Grazia (UK)


The body positivity online movement is going IRL – writer Lucy Vine investigat­es

- For ADRC events, see antidietri­ Lucy Vine’s ‘ What Fresh Hell’ is out now (Orion)

I’M NOT ONE for sweeping statements, but there is one I stand by: at some point in life, all women have had some kind of disordered relationsh­ip with food. And, as a generation, we have never been more universall­y messed up than we are right now. Last month, it was reported that Millennial­s are heading towards becoming the most overweight generation ever*, while another recent survey found that women feel ‘most body confident’ when they’re medically underweigh­t**. It’s not great and a lot of it is down to the confusing mixed messages we receive on a daily basis. We’re told to eat clean, then we’re told to go gluten-free – then it’s all about being vegan. And wait, do we live off detox teas or follow a juice cleanse?

There isn’t a way to escape all this entirely, but there are small answers; methods of coping. Which is where the Anti Diet Riot Club comes in. Launching on 20 March in London, its aim is to fight back against ‘diet culture’ and provide a safe space for women who struggle with the persistent and deeply damaging diet messaging around us. ‘ We want to reset people’s toxic relationsh­ips with food and their bodies,’ says Becky Young (right), the brainchild behind the club. To do this, the rebellious-spirited club will host monthly events, featuring body positive life drawing classes, talks from health experts, intuitive-eating workshops and – one I’m already signed up for – the ‘Fuck Size Modelling’ class. It’s the antithesis to other ‘diet clubs’, in that they address body acceptance – the art of liking yourself, however you look – while also helping women address food issues. ‘ We’ll be promoting the intuitive eating and ‘Health At Every Size’ approach,’ says Becky. ‘Restrictiv­e diets don’t work for the majority or for the long-term. We need to stop seeing diets as a “cure” and focus more on our relationsh­ip with food and our mental health. We will be exploring the different ideas around physical health and mental health with talks from profession­al nutritioni­sts, ED survivors, and authors. But we will also be promoting the idea that health is so much more than what we look like or how much we weigh.’

The first club features guest speaker Megan Jayne Crabbe – better known as the rainbowhai­red blogger Bodyposipa­nda – who says the Bopo community saved her life after a battle with anorexia. With the ADRC events selling out fast – and a plan in the works to expand nationwide – it’s clear the demand is not just real but hugely necessary. Becky adds, ‘Of course it’s not an immediate fix. Years of socialisat­ion have taught us to be scared of fat; to compare ourselves to others; to seek out the flaws. But I’ve been hating my body since I was a child – dieting since I was 14 – and I can now lovingly embrace my tummy rolls. I’m hoping that’s what the ADRC can give others, too.’

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 ??  ?? Far left and bottom: stopping the traffic during LFW for Simply Be’s #rulesrewri­tten. Left: @Bodyposipa­nda, @Gracefvict­ory and @Enamasiama. Below: ADRC’S Becky Young
Far left and bottom: stopping the traffic during LFW for Simply Be’s #rulesrewri­tten. Left: @Bodyposipa­nda, @Gracefvict­ory and @Enamasiama. Below: ADRC’S Becky Young
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