How Magnet Has Allowed a Community of Toxic Food Shaming to Thrive

ewwww that's stinky

Bailey Hillen when I tried to eat my broccoli

Bailey Hillen when I tried to eat my broccoli

It is exactly 12:00 pm, Thursday, October 17th in Mrs. Hurt’s Newspaper production class. I haven’t eaten breakfast so I was ravenous. I excitedly opened up my lunchbox and brought out my broccoli. I cracked open the glass container to reveal the green heads of my raw broc and take a much awaited bite. I heard a gag. Looking to my right, I saw my former friend, Bailey Hillen, excitedly pointing at my food, saying “ew! That’s stinky”. I quickly bowed my head and snapped the lid on my container, embarrassed that something so sacred to me had been defiled. I then walked over to the trashcan by the door and dropped my snack into the bin. Instantly, I heard a chorus of disgusted “who farted”, “what is that smell”, and “bro, Katherine just crop dusted us”. I looked at my peers. People who I had once been an advocate for (namely Jack Levenson) had disrespected me so greatly. I sulked back to my seat, but not before my mentor and best friend, Mrs. Hurt, exclaimed, “what is that awful smell?!”. She dramatically took the trashcan and tossed it into the hall, but according to Itty Bitty Will Jordan, the smell “wouldn’t go away”. 

 

This was my first time being publicly food shamed and will certainly be the last. I have just joined a community who is persecuted for their eating habits. Broccoli. My downfall would be broccoli. Magnet has a major issue with how they treat each other. I hesitate to call it bullying because the effects are far more detrimental. One might consider food shaming xenophobic. I know I would. In order to find out the true extent of this epidemic, I set out to find this not so hidden group of shamed students, although I would advise you to take Jack Levenson’s testimonial with a grain of salt because he is clearly an enabler. 

 

Susannah Ryan 

“Sophomore year I used to eat brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and I haven’t eaten it since. Being food shamed (because of the smell) makes me feel so small and belittled. That’s why I only eat rice cakes at school now.”

 

Jack Levenson

“People always make comments about things that I bring in a thermos. Soup? People didn’t like the soup. I used to have a nice tuna sandwich for lunch but then Megan (Gray) said that she hated tuna and I haven’t eaten it since. I was embarrassed and confused as well. Why hate tuna? We live in a coastal city.”

 

Caroline Fair

“Tuna. Not tuna salad, just tuna. It is packed with vitamins and essential nutrients, tastes delightful on a ritz cracker, and an easy meal to pack. Yet, I am consistently being given dirty looks and receiving comments regarding my “gross” lunch by children who indulge in multiple things that I find unappetizing and choose not to say anything about considering no one should go hungry or feel shamed by what they like to eat.”

 

Toby Sizemore

Toby Sizemore provides a textbook example of food shaming. Every day sophomore year, Toby would save his salad for after lunch. Caroline Hyde found his food to be especially pungent, stating that she could “smell it from across the room”. She proceeded to throw his salad away every day. His response was too generic to include, but I chalk it up to him blocking it out due to emotional trauma. 

 

Charles Blanc

“I got bullied by my friend group last year but it was my own fault because my food did smell bad”.

 

Food shaming has made countless students feel self conscious about their meals. Before commenting about how their broccoli smells like dookie, think about how that comment might make them feel. If you witness food shaming happening to another person, don’t be a bystander. If you don’t say something, then you are siding with the aggressor. 

Edit: Bailey Hillen has since expressed her regret regarding the comments she made. Our friendship has been temporarily mended.

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