A lunchbox with the words “cheat day” composed on it has been blamed for advertising diet culture to children.
Writer Sonni Abatta posted a picture of the lunchbox on Facebook after she went over it in an unnamed department store.
She clarified that she was “sickened” by the thing, which she believes was intended for young girls given its pink colour and sequin embellishments, since it would exacerbate young ladies’ body image uncertainties.
“Our world is telling our girls that it’s ‘cheating’ if they eat something that’s not 100 per cent fat-free and perfectly healthy,” she composed.
“In turn, that tells them that self-control and denying herself is to be valued above all. And that if she dares to step outside of the foods that will keep her perfectly slim and trim, then she is by default ‘cheating’ and needs to feel some sense of remorse.”
Abatta proceeded to state that a diet consisting purely of sugary foods isn’t right either, however that sending a message like this to young girls is just going to add to their “already-fragile senses of self” by making them feel dishonorable for eating something that isn’t deemed healthy.
She additionally contended that the message on the lunch box was implicitly sexist.
“Can you imagine a similar message directed toward little boys? For the record, I’d be equally offended… but I haven’t seen anything that is aimed at making our boys feel bad about what they eat, or how they look.”
Abatta finished up her post with an engaging note to young girls, asking them to think past their diets and their appearances.
“Girls – you are not ‘cheating’ when you enjoy good food,” she composed before listing indulgent foods, for example, pizza and cookies, and utilizing them as instances of things that are perfectly fine to eat with some restraint.
“You are MORE than your bodies,” she included.
“More than your faces. More than your complexions. More than the clothes you wear and the things you buys and the other girls you hang out with.
“You are beautiful, worthy, intelligent, and whole beings – whole beings who are worthy of so much love and respect, no matter what anyone, or anyTHING, says.”
The post has been widely shared, garnering in excess of 60 remarks from individuals agreeing with Abatta.
“So well said,” wrote one person. “No one should feel like this with a lunchbox that has a message like this. Girls shouldn’t, boys shouldn’t, women shouldn’t and Men shouldn’t. The company should be held accountable for producing such a product that would want to send that message and the shop where they are been sold should take them off their shelves.”
Another additional: “Feel sorry for girls today. Having a daughter myself I focus conversations on healthy choices instead of negative like ‘cheat’ day. I don’t always get it right and certainly am not the icon of health myself. It’s a journey of progress not perfection!”