High-school teacher's comedic stance against online diet culture, stemming from personal experience with an eating disorder, gains viral momentum.
Eating disorders are a very real problem in today's connected world. They can be understood as complex and severe mental health conditions that affect eating habits and result in individuals being obsessed with their body weight and shape. Individuals affected by the disorder end up avoiding food altogether for fear of gaining weight. TikTok creator Charlotte Grimmer (@charlotteisgrim) is utilizing the platform to expose toxic traits of the powerful dieting culture in our society.
Being affected by an eating disorder herself, she began her path to recovery in 2020 and wishes to provide insights into the detrimental effects that certain dieting trends can have on an individual. Grimmer was bombarded with diet-related content on the site after the resurge of the pandemic, prompting a second round of lockdowns globally. In an interview with Insider, she spoke about her journey, saying, "I just got kind of frustrated with all of that. With lockdown as well, it was very much like, 'Gotta keep working out, gotta keep fit.' That was very big." She is currently employed as a dance and drama teacher at a school in Sydney, Australia.
Grimmer also dabbles in comedy when she's not working, having performed at the Sydney and Edinburgh festivals. A large part of her content revolves around the problematic diet culture that exists in the world, which seriously affects an individual's health. Her content resonated with a wide audience and she now has an impressive following of 137,000. She was propelled to fame with her 'Diet Culture Mum' videos, which is a playlist with over 80 posts. Grimmer also spoke about how people would make seemingly innocent remarks about a person's food portion and how such casual commenting can be considered "judgemental." According to her, it reinforces that there is a certain way to eat, which is not very practical, owing to people's very different food habits.
One of her recent posts involves the influencer making a "healthy mango weiss bar," which is a healthy variant of the Australian desert. She has hilariously captioned the video, "It tastes exactly the same!" We then get to see her mixing up a small piece of carrot, some water and two blueberries in a blender. The liquid content is poured into a tray and then kept in the freezer. Finally, she takes it out and presumably adds some kind of cream topping before consuming the "healthy" dessert.
Users on the platform loved the satirical video and expressed their sarcastic thoughts in the comments section. @mariella.9g commented, "I get the blueberries for the taste. But two? For me personally, it's too much. But if you feel okay with it." Another user, @x3r0d4y, remarked, "Two blueberries? And a carrot? Well, just call my doctor and schedule that octuple bypass right now!" Grimmer's efforts are commendable in increasing awareness about the very real problems that individuals with eating disorders face. Moreover, she reflects on her use of comedy to convey her message, saying, "At the end of the day, as harmful as it is, you can laugh about it."