Garance Doré, Queen of the Honest Overshare, Isn't Afraid to Depict Women Dieting
Female weight talk is splintered into at least four camps, and Garance Doré isn't afraid to call them all out. Over here, we've got the fairy tale dream of the fashion industry with its thin, uniform models and liberal use of Photoshop. Over here, we have health nuts, who are free to do whatever they want in the name of detoxification and antioxidants, no matter how radical the diet: juice cleanses, gluten-free, Paleo. In this corner, we have anti-diet, body-positive, real women have curves revolutionaries. And across the way, we have anti-diet skinny girls who claim that eat whatever they want and never deprive themselves.
There are hundreds more themes and variations to this endless weight talk, but it all gets sticky and full of finger-pointing when women try to navigate between the camps. If you're vocally body-positive, you better be going gluten-free for health reasons only. If you're skinny and in the spotlight, you better be photographed enthusiastically eating a burger at least once a week. Garance Doré knows this firsthand. When she posted a video of her friends having lunch and refusing desert (because Fashion Week was looming and they wanted to fit in their clothes), she did so in an attempt to portray how real women talk about eating — and immediately received a wave of negative backlash.
Garance received comments like "How could you give that kind of image of femininity? How dare you show women depriving themselves?" (Let's put that hyperbolic language in global perspective: Skipping cake after lunch at a restaurant is not deprivation. World hunger and malnutrition are deprivation.) Instead of apologizing, she posted a wonderfully honest response, defending her choice and calling out the media that loves to depict skinny girls wolfing down cupcakes and burgers without gaining a pound. In short, she said something that nobody says anymore: You might not like it, but sometimes women skip dessert to lose weight.
No matter how much body-positive imagery we put out there, real women are still going to have issues with their bodies. That's just part of being human. We're dissatisfied creatures who get easily insecure when compared to others. We love looking good and we love feeling good. Sometimes women skip dessert. Sometimes women enjoy dessert to the fullest. Sometimes women have an unhealthy relationship with dessert. Either way, pretending that women never want to lose weight by shaming them for not eating carrot cake is not only ridiculous, it isn't helping a thing.
Let's just all shake hands (over breakfast à la française, perhaps?) and agree to ignore the dueling camps of female weight talk as best we can. Let's eat healthy (so we don't get ill and die) and let's not mock our own longings. Are you eating that kale salad because you want the Vitamin K — or because you want to look good? The latter reason is a little superficial, sure. But believe it or not, it also makes you very normal.