Warning: Discussion of restrictive eating, calorie counts, weight loss.
Diet culture in the 2020s is a different beast from what it was before. Even if you're more likely to see rhetoric around "health," "clean eating," and "wellness" than an explicit discussion of weight loss, the underlying tenants of diet culture — namely, a belief system that “worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue" — are still very much here.
As Christine Byrne wrote for Self last year, diet culture "promotes weight loss and maintaining a low weight as a way to elevate social status, and demonizes certain foods and eating styles while elevating others."
Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the way that we think about our bodies. As registered dietician Sammi Haber Brondo told BuzzFeed back in March, "Even if [they're] just saying, 'This is how I eat,' the bottom line is [that with] anyone who says how they eat on social media, you [will] have at least one person, if not many, many more, who will use that as an example of, 'Oh, this is what I should do.'"
There is a risk that a collection like this can only serve as a long list of inspiration to some folks. My hope is that by putting everything in context, the opposite is true.
So, here are some celebrities who have said some pretty damaging things in the past few years:
1.When Gwyneth Paltrow said that her daily "wellness" routine involves fasting until midday, bone broth, and a light paleo dinner.
2.And when Hilary Duff likened her own eating habits to Gwyneth's, saying, "Sometimes, I try to just drink coffee in the morning and stave off my hunger."
3.When Rebel Wilson said that she ate 600 calories a day for "detox purposes."
4.When Kim Kardashian lost 16 pounds in 21 days to fit into Marilyn Monroe's dress at the 2022 Met Gala.
5.When Lori Harvey said that she would work out multiple times a day while eating less than 1,200 calories to lose "relationship weight."
6.When Jason Bateman kept commenting on his and his cohosts' eating habits on the SmartLess: On the Road.
7.When Chris Martin said he only eats one meal a day to look more "in shape," like Bruce Springsteen.
8.And when Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that he only eats seven meals a week.
9.When Jason Derulo revamped Kate Moss' infamous line about being skinny and wrote in his 2023 memoir, "I remind myself that there's no meal that tastes as good as having a six pack feels."
10.Finally, celebrities who use Ozempic for weight loss.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, The National Alliance for Eating Disorder helpline can be reached at 866-662-1235 in the US. The helpline is run by clinicians and offers emotional support for individuals and their family, as well as referrals for all levels of eating disorder care.