The one thing that stuck out to me throughout these readings were how much women were losing because of diets. Not just pounds, which is something they gain back, but also the joy of eating, their self-confidence, and their general health. After reading Tisdale’s article in particular, I couldn’t help feel that weight doesn’t cause problems; our obsession with weight causes problems.
In particular, denying pleasure from food is the most troubling to me. Besides masturbation, this is one of the most common, universal corporal pleasures known to man. As Tisdale says, when we judge fat people for eating dessert or fast food we are denying them whole food groups that they are “not worthy” to enjoy. However, fat people aren’t the only ones whose pleasure in food is being taken away. Dieters must think about caloric intake or carb content or saturated fat; not textures and tastes. Even people who are not on a traditional diet count calories and keep track of what they eat because they fear becoming fat.
I understand that we can’t indulge ourselves in cheesecake everyday just because its our favorite taste, but I must argue that our society needs to again realize the joy we receive from eating. Just as previously discussed feminist theorists argued that we can get joy from the clothes we wear, we can delight our tastebuds and stomachs with whatever texture or taste we crave; for me, it’s creamy soups, crunchy chips, juicy apples, and fresh vegetables. It’s okay to love eating, and it’s okay to not keep a list of everything you’ve eaten that day.
My heart goes out to people who have neither the time nor resources to enjoy their favorite foods. People in Athens or people in food deserts like Northeast DC may not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. However, I think that if our culture again started to value the process of eating instead of worrying about weight and being obsessed with not eating, maybe people would see it as more of a priority to bring fresh food access to these areas.