Chances are, if you're a woman, a minority, or someone who voted against Donald Trump in November, you've probably been feeling a little stressed out since last year's presidential election. And if that applies to you, you're definitely not alone. On Sunday, Lena Dunham shared her own "diet tips" on Instagram, but they're not the kind that are supposed to help with intentional weight loss — that part's more of a side effect of what's been going on in the world since January's inauguration.
It all started when Us Weekly used a photo of Dunham alongside a headline about celebrity diet tips on a magazine cover. (Bustle reached out to Us Weekly for comment, but has not yet received a reply.) Dunham was upset that she was being used in connection with something that's against "everything I've fought my whole career for," and she used an Instagram caption to express exactly why she may have dropped a few pounds in the last few months.
But the point of the post becomes not so much about the fact that Dunham's image is being used for an unexpected purpose, and more about sharing the various factors that caused her to lose weight and that almost all of them are unintentional and stress-related.
Certain things on her list pertain only to Dunham, like receiving threats and having her phone number leaked — hopefully, that's something that not many people can identify with. And like she explained in her caption, some of her weight loss is related to her medical condition, the endometriosis she's been open about suffering from for years. But everything she mentions that has to do with coping with Trump as our president? That's right on the money — at least, it is for me and the way I've been feeling over the past several months.
Worrying about myself and other women, imagining America's dystopian future, and seeing my favorite organizations threatened are all items on Dunham's list that sound very familiar to me. Plus, there's stress from things like the AHCA bill being passed through the House of Representatives, the travel ban executive orders, and the rescinding of transgender bathroom protections. I can't explain how many times I've googled things like "would we all definitely die if Trump began a nuclear war?" and "the impeachment process" since January, and this is just the beginning. I've already been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and worrying about all of these things makes my anxiety worse... and like Dunham mentions, anxiety is a pre-existing condition in the American Health Care Act, so it's not like that helps.
And at the same time, whenever I feel brave enough to share my opinion on an outlet like Facebook, I also have to deal with people (usually straight white men, if we're being honest) telling me that I'm being dramatic and that I should calm down, which is a notoriously bad way of getting anyone to actually calm down.
Living in 2017, where so many things about the future seem unpredictable and our country is being led by someone who doesn't seem to have the best interests of the people at heart can be so overwhelming. It's no surprise that it's leading to weight loss — or in my case, weight gain, because I can't stop emotional eating if I'm going to survive this presidency.
I love that Dunham has chosen to share her thoughts this way, because if nothing else, she's making people realize they're not alone in feeling scared and worried about what the future could bring, me included. And if more people can follow Dunham's example by being open about how they're feeling, something positive could come out of this presidency after all.