Grace Victory, Gracie Francesca, or Ugly Face of Beauty (however you may know of her - shes a babe though,), within the past week or so, has been taking social media by storm, and for all the RIGHT reasons. When I first heard about her BBC 3 documentary 'Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets' it prompted me to delve into thoughts I've been having for the past year or so about this whole 'clean eating' fad/trend, whatever you may call it, that has almost been plaguing Instagram and other social media platforms.
Now, i'm not slating anyone who wants to eat raw, vegan, clean, healthy, whatever. If you like it, it works for you, and you feel great; then guess what, you do you. Who am I - a slightly overweight girl in her twenties, with a slightly messed up view of body image to tell you what is right or wrong, in fact who is anybody (and deffo unqualified), to tell you what your or your body needs. However it is the trend and faddiness of the #fitspo and #eatclean that just makes my skin crawl and irks me so, so much and the whole mentality behind the bizarre cult that can be derived from this, which is quite frankly - unhealthy, not just physically, but mentally, is worrying.
I missed the doc when it first came out, but watched it a week later on iPlayer one Saturday night whilst enjoying a cold G&T and what I was hearing 'professional wellness bloggers' say made my tummy churn. Guess what, i've bought into these fads - I own Sarah Wilson's 'I Quit Sugar', I own Deliciously Ella's books, (amongst others), i've tried courgetti, eliminating sugar totally, avoiding carbs, dairy - but at the end of the day when you restrict your body of thing's it needs, it's going to crave it, you're only going to end up binging and feeling guilty, least in my experience. The almost obsessive, unhealthy relationship that a lot of young people have today is scary, and I can say that I have bought into it too.
Social media is an influential sphere, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube shaping the younger generations. These 'wellness' bloggers aren't always looking out for their viewers physical and mental health, because eating in general is not a one size fits all thing. Some people need a little more sugar in their diet, some don't tolerate it at all, some can tolerate caffeine, dairy, other's can't. But it's the idea that we need to deprive ourselves of things, that we as humans have been consuming for thousands of years (and getting along, just alright), to achieve this super healthy high, is ludicrous. Of course I understand, some people simply cannot tolerate dairy, or sugar, we have coeliacs in this world, but it's when things like 'going gluten free' become 'trendy' that it really irritates me. Not only is going gluten free not always a healthy option (the ingredient lists on a lot of free from food contain high amount of chemicals - that unless I was actually gluten free and it made me ill, would I eat), it bumps up the price for actual coeliacs and makes life a lot harder for people who's bodies physically cannot digest etc gluten, opposed to those who treat gluten free like the latest liquid lipstick.
And yes I get it, artificial sugar, aspartame, it is bad for us, a bowl of strawberries is 100x better than a family size bar of galaxy, but we're all human. We give in to temptation, we like to indulge, but more importantly, it is ALL about balance. Life is for living, not incessantly worrying about the sugar % of a banana, or the carbs in a bowl of pasta, if it tastes good, makes you feel good and you're overall a healthy human, then WHY not? It's these social media accounts, self professed experts and more recently bloggers promoting 'lifestyles' that ensure that certain food groups are altogether eliminated, that's not balance, and it's not always healthy. Work hard play hard right? Look at food with a healthy view and moderation, the same grounds.
I'm so sorry that I had to post a rant about something like this on my blog, but unhealthy relationships and Grace's documentary on BBC3 really struck a chord with me, and I think it is something that should be a lot more openly discussed. The doc aired last night on BBC1 and you can still find it on iplayer
So, what are your thoughts on the topic?