Sarah Brown and Courtney Pool have written a thought-provoking piece called “Exploring the Link Between Sexuality, Diet and Self-Esteem” at choosingraw.com. “Throughout our lives, we have both felt stressed by pressures to be thin, look sexy by mainstream (read: white patriarchical) beauty standards,” they write, “There is unending pressure to align with advertisements, models, actresses and stereotypical images of femininity that can negatively impact self-esteem of women regardless of sexual orientation.” I have definitely found this to be true, especially as my initiation into queer culture was through pop culture like The L Word that blatantly promotes mainstream beauty standards. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but like most women (and many men) I grew up with disordered thinking about food. Since making the very conscious decision to become a vegan, I have a much more healthy relationship to food and eating. I have also unintentionally lost a fair amount of weight. I have been frustrated by the amount of praise I receive for conforming to white patriarchal beauty standards. Let me know if you have thoughts on how to respond politely to people who praise you for being thin when you don’t think that thinness is something that should necessarily be praised!
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