I am really looking forward to spring. It was supposed to be warm and sunny today, but as things stand, there is no sun. 40 degrees (5 degrees celcius) is certainly better than the way-below-freezing temperatures we have been having recently, so I really shouldn't complain.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
On Public Eating
In case you happen to be like me, always wondering why every single interview with a Hollywood actress or other female celebrity includes details of how much they happened to be eating at the time of the interview, check out this article in the New York Times. The phenomenon, you'll learn, is called the documented instance of public eating, or DIPE. As stupid as the whole issue seems (certainly there should be more substantial things to write about), I actually have some personal experience with this.
When I was younger I was constantly asked whether I had an eating disorder, to the point where I often felt self-conscious about eating in public. If I wasn't hungry, I'd eat anyway, just to get people off my back. It always seemed weird to me that people (both women and men) were so interested in what I ate. Women checked out what I ate to see if I ate at all, and men to feel good about having a woman around them who ate "like a man". I didn't order salads at restaurants even if I wanted to, because eating something unhealthy was easier. There was no need to assure my co-eaters that I wasn't on a diet, and I didn't have to deal with men rolling their eyes at "yet another woman who eats like a bird". There was even a time in my late teens and early 20s when I'd avoid going to the bathroom after I had eaten, to make sure people didn't think I was bulimic. Today, this seems horribly unhealthy to me. I don't know how it got to the point where other people's perceptions, remarks and worries about my thin frame got to me to such an extent.
I don't know if people pay attention to what I eat these days - I have stopped paying attention to them long ago. Last year there was an incident where a woman comletely unknown to me told me that I should have dessert, just after I had mentioned to my husband that I didn't feel like eating anything sweet. The woman looked at me up and down, told me how skinny I was, and that of course I should have dessert. I felt like telling her to go eat x, x being something she didn't want to eat at that time, like worms or raw ground beef. I got flustered and couldn't think of anything witty to say. It was the first time in a long time where I felt like I had to somehow prove to a total stranger that I had a healthy attitude toward food. Feeling like you have something to prove, of course, isn't all that healthy. But I didn't have dessert. I just took a mental note of having gone the distance from being a way-too-self-conscious nervous public eater to just getting angry, which, I concluded, was better. I'd rather get angry than worry about the remarks of others to the point where it would control my behaviour. I still wish I had had the nerve to tell that woman to mind her own business, and yes, to go eat worms.
Top: Gina Tricot
Cardigan: Benetton sample sale
Belt: second hand, Plato's Closet
Pendant: birthday present from Chris