“Being a fat person in society, people expect fat people to eat fast food or things that are bad for you. They don’t realize we just eat like everyone else,” Manning said. “I am in a fat body, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve three meals a day, it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to nourish my body.”
“What I eat in a day” content is certainly not new. These kinds of videos and articles have been popular over the last two decades, and even, as Refinery29 notes, back to the 1500s (ok, sort of). Until recently, much of the content detailing people’s diets was fueled by the desire to lose weight. While some might claim to be health diaries or information on “clean” eating, this can be code for diet culture. Abbey Sharp, a registered dietitian, told Verywell Health that “people’s fascination with what other people are eating…has a hint of disordered eating kind of flavor to it.” That’s because, she explained, a quick clip of someone’s daily food intake can’t cover the vast difference in nutritional needs from person to person, and because many of the videos show people just not eating enough food or promoting pseudoscience.
Take, for instance, one of the many times Gwyneth Paltrow has shared her daily diet. It consists in part of powders and supplements, and references “clean” food (which doesn’t have any agreed upon definition). Paltrow also interrupts her diet with cleanses, but many cleanses aren’t scientifically backed.
For fat creators, revolutionizing these videos is a way of reclaiming how we think about health.
“Having this one idea that [you’re fat] because you’re lazy and unhealthy is wrong. I wanted to get that message out there that it’s not the way it is,” Carissa Grace, an influencer who posts “what I eat in a day” videos said. Grace’s page is dedicated to body acceptance as a plus size person, part of which means showing people that weight doesn’t equate to health.
One of her latest video shows her eating a bagel, chicken fajitas, strawberries, and a pork chop with potatoes and salad. “The main response I get [to my videos] is that a lot of people are like, ‘this is it?’” Grace said, adding that many people tell her she’s lying about her diet, or only filming when she eats seemingly “healthy” food. But that’s exactly why she makes the videos — to show that there are many reasons why some people are fat, and diet is only one factor.