Ditch the Diet 2013 by Sharon Haywood is interesting because it talks about how the diet industry has messed with women’s sense not just of what their bodies should look like, but also what kind of relationship they might have with food, and hunger. In relation to us in good ol’ Pilipinas, it goes without saying that all these should apply, what with the industries of shakes, and delivered food, and highly specialized ways of keeping our weights in check. Lahat naman ito mahal, lahat pang-may-pera rin lang. Which points as well to the fact that these diets are fads for the rich.

And so for the Pinay who is tied to a diet, or who thinks this is the end-all and be-all:

Endangered Bodies is an international local-global initiative, launched by the international Endangered Species summits in March 2011. We challenge all those merchants of body hatred who turn girls and women against their own bodies.

There is a growing movement of girls, women and men who reject the horrors of body uniformity and cherish instead the variety of body shapes, sizes, colours, ages of us all. We are determined to change the visual landscape so it reflects all of us from New York to Nairobi, from Shanghai to Lima, from Delhi to Bangkok, from London to Tehran, from everywhere you are to everywhere we are.

Join us. Be part of positive change. Tell us your ideas. Dare to enjoy your body.

This one’s via the London Endangered Bodies campaign, SpeakOut:

A SpeakOut is a gathering of people in a safe environment, where they are able to raise their voice to articulate their experiences of a situation, and, equally importantly, listen to the voices of others.

We are proposing a SpeakOut about dieting because it is time that we recognize that dieting is not a trivial issue. We need to articulate boldly, honestly, and angrily, the way dieting diminishes people, limits their possibilities of becoming who they could be, and causes millions of people deep anguish every day.

Enough is enough.

They’re right, we have to talk about dieting, and what this means for us in third world Philippines. If there’s anything I learned from Haywood’s essay, it’s really that dieting is an industry too, and is not just about us deciding on drinking pills, or eating certain kinds of food, or buying certain shakes. The diet industry also makes us feel bad about our bodies, when it says that it will give us the “new us!” if not the “best that we can be!” owing to the fact that “the best” is undoubtedly a particular look, a particular weight.

And too, as Haywood quotes:

“If dieting worked, why would we need to do it more than once?” — Susie Orbach, author of On Eating.

More on Ditch the Diet here.

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