A new Instagram account has been brought to my attention called “You Did Not Eat That,” in which an anonymous person who has worked in fashion and media for 10 years reposts photos from fashion bloggers and women on Instagram that involve food. They could be pictures of the woman “pretending to eat” a cupcake, posing with macaroons, or just pictures of food on a plate, uneaten. This anonymous blogger captions each of them, “#youdidnoteatthat” accompanied by some other snarky remark, usually about the woman’s body. One caption reads, “Nothing says ‘box of cookies’ like a 6 inch thigh gap. Apparently when she’s not taking pictures of her legs @rosielondoner isn’t eating cookies and Starbucks.”
In an interview she recently did with New York Magazine’s The Cut, this blogger claims that she is not thin-shaming. It definitely reads as thin-shaming to me, and I find the whole concept to be childish and rude. It brings up a much bigger issue for me, something that has bothered me for a long time. I’ve always been afraid to say anything about it because I know it will come with a lot of jeers and criticism, but I don’t care at this point because I’m so riled up.
I’m 5’7” (though my doctor says I’m 5’6” ½ and I say she’s wrong) and 105 pounds. I’m thin. I have been all my life. I don’t have an insane diet, I don’t exercise four hours a day, I don’t have an eating disorder. There’s nothing to see here. There’s no story other than genetics. My grandma is rail thin, so is my dad, and it’s been passed on to me. I fully recognize how lucky I am. I am so thankful that this is my blessing because, franky, I hate working out and I really love donuts.
Here’s where things get tricky. I know I’m about to go on a rant that most would compare to rich kid problems; they’re not seen as issues because they’re derived from fortune. Alas, here I go.
My thin frame is nobody’s business. It’s completely inappropriate to whisper about my waist or express concern for my health because I’m skinny. It is unacceptable to ask a heavier person about his or her dietary habits or workout routine or ask a not-so-skinny person what size pants he or she wears. I field questions like this all the time. I feel guilty when answering, and that guilt turns into self-consciousness and self-doubt. These questions and comments come from family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, even complete strangers. It drives me nuts, but especially from strangers and distant acquaintances. At least I can assume that family and friends are just genuinely concerned, but strangers don’t care. They just have a perverse curiosity and I’m a spectacle.
Nobody would start an Instagram account called “You Sure You Wanna Eat That?” (subject implied). It would be horrible and cruel. This account is the same idea. It’s not right to comment on anybody’s weight, regardless of what end of the spectrum he or she sits on.
It especially upsets me that this woman is specifically calling out fashion bloggers and women in the fashion industry. It’s an unfortunate truth that many young women in the fashion industry are exposed to eating disorders and unsafe eating habits, whether they themselves suffer or have friends who do. We should be celebrating women who indulge their cravings rather than shaming them and calling them liars. I’m sad and bothered that this account is quickly gaining in popularity because it’s not funny and it’s not amusing. The woman running it clearly thinks she’s doing something wrong, though, considering she refuses to reveal her own identity.
One of the most popular comments I get from others is, “Geez, eat a burger.” Don’t tell me to eat a burger then call me a liar for doing so. Sometimes I want a goddamn boring salad. Don’t tell me I need to eat more than that.
I’m certainly not about to post Instagram videos of myself in the process of eating a donut, but it’s ridiculous that, after looking through the account’s photos, that’s the first solution I thought of. It’s nobody’s business what, when, or how I eat. My thin frame implies absolutely nothing.
I’m curious to hear what people think after reading this, but also a little scared because I know it’s a touchy subject that nobody talks about. I got really heated after discovering this account and I have a lot of opinions, though. I’m sorry if I’ve offended, but I’ve been offended myself and I needed to vent. I happily welcome any feedback, good, bad or otherwise.
*While writing this, I crushed an entire Bertoli frozen pasta meal, which is advertised as “dinner for two.” So there.