body image, along with society's overwhelming belief that being thin is more important than anything else.
But sometimes it's shocking to see it as blatantly on display like it was in Macy's last week. The US store was selling a plate with a design featuring three concentric circles: the smallest is labelled 'skinny jeans'; the middle is labelled 'favourite jeans', and the largest is labelled 'mom jeans'. Someone hold me back.
Shall we discuss what the design implies? Well, it implies that mums have kids, decide they don't care about their appearance any more and start wearing big, baggy jeans. It implies that if you don't want to be like them, you need to be limiting your portions so you can fit into non-mom jeans. LOL. Can I LOL here? Oops, just did.
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Aside from the negative messaging around mums and jeans, honestly, this kind of narrative just feeds disordered eating. There are zero health correlations with the design of the plates – the amount of space your food takes up really does not mean anything. You could have a ginormous Portobello mushroom for tea and be screwed, according to this plate. OR, you might fancy eating five mini cheesecakes stacked on top of each other… Skinny jeans for you tomorrow!
… you get my point.
Alex Light photographed by Zoe McConell
Anyway, the plate sparked serious rage on Twitter. Alie Ward, a journalist, tweeted an image of the plates with a caption asking how to get the tableware banned. There were an incredible amount of responses of support, and Macy's responded: "We agree that we missed the mark on this product. It will be removed from all STORY at Macy's locations."
A Photoshop whizz, who goes by the name of Liz Climo, fixed the messaging on the plates to: 'You are great! Still great! Still great!'
And THIS is the message I'd like you to take away with this. Thanks all, 'til next time.
If you want more of my body positivity chat, follow me on Instagram @alexlight_ldn.