(This post at Rookie was so daggone good that I couldn't help quoting a huge chunk of it. You can read the entire original piece here. It does have saucy language, so be aware of that.)
Girls and women of the world, could we stop apologizing for wanting and eating food?
Because this is one of the most ridiculous things that we do
collectively as lady-people ... Could we stop feeling
“guilty” for wanting an effing brownie? Or a plate of fries? Could we
stop actively seeking permission from our friends to go ahead and “be
bad” and order the cheesecake? Could we all just go ahead and order
whatever it is that we feel like eating, instead of saying, “Oh, I feel
like a pig, you guys are just getting salads”?
Because—now I know this will come as a shock—WOMEN EAT. We get
hungry. We get hungry for pizzas and Double Stuf Oreos and nachos and
ice cream and giant French-toast breakfasts, and you know what? WE DON’T
NEED TO FEEL BAD ABOUT THAT.
Here I am making a vast and sweeping gender stereotype, but do you
ever, ever hear dudes say “I just want a little bite” or “This is so
bad, you guys, but I totally ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s last
night”? No! Because it’s OK for men to eat! Men get hongray! Men need
frozen dinners called “Hungry-Man”! Men need Manwich!
Boys are allowed to grow into men, but “attractive” women in our
culture are expected to stay at pretty much an eternal pre-adolescent
You see it everywhere—every café, every restaurant, every kitchen
across the country. Women bargaining with waiters and their friends
about whether or not they should get a side salad or fries with their
entrée. Women making demeaning jokes to one another about their desire
for food, like “once on the lips, forever on the hips” and “Well, it’s
midnight, so technically your body doesn’t know whether it’s today or
tomorrow, so the calories zero themselves out, hahaha” and women bonding with one another over their shared guilt! You’re being bad and getting the chocolate cake? Ooh, now that you’re doing it, let’s both be really bad, and I’ll order the key lime pie and we won’t tell a soul, will we? It’s just us girls!
Why are we apologizing for wanting food? What the hell? BODIES NEED
FOOD. WE DIE WITHOUT IT. And food tastes good! And we’re programmed to
crave it! Sure, some food is healthier than other food, but what is up
with punishing ourselves for wanting pickle chips? Why is it
acceptable—nay! encouraged!—in our culture for women to feel guilty and
publicly “admit” our guilt for wanting to eat a cookie? Why are we
rationalizing our “bad behavior”—you know, our EATING—with statements
like “I’ve been really good lately” or “I’m gonna need to walk this off
I want women to allow themselves to want food. I want women to be
hungry and ask for what they want to eat without apologizing. I want
women to stop looking for permission from others before they eat
something that is not a carrot or spinach. I want my friends to get the
chili fries if they want the chili fries, and not say something like,
“It all goes straight to my ____” (hips, thighs, butt, etc.). I want to
see a girl sink her teeth into a huge cheeseburger and fries
and not cut the burger in half to save some for later. I want my mother
to allow herself more than one small square of dark chocolate per day. I
want women to take pleasure in food, without punishing ourselves for
Hear me, womenfolk: I want all of us, everywhere, to stop apologizing, stop rationalizing our behavior, and just eat the damn brownie already.