Kate Bosworth's 'mini meals'

Saturday, 5 June 2010

This time four years ago I was working as a journalist, writing features which I'd usually pitch to women's weeklies. This involved a great deal of looking at said women's weeklies. All of them. I was not the person I am today - in fact I was a big fan of Grazia magazine and the way it blended current events-related stories with decent fashion pages. Back then the magazine hadn't been around for too long and there was such a buzz around it.

I don't buy Grazia any more because although I do still like its fashion pages, I can only look at so many pages on anti-ageing treatments, cosmetic surgery and selfish first world problems before I want to smash things. And don't we all get sick of magazines in general during the summer months, with their back to back features on swimwear, tanning and 'getting the perfect beach body'?

I happened to be in town this afternoon, however - and found myself browsing magazines. Just for a change, Grazia had a picture of Jennifer Aniston on the cover, apparently as part of a feature on how celebrities get in shape for the summer. I had time to kill and decided to have a quick flick through the magazine: first stop the fashion section. Swimwear. And so I eventually ended up looking at this piece on how Jen and all the rest of them get their 'bikini bodies'.

Business as usual - lean protein, squats, leafy greens, exercise balls. Nothing that you haven't read a hundred times before. And then the paragraph about Kate Bosworth caught my eye. It read something like (I'm remembering this as accurately as I can):

"Kate's a fan of mini meals. She eats what she wants but stops after three bites if it's fattening."

Oh and she does an hour of cardio six times a week and an hour of weights five times a week, apparently. It's good to know. For a moment I'm going to return to that bit about 'mini meals' though. Is this for real?! Lean protein and squats I can can deal with. Those 'diet plans' that plenty of other magazines feature every week where you get to eat small and very healthy but essentially nice-tasting meals? I'm not down with the sort of culture and obsessions they promote but at least, you know, you get to eat a whole meal. So does Kate only order three bites' worth of food? Does she throw away the rest? Did Grazia just make this crap up because it sounded like something a celebrity would do?

Actually I don't care that much. It makes me more angry that magazines continue to promote obsessive and unhealthy relationships with food as something we should consider if we want a 'better' body. They told us exactly how to go about the 'baby food diet' - yep, you really do get to eat baby food. Straight out of those little jars. Then there was the one where you eat nothing but some vile mixture of maple syrup and cayenne pepper. But only eating three bites of stuff if it contains certain things? That sounds like unhelpful behaviour to me.

I know that it was being used as an example of how a famous person 'stays thin' and that readers are supposed to see it all as faintly ridiculous. I know it wasn't saying 'you should totes do the mini-meals diet this summer!'. But seriously, is this the relationship with our bodies that we're supposed to aspire to? They can as many features on the terrible consequences of eating disorders and as many pieces on 'loving yourself as you are' as they want. At the end of the day though, Kate Bosworth's only ever eating three bites of something and she's got a fabulous body, which is what matters.

10 comments:

Eline said...

Ugh, this is one of the main reasons why I've stopped reading magazines... There you have the writers telling how little these celebs eat and sort of implying you should too if you want to look good and coincidentally want to be happy (cause you know beauty = happiness). And then you turn pages and you see a whole article dedicated to '10 ways to love yourself'. WHAT?

I really just can't comprehend it at all... Neither do I understand people reading it, and certain people believing these things and eating them up. Ugh.

That said, I googled Kate (hadn't heard of her before) and she doesn't look as unhealthy as one would be on that crazy "diet". She looks pretty healthy to me.

Lila said...

I'm glad to see someone else shares my absolute hatred for women's magazines. My friends all consider me to be overreacting with my stance, but like you said, the constant stream of how to achieve this body, how to do that, how to eat little, it just truly drives me insane.

And at the end of the day, even if they expect something like Kate's mini meals to be seen as a ludicrous celebrity fad, there will be girls out there who idealise Kate Bosworth's figure and having tried a hundred of other fad diets, may decide to turn to this one. It's beyond ridiculous.

Hannah Mudge said...

When you stop reading them you feel better. It's the honest truth!

Exactly - a lot of people will look at that article and think 'how ridiculous, who would DO that?' but for every woman who has that reaction there will be another who struggles with body image and food issues who might take it on board or see it as just another way to lose weight. You only have to look at the sort of comments that some bloggers who are extremely thin get - whether they are healthy and happy or not, they always seem to gain a following of readers who want to know exactly what they eat, what exercise they do and how they have come to be the size they are. Clearly people want advice on the body they want to attain. When it's obsessive and unhealthy advice, magazines shouldn't be publishing it.

Zoë said...

oh god yes! these magazines and their first world problems. is this even true? what? i just cannot comprehend. why bother eating it in the first place. there are millions of people out there who are lucky to even get scraps of food for their main meal, what a bloody waste - its just thrown out? apart from creating a terrible body image it is just this decadent wastefulness that magazines like this promote that really makes my blood boil. millions of tons of food go to waste here in europe every year and there are people dying of hunger. i can't even make sense i'm so incensed.

fallbreak said...

I agree with Zoe. Why bother eating at all? Why not just starve? If it makes/keeps you thin, who gives a damn about the consequences?

Ugh. I can't even.

Laura said...

This is exactly why I haven't bought a magazine since... I don't know, early to mid teens. Having to see the front covers while buying food at the local co-op or supermarket is bad enough. The front covers never change. They haven't changed one bit year to year. How can people still buy them when they're reading the same old articles and tips? It's messed up.

My girl housemates buy these magazines. All the ones that like to show celebrities looking ugly etc etc, and they think I'm ~weird~ because I don't read them. One of my housemates even suggested to me that I should buy a magazine or a funny movie to cheer myself up. Right... reading one of those magazines is not my idea of a good time.

I've suffered with an eating disorder probably since I was about 10 years old so I know all too well how the media showing this as 'good' behaviour does not help AT ALL.

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RedHead said...

God that's disgusting. I didn't quite grasp before how stupid a relationship with food this is promoting, but this kind of self-control is only one step away from eating disorders. I know a person who suffers from two eating disorders and has an attitude to food that I once found completely alien, but having seen this warped and totally stupid idea of only eating a few bites of a meal (only one step away from that infamous 'chew and spit' eating disorder) just makes me so angry that I've not seen this direct correlation before. Thanks for opening my eyes to what I could already see.

 

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