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#GirlDinner: On Disordered Eating and Breaking the Cycle

October 11, 2023 Mahevash Shaikh

A few months ago, I saw #GirlDinner trending on social media. After reading about it, I realized it's a gateway to eating disorders, or at least disordered eating. Let's see why girl dinner can be dangerous. 

What Is Girl Dinner? 

According to Cosmopolitan, 

"Girl dinner features plates of incongruent foods (it is never a recipe) which is to say, social media is now championing the idea of picky bits. Often, the meal is intensely, wonderfully juvenile: pasta, oil, and a fistful of grated cheddar. Like most things related to social media, the exact moment the girl dinner trend was first co-opted by diet culture isn't clear."1

A quick search of TikTok videos tagged #GirlDinner will show you numerous videos of women eating meals fit to satiate little kids -- and it's downright disheartening. It reminded me of my own struggles with disordered eating, which is something I've been struggling with a lot of late. 

What Is Disordered Eating and Is Girl Dinner Disordered?  

According to Healthline,

"The term disordered eating refers to food and diet-related behaviors that don't meet diagnostic criteria for recognized eating disorders but may still negatively affect someone's physical, mental, or emotional health. While disordered eating isn't considered an eating disorder by itself, people who engage in disordered eating are at high risk of developing eating disorders over time."2

Between 2021 and 2022, I put on a significant amount of weight, and since the beginning of this year, I have been focusing on losing it for health reasons. While I have already lost a lot of weight, I am afraid I have not lost it in the healthiest ways. I have been consuming way fewer calories than my body demands on a daily basis. On rare occasions, I have skipped a meal a day to lose weight faster. It is not something to be proud of, but in a perverse way, I was initially proud of my "discipline." It took me a while to realize that participating in the #GirlDinner trend was only harming my mind and body. I needed to stop. 

Breaking the Cycle of Disordered Eating and #GirlDinner

Just because I know I need to stop does not mean I know how to stop. Honestly, I am not sure if I will be able to quit disordered eating all by myself. I may need the help of a professional to switch to healthy eating habits. But at least for some time, I will try hard to make a change myself. 

What are your thoughts on #GirlDinner and fatphobia in general? Please let me know in the comments section below. 

Sources

  1. Fargo, M. (2023, August 9). Girl dinner is being co-opted to promote deeply unhealthy body ideals. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/body/diet-nutrition/a44760818/girl-dinner-tiktok-trend/

  2. Thorne, R. (2022, September 14). Everything you need to know about disordered eating, according to experts. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/disordered-eating-vs-eating-disorder

Tags: girldinner

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2023, October 11). #GirlDinner: On Disordered Eating and Breaking the Cycle, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthforthedigitalgeneration/2023/10/girldinner-on-disordered-eating-and-breaking-the-cycle



Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

khuzema kika
October, 13 2023 at 6:31 pm

Yes, this has been going on, though I'm very new to the hashtag.
To keep your body fit, you surely need to put in effort.
Being healthy in the long run is helpful.

Nishita
October, 13 2023 at 6:43 am

This piece spoke to me on so many levels!!!! Us women have so much pressure to look perfect all the time it's no wonder most of us have issues with food n body image. Wishing you the best of luck in your journey. Thanks for keeping it real as always Mahevash!

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