On Diets and Gluttony

I confess that while I was reading this article, titled, “Raw Eggs in Milk? Trying Marilyn Monroe’s Diets“, I got the very strong impression that the author is incredibly sheltered and gluttonous.

She decided to try one of Marilyn Monroe’s diets for ten days, which consisted of two raw eggs in warm milk for breakfast, no lunch, a hunk of meat with carrots for dinner, and a hot fudge sundae for dessert. Those are all high calorie items, so naturally I didn’t have much sympathy when the author described herself as “faint with hunger” by dinner time. I know, the author was trying to be humorous, but in reality she comes across as extremely insulting to anyone who’s known true hardship.

Real hunger is what happens when you’re eating a banana for breakfast, a few crackers with peanut butter (or canned cheese, when you can afford it) for dinner, and nothing else the entire day, for weeks on end; it’s drinking lots of water before going to sleep with the hope that it will keep your stomach from hurting enough to wake you up; it’s feeling like the very essence of your soul is being sapped away in order to convert it into energy to keep you up and moving for just a little bit longer. Real hunger is when your ribs stick out, when eating hurts as badly as being hungry, when you can’t think clearly because your brain is undergoing permanent damage from malnutrition. Real hunger hurts, and it’s not something that should be spoken about lightly.

Gluttony is a deadly sin for a reason.

From the way the article implies the meals are incredibly sparse, I get the impression that the author is used to extraordinarily large meals — perhaps that is why she was so challenged by a more moderate diet. It is also possible that the author is pre-diabetic, in which case cutting back on carbs and skipping lunch really would make her feel faint, but that’s a pre-existing health condition and not the result of the diet itself.

From my own experience as a skinny woman, I’m more inclined to think that the author has decided that women who are thin must be miserable and starving, and so she curried her perceptions and the ensuing story to fit that idea.

Oh, and as for the idea that eating raw eggs mixed with milk is “disgusting,” that’s exactly what eggnog is.

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