CW: This article contains references to disordered eating, body image, and eating disorders.
An ‘almond mom’ is a type of mother who was an active proponent and participant of diet culture. The term, which has gone viral on TikTok after a video compilation was shared of former Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid instructing then teenage daughter GiGi Hadid to satisfy her hunger by “chewing a couple of almonds really well.”
To an almond mom, being “skinny” is the most important thing their children can be. Almond moms encourage restrictive eating patterns and unnecessary amounts of exercise, all in the name of “wellness” and “health.” However, as research has shown, restrictive eating and excessive exercise is anything but healthy and can even lead to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and more.
Here are five things people don’t realize you’re doing because you grew up with an #almondmom.
1. Experiencing stress when eating in front of other people.
When you grew up with an almond mom, it felt as though every bite was monitored and judged closely. Now, as an adult, you still wait for the commentary about what or how much you’re eating. You find it super stressful to go out to eat as a result and often prefer to eat your meals alone at home instead.
2. Justifying your food choices.
Even if everyone else at the table is eating a burger, you still feel as though you need to justify it to yourself and defend your choices. And even though you have every single right to enjoy the absolute hell out of your burger and fries, you still end up feeling deeply guilty afterward.
3. Feeling extreme shame for the days you can’t exercise.
It doesn’t matter if you worked 12 hours straight or were sick or were simply completely out of energy. If you didn’t “find the time” to workout, you feel like you are lazy and undisciplined.
4. Struggling with poor body image.
Basically, you never feel good enough or pretty enough because you don’t believe yourself to be “skinny” enough. There is always something you want to “fix” about your body, no matter what. And it’s honestly exhausting.
5. Resenting your mom (even if you have a good relationship with her).
Even if you grew up in what was overall a happy and safe household, you still can’t shake this bitterness you have towards your mother. You love her so much but are still so angry with her at the same time, and you can’t figure out (or don’t want to face) why.
The truth of the matter is that our mothers are also victims of diet culture, and while it sucks they perpetuated its toxicity onto us growing up, we can break the cycle moving forward.