Dieting was a way to adopt white beauty ideals by starving my brown body.
Diet culture, the pervasive belief that appearance and body shape are more important than our wellbeing, is rooted in the otherness and demorality of non-white bodies.
Smallness, in every sense of the word, is demanded of people of color and immigrants in this country.
Now, I’m grown up. I know the data on weight loss and what it does to mental health. I know first-hand that it eats away at the spirit and the body in equal measure. I know that you can’t become a better or worse person through food. I know that all food is good food, especially the food you grew up with. I know I don’t want to make myself disappear. As an adult, I do not carry on my family’s tradition of dieting, but I do carry on the legacy of my grandmother’s enchiladas.