A conversation with Virginia Sole-Smith, Caroline Dooner, & Fariha Róisín
Virginia Sole-Smith (The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America), Caroline Dooner (The F*ck It Diet), and Fariha Róisín (Being in Your Body: A Journal for Self-Love and Body Positivity) dissect how damaging the diet and "wellness" industries are, and how to push back against such socially embedded movements.
The Eating Instinct visits kitchen tables around America to tell Virginia Sole-Smith’s own story, as well as the stories of women recovering from weight loss surgery, of people who eat only nine foods, of families with unlimited grocery budgets and those on food stamps. Every struggle is unique. But Sole-Smith shows how they’re also all products of our modern food culture, with its dysfunctional fixation on kale smoothies, gluten-free, and “clean eating.” And they’re all asking the same questions: How did we learn to eat this way? Why is it so hard to feel good about food? And what does it mean to learn to eat again in a world that’s constantly telling us not to eat?
From comedian and ex-diet junkie Caroline Dooner, The F*ck It Diet is an inspirational guide that will help you stop dieting, reboot your relationship with food, and regain your personal power. Dooner tackles the inherent flaws of dieting and diet culture, and offers readers a counterintuitively simple path to healing their physical, emotional, and mental relationship with food. What’s the secret anti-diet? Eat. Whatever you want. Honor your appetite and listen to your hunger. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. Oh, and don’t forget to rest, breathe, and be kind to yourself while you’re at it. Once you get yourself out of survival mode, it will become easier and easier to eat what your body really needs—a healthier relationship with food ultimately leads to a healthier you.
Being in Your Body is an illustrated journal filled with empowering writing practices for approaching your body with compassion. What would life be like without the negativity surrounding our bodies? Body shame, reinforced by socially entrenched beauty norms and intensified by social media, is incredibly difficult to shake. Addressing concepts like "compare and despair" and the false connection between thinness and happiness, this journal walks you through the process of cultivating confidence in yourself, while advocating for a broader definition of beauty for all.
Caroline Dooner is an author and humorist who writes about our relationship with food, weight, and our cultural beliefs and expectations. Her book, The F*ck It Diet, is for chronic dieters, and uncovers the dark side of dieting, the dogma of wellness culture, and offers readers another way. She spent years as an actor/singer/performer trying really hard to fit into the tiny/beautiful category, and dieted like it was her job (because it kind of was). She believes whole-heartedly in the healing powers of food and rest.
Fariha Róisín is an Australian Canadian writer based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Vice, Fusion, the Village Voice, Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed, Medium, and others. In 2012, she began cohosting the podcast Two Brown Girls, which highlighted black and brown voices in film and TV, emphasizing the importance of representation. Follow her on Twitter.
As a journalist, Virginia Sole-Smith has reported from kitchen tables and grocery stores, graduated from beauty school, and gone swimming in a mermaid’s tail. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Elle and many other publications. She’s also a contributing editor with Parents Magazine and co-host of the Comfort Food Podcast.