Here’s Why People Are Using The Hashtag #WomenEatingFood On Instagram
You’ve probably seen a meme or two about this before, but it’s true — there are a lot of photos online of women eating salad while smiling. I, myself, consider myself a big salad fan. From chef salad to Greek salad (also pasta salad) they make a wonderful lunch. But have I ever had that reaction? Not really.
Even though these pictures are always clean, crisp, and vibrant, they usually don’t show a woman going to town on a salad. Typically, she’s holding a forkful to the camera. Almost like saying, “dare me to eat this?” Meanwhile, my home salad ventures usually include a cucumber with Thousand Island on it that fell somewhere off the fork and onto the table. Because even though we all try to eat neatly, sometimes the odds are against us.
And that’s why the hashtag #WomenEatingFood exists. Created by Alissa Rumsey, it’s supposed to show the actual reality of women eating. Because women are supposed to eat. And whether it’s salad or a giant plate of nachos, they shouldn’t have to explain it or put on an act.
It’s so interesting that we rarely see images of women biting into a messy, juicy burger without some sort of apologetic caption. But if you took that same image and swapped it out with a guy, it’d just seem like any average Tuesday.
Gone are the days where we need to justify eating lunch. Perhaps by posting photos where we’re enjoying a huge plate of fries, it’ll help normalize the act in our mind.
Is it important to eat healthy? Of course. But sometimes, you just have to eat a couple of slices of pizza, ya know?
And since women, especially, have so much on their plates (aside from food) it’s often hard to always make sure every meal is nutritionally balanced. It’s healthy to just sit down and enjoy a plate of pasta.
Or, ramen noodles. Since who has the time to make pasta?
#WomenEatingFood is important for so many reasons. For one, the more images we see of awesome women diving into a burrito, the more common these images will be in the overall media. So goodbye, salad smiles.
Secondly, it makes other women feel empowered to eat what they feel like eating. Food is an art, and it should be enjoyed.
For others, it’s a way to embrace the fact that you shouldn’t have to hide food. Instagram user stacydimmler used the hashtag to tell a story about how she used to throw food away, since eating it seemed shameful.
“I missed out on sooooooooooo many good foods,” she wrote. “And I lied. So many times.”
Instagrammer lizziewoerner also thinks that the social media site should be filled with actual, everyday activities. Like eating food.
“Instagram is a bubble,” she wrote. “We need more real unfiltered, unedited, un-styled actual life photos circulating throughout this space! “
“Let’s broadcast who we really are, and not what society expects us to be,” she said in her post. Along with the new hashtag, she also used tags like #BodyPositivity and #EveryBodyIsAGoodBody.
As for #WomenEatingFood, it quickly moved up the ranks to become a suggested hashtag for people who wanted to use it. In Rumsey’s eyes, that made it pretty successful.
“I’ve gotten so many message[s] from other women sharing how inspiring and helpful it has been to see these photos,” she wrote. “By sharing your real photos of you eating — no explanation, no apology, no judgment, no perfection — you are helping to normalize women eating! My hope is that this is just the beginning.”
The best part about this campaign? Anyone can join. Just snap a photo of you eating your favorite food, and post no explanation.
But if you are inspired, you could always talk about your own journey with food. Women often have a challenging relationship with it, especially since society has given us so many rules.
Even going out on dinner dates is tough, since we’ve learned we can’t be messy. The double standard for dinner etiquette is ridiculous.
Food is important for survival. By taking the guilt out of the equation, we’ll be a lot happier.