Body image reimagined in F*&k Your Diet

In honor of self-care week, California State University, Monterey Bay co-hosted the F*&k Your Diet event on Dec. 9 with journalist turned comedian Chloe Hilliard. Hilliard is the author of the book entitled “F*&K Your Diet,” and was a journalist for over a decade until drastically changing professions and becoming a comedian. This book showcases her mix of skills. 

Hilliard stated the continuous shifting of the industry led to her career change and elaborated that the internet was “killing” journalism. Hilliard’s focus was to take herself out of the comfort zone from being a behind-the-scenes reporter and thrust herself in front of the camera. 

The discussion was supposed to be focused on society’s body norms and dieting. However, Hilliard had a way of making it more personal by sharing her own experiences with body image issues and dieting.

Hilliard opened the conversation with a slideshow that detailed her life and her struggles with weight and body positivity growing up. She is 6 feet tall and has been since she was 12 years old. Hilliard remembered the bullying and pressure she experienced from her peers to fit into the “norm.” 

Sharing that her first diet started at 11 years old, Hilliard started the long, tumultuous relationship with her body at a young age. She cited Regan’s cut on school lunches as a helpful factor. When her school’s food quality changed, Hilliard’s eating habits did too. In addition, she pointed out eating habits and how they are developed.

Hilliard touched upon how one’s grandparents’ diet determines your parents’ diet, and what your parents ate becomes what you eat. Sadly, it is not always the healthiest of choices. 

Coming from a southern, Black family, Hilliard’s eating options were not always healthy and hard to resist. After some time, Hilliard was able to make better choices and succeed, pushing it on her family to do the same. She was able to better herself and learn to say no to her family when it came to what she puts in her body.

When noticing Hilliard’s grappling with her own inner thoughts and diet battles, her family also reflected on who she let into her life. A brief relationship in college led to abuse and after that Hilliard spent six years of her life pushing and telling herself she deserved better. 

Hilliard also discussed society and how women are viewed, stating that one of the biggest things people need to stop doing as a whole is calling little girls “princesses” and having them strive to be as such. To change this outlook, think about what most princesses go through in movies: they are poisoned, cursed, kidnapped and most importantly, silenced. Hilliard’s own experiences in toxic and damaging relationships confirmed this perspective.

Overcoming many hurdles, but being able to be so vulnerable and raw in her storytelling, made Hilliard’s testimony all the more touching and relatable. This event taught an important lesson: no one is alone in this battle of self-identity. 

Self-esteem is a constant battle for some. Individuals may find themselves, especially right now, being extremely hard on themselves and struggling with their own inner turmoil. It’s important to remember that everyone is human. Being human is continuously learning, changing, setting boundaries and loving ourselves and bodies as they are. 

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