When Being Hungry Is A Sign Of Privilege

"Image courtesy of John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Facebook quizzes run the gamut from what flower are you to how good of a curser you are. (By the way, I am a great curser, but I disagree that I am a daisy.) I have a problem with the privilege quiz I took earlier this week because one of the signs of having privilege was that you never go to bed hungry.

Really? White women in American don’t go to bed hungry?

In the eighth grade I read Judith Krantz’s Scruples. Highlighter in hand, I marked the sex scenes for my classmates, earned the nickname “Scrupes,” and took away the lesson that always feeling hungry was the way to live from the main character. See, she had been chubby, went away, lived with poor people, got skinny, and her whole life changed. I knew if that would happen to me my whole life would be better.

For years, I lived my life hungry. I know I’m not alone. I read Facebook posts where friends talk about their 1,200 calorie a day diets. I bet they’re hungry. Other friends fast. Hungry much?

Going to bed hungry in America is really a badge of privilege. Isn’t that sad? It should be a measure of deprivation and poverty.

Only people who don’t have enough: enough money, enough food, enough resources should be going to bed hungry. But women let themselves go to bed hungry each and every night.

Why? Because Jenny Craig tells them they should. Because Weight Watchers tells them they ran out of points. Because the Nutri-System meals aren’t filling.

The saddest part is that we listen! We let the diet industry tell us we need to live like poverty-stricken people in a third world country in order to fulfill some impossible-to-achieve beauty standard. You think it’s possible with a little work? Then why is every magazine photo photo-shopped beyond recognition? When the thinnest-of-the-thin models need to be scultped even further, that’s impossible!

Imagine what good could be done with the $65 billion that is poured into the diet industry every single year. Childhood hunger in the United States could probably be eradicated. Healthy food options could be made available to people who need them. Healthy movement options could be made available for those who don’t currently have them.

Think of this the next time you swipe your card for your pre-packaged meals at Jenny Craig or pay your meeting fee at Weight Watchers.* Especially if you can say something like, “It’s worked every time I’ve done it.”

Because it isn’t you that fails. It’s the program! The success rates are dismal. But they don’t want you to know that. They just want you to continue going to bed hungry every night, like a poverty-stricken member of society. Not like the person of privilege you are…

Wouldn’t you rather help someone who needs it than put money into the pockets of people who continue to lie to you? Think about it…

*Of course, I will allow you the Underpants Rule and respect your right to do whatever you want with your life. I’m just making a suggestion!


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