TikTok’s ‘What I Eat In A Day’ & Our Obsession With What Other People Eat
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Exactly 463 years ago, a balding, bearded, nearly-90-year-old Venetian nobleman kicked off one of the world’s most controversial TikTok trends. In 1558, Renaissance writer Luigi Cornaro published several tracts detailing how a strict diet could lead to a long life. “First, bread; then, bread soup or light broth with an egg,” reads a 1917 English translation of Cornaro’s The Art Of Living Long, “Of meats, I eat veal, kid and mutton; I eat fowls of all kinds.” Skip forward to today – the TikTok tag #WhatIEatInADay has accumulated over 6.9 billion views.
From Renaissance tracts to celebrity interviews to YouTube vlogs and TikTok clips: why are we so obsessed with what other people eat? While we are currently reassessing the toxic diet culture perpetuated in the media in the early 2000s, we are seemingly simultaneously using social media to perpetuate the same toxic ideals ourselves. Psychologists and dieticians have spoken out about the harm caused by “What I eat in a day” videos, many of which feature small quantities of food and mirror shots of slim bodies.