Little Women – Millennial Eating Disorders

foodI live by the Patrick Bateman mantra, “You can always be thinner… look better.” And though I have a severe case of body dysmorphia, I have trouble discerning between boredom and hunger. I seriously binge eat at every meal. The other night it was Country Fried Steak with a side of fries, steamed broccoli, and about 7 sugar cookies (only 4 were actually baked).

Having said that, I love entertaining, and I wine and dine a lot. It’s aggressive, really. But I’ve observed a lot of different eating habits.

In my observations of the fairer sex, I’ve identified five different types of eater:

1. The impulse eater:

“OH! I could really go for a huge burger.” This little lass packs a plate with whatever her modest makeup feels like shamelessly scoffing down. More often than not, she’s got a furious metabolism giving her abilities to impulse-eat and not have to hit the treadmill to counter the Calorie intake (capital “C” means kilo-cals…).

2. The doggy-bagger:

She epitomizes the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-stomach concept. A wannabe impulse eater, her ambitions are often too much for her own good, and she’s almost always asking for a take-out box.

3. The squanderer:

In the same phylum as the doggy-bagger, this breed somewhere along the line of evolution deviated toward a more entitled branch and doesn’t care for taking home her half-consumed course – often paired best with a shameless dinner-date who has no misgivings about switching his or her clean plate for the squanderer’s.

4. The pseudo-entrée eater:

No, sweetie. That’s an app, not an entrée…

5. The salad slinger:

You know her… She’s the one who’s so concerned with her figure and/or being dainty that she only eats salads. Typically, orders dressing on the side – light balsamic.

Though we judge one’s eating habits, it’s curious that we think there is even such a thing as eating habits.

According to a German study published in Psychological Medicine, 1-2% of the worldwide population meets all the diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder. According to ANRED, 1% of female adolescents are anorexic, and 4% of college women are bulimic.

The numbers aren’t as aggressive as you’d imagine, but arguably, it’s this expectation of beauty that drives these psychological tendencies to think you’re fat or that you’re not thin enough – which makes case studies like Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty that much more interesting.

What gives?

Where popular media has led us to believe that there are standards in attractiveness, this belief is more prevalent in each new generation. What’s attractive to the Next Great Generation? Arguably, long and lean (and we’re still talking about the ladies). This image is manifested in our popular celebrities and models, and every Elle or Glamour mag you pick up will teach you how to be the new you.

Don’t get me wrong, girls, I love the effort. But don’t give up something as wonderful as eating for the sake of being skinny. After all, no one ever asked, “Why should I care about personality? That’s only on the inside.”

Actually I may have said that once.

Just kidding.

No, seriously.

Image: Benimoto

Eugene Kim Digital/Social guy at Arnold Worldwide. I'm also a published physiologist, rower, emerging media junkie and a mean koreoke-ist. Love advertising, food and great content. I'm awful with names, but great with Twitter handles. So hit me up @admanekim.

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6 Responses to “Little Women – Millennial Eating Disorders”

  1. Sammy

    What the hell? Who is this Eugene guy and why is he critiquing female eating? One gal gets labeled for eating a burger, another labeled for eating a salad—and back-to-back he goes straight for gals who get a doggy bag or don’t. Why that’s a problem, I do not know.

    And, who cares if the food is listed under Appetizer or Entree? It’s food and I think we can select whatever we like for a meal.

    I think you’re trying to make something out of nothing here, Eugene.

    Reply
    • Eugene Kim

      Hi Sammy. Thanks for your comment, and please don’t be offended. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a girl who eats a burger or orders an app as an entree. I’m merely making observations and posting them in a cynical and somewhat humorous way.

      My mere point in the association of body image with what we consume and how. Sure, I specifically wrote about women, but truth is that we can absolutely generalize to men as well. Overall, there’s no doubt that the perception of beauty, attractiveness and what we consume and how we consume it has been shaped by popular media, popular culture and manifests itself in our everyday lives.

      I’ve been an impulse eater lately, but when I’m feeling a little frugal, I’m absolutely a pseudo-entree eater and through college I went through a huge salad-slinger phase. I’m also that shameless guy who will reach over and eat off my friends’ plates.

      I’ve had “fat days” and have orders some meals over others because Men’s Health said it would help me get ripped abs…

      Have there been times when you’ve fit into any of the above? And why have you chosen to eat that way?

      Reply
  2. ChristinePeterson

    Okay, I know Eugene and I know he meant no harm by making these observations, but no man should ever make any less-than-flattering comments about the way a woman eats. That should be like a basic rule of male/female interactions.

    That said, I am definitely a doggie-bagger. It’s not because I’m watching my weight, it’s because the portions at every restaurant are so huge I can always only manage to eat half. Which is fine with me because I can bring the second half in to work for lunch. It’s like two meals for the price of one!

    Reply
  3. Mariah

    there’s no rhyme or reason to my eating habits, it’s different everday…

    That said, I think media has created an unhealthy view on body image, especially for young girls. My daugter is 13 and will only eat fruit and salad at school, for fear of what her friends will think. It’s sad.

    Reply
  4. Adeline Guerra

    PLEASE ! As if eating a salad makes us obsessed with our figure ! Salad is GOOD for you and nutritious. I really don’t think the labeling you did is either accurate or interesting.

    Reply
  5. Sammy

    What the hell? Who is this Eugene guy and why is he critiquing female eating? One gal gets labeled for eating a burger, another labeled for eating a salad—and back-to-back he goes straight for gals who get a doggy bag or don't. Why that's a problem, I do not know.

    And, who cares if the food is listed under Appetizer or Entree? It's food and I think we can select whatever we like for a meal.

    I think you're trying to make something out of nothing here, Eugene.

    Reply

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