“Girl Dinner” is a trending topic on Tik Tok where girls are showing off their not-so-normal dinner choices. What was meant to be a way for women to connect and laugh about their odd combinations of food has turned into a fine line between having a weird dinner and glorifying eating disorders.
Tik Tok user, @liviemaher, made a video of her eating what is basically a mini charcuterie board, consisting of bread, cheese, grapes and wine. She said that she drew the inspiration from medieval times when people ate very simple and rebranded it as what she referred to as her girl dinner.
The true “girl dinner” is basically a snack plate consisting of foods that would not normally be paired together. For me, I often find my meal being chips and salsa, a bowl of shredded mozzarella cheese, some pepperoni and a sweet treat. It is still enough food to fill me up but not your typical-looking meal. It is about low-effort preparation and still satisfying hunger.
This harmless trend quickly turned into promoting not eating and excusing it as just a girly thing. A can of Monster and a couple gummy vitamins is not a meal, but that is often the type of videos people are making to follow the trend.
This can be triggering for those struggling already with their eating habits and could inspire those with body issues to skip a meal and justify it as being a girl.
The internet is already a dangerous place for women and young girls. If a middle-schooler is struggling with her self-image and jumps on the internet to see grown women eating an apple and labeling it a meal, what is that little girl going to take away from that? Probably that it is OK to eat close to nothing as a meal because she is a girl, and girls are not supposed to eat a normal amount.
The trend could have taken a turn for the better and taught people about intuitive eating. This is when we forget everything we know about diet culture and listen to what our bodies are telling us. If I am craving ice cream after lunch, I am going to let myself have it instead of letting myself feel the guilt of societal pressure to always eat healthy. It is obviously still important to eat nutritious foods, but let your body have what it wants. This is a method many people use, including myself, to overcome the disordered eating mindset.
Let’s grab our homemade churned butter, a turkey leg and jousting sticks and bring back our medieval meals and stop normalizing the starvation of the girl dinner mindset.