The Newest Face of Diet Culture is the Instagram Butt

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Like the rest of diet culture, the Instagram Butt is a moralized attribute, gained only though, according to its purveyors, “hard work,” regimented diet (there’s a lot of overlap between #bootygails and the #IIFYM world), and “dedication,” whatever that means.

But that “hard work” isn’t just 20 minutes on a StairMaster. Flipping through the associated hashtags, there are also miracle cures and wondrous technology to get you there. There are #influencers with tips and tricks and appetite-suppressing candies. There are massive genetic barriers that may keep a person from achieving The Look — and there are cosmetic surgeries to help overcome them.

These are the trappings of the diet industry, a self-perpetuating mechanism that generates billions of dollars by perpetually over-promising and under-delivering. When the diet industry hits a bump in the road — like when people stopped being duped by Snackwells and started looking for “healthy” foods — the manufacturers of supplements, snacks, and sugary drinks pivot to meet consumer demand.

This new emphasis on building muscle and strength may appear, in many ways, to be a positive trend — and indeed, weight lifting is revolutionary for many people! — but the laser focus on a thick tush is not about health or wellness. It’s about buying stuff.

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The Public Humiliation Diet: A How-To

The Public Humiliation Diet: A How-To

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I’ve struggled with my weight for my entire life… So I needed to set some ground rules for myself to lose weight, ground rules that I felt were reasonable to follow for the rest of my adult life. Here’s what I did:

3. I posted that weight daily on Twitter. But it doesn’t matter where. It can be on Facebook or your blog or whatever. Shit, you can print it out and stick it on your office cube every day. What I found doing this is that it 1) gave me a public incentive to stick to a goal; 2) garnered support from people. Most Americans struggle with their weight, and most of them sympathize with someone else trying to get healthier. Support helps. Maybe some people will tease you, but that’s its own incentive anyway. Part of losing weight is acknowledging the fact that you have issues with food. And holy shit, do I have issues with food.

Life After Cancer: How the iPhone Helped Me Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle

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…This tiny computer, in its obviousness and unsurprising advancements, keeps me in check and tells me what I often forget about – that I should get up and go. From a technological perspective, Apple’s Health and the apps I use are solid and useful; from a conceptual standpoint, watching that step count go up and up is a reminder that I’m free.

…I can track and optimize my lifestyle with an iPhone. An entire ecosystem of apps, services, and devices capable of monitoring my nutrition, weight, fitness activity, and even sleep uses my iPhone as the central, private hub that I control. On the iPhone, everything is collected and visualized by a single Health app, which can be connected to more apps. As a cancer survivor who wants to improve his lifestyle because of a newfound appreciation of life, all this is incredible.

…Tracking my life with my iPhone makes my commitment real and the effects directly measurable. Being able to open an app and be coached through workout sessions or use my phone to track steps and runs is empowering. iPhone software has enriched my lifestyle and it has allowed me to be more conscious in my daily choices.

Teenage Girls Are Using Instagram To Fix Their Relationships With Food

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I’m fascinated with the thriving Instagram collective of young women who share photos of painstakingly constructed bowls of kaleidoscope-like “superfoods.” In interviews, many said they were recovering from eating disorders and depression. Instead of seeking solidarity through communal restriction, they channel compulsive tendencies into a meticulous but euphoric attention to detail that leads to self-love instead of self-hate.