Project HEAL Russell Sage Chapter Leader
Victoria’s Secret Promotes Diet Culture
My visit to Victoria’s Secret justifies the exact reason I was at the mall to shop. My friends and I took a trip to the Galleria mall to pick up professional clothing to prepare for our upcoming presentation at Liberty High School. My friend Katie, the vice president of Project HEAL Russell Sage Chapter, and I will be giving a presentation to health classes at Liberty High School this week on the seriousness and importance of eating disorder awareness and recovery. After we picked up what we needed, we took a quick look in Victoria’s Secret.
Now don’t get me wrong, I always loved Victoria’s Secret and yoga pants are my first choice of attire. While looking around, I saw a pair of pants that said “shopping burns calories”. It’s time I say it out loud. I am over the diet culture being thrown at me from every direction. Shopping should be a fun time for us to buy clothing that we can feel comfortable in, love our bodies, and express ourselves. The last thing I am thinking about when I am shopping is how many calories I am burning. Unfortunately, that’s not something I could have said a few years ago.
While struggling with an eating disorder, you become so consumed by the thought of calories. You start to lose joy in things you once loved, things like… shopping. I remember participating in activities that I once loved only to find myself miserable and counting how many calories I was consuming and burning.
By printing this statement on pants, Victoria’s Secret is forcing people to consciously think about the fact that they are burning calories, which is exactly what someone recovering is trying not to think about. It’s not as if I walked into a weight watchers or a diet supplement store, I went to buy clothing. I did not ask to be informed about what could be triggering material for many people struggling.
This country has become obsessed with dieting. Yes, for most people it is important to exercise and have a well balanced diet, but it is not healthy for anyone to become obsessed with counting calories. These obsessive thoughts begin to consume you and it is all you can think about. It becomes significantly worse when everything around you is reminding you of what you’re trying to move past. Please, enjoy shopping because it is fun, not because it burns calories. Thanks for the obvious fact that moving around uses energy, but it’s distasteful to print it on your clothing. I don’t care that shopping burns calories.