Today, a compelling and critical post from Briana.
I am extremely cynical. I’m also unrelentingly full of love and optimism. I assume this probably describes most people on planet Earth as we are all full of spirit yet still have an ego and will continue to have both until the day we die (or after, depending on your personal belief system). I’d say both of these things most certainly have their place. There are moments when it feels good to laugh at just how ludicrous the world is and moments when, for whatever reason, we really feel its magic. This very thought occurred to me as I read this article on Moon Juice founder, Amanda Chantal-Bacon.
Full disclosure: I think most people would probably consider me fairly far on the woo woo/health nut end of the spectrum. I brush my teeth with clay toothpaste, I use face oil as my moisturizer, I meditate daily, I shop at the Park Slope Food Co-Op. (The cynical part of me is rolling my eyes right along with some of you even as I type this.) So, it was somewhat surprising to me that as I read the article, which caught my attention due to the number of sarcastic reposts it had gotten on Facebook, I found myself feeling some small disdain towards this woman. Once I finished reading, I sat for a moment and thought about the piece and why it had given me such a strong and negative reaction. After all, this woman was asked what she ate on an average day and she answered pretty simply and directly. She didn’t say, “Everyone should eat like this.” She didn’t say, “Aren’t I better than you?”. So what gives? Why the eye roll? This woman owns a juice bar. It’s probably safe to assume that her current life’s passion is health food. We can also safely assume that her day revolves around health and nutrition the same way a fitness instructor’s day might revolve around their various workouts, or a florist’s day might revolve around whatever a florist's day revolves around. Would we all be judging this article if it was a body builder going through their daily diet? Or if it was someone who ate nothing but ice cream, chicken wings, and pizza? Not likely. And probably even less likely if the latter happened to be a skinny, pretty woman despite her carb intake.
So really, what is it in our culture that is seemingly so threatened by a person – actually, a woman (yup, I’m gonna go there) – eating this way? What makes Gwyneth Paltrow rank as the nation’s most hated celebrity over Chris Brown (listed as number 20) who assaulted his girlfriend?
While thinking about this, I started to feel pretty heated. Because, really, how am I not past this? HOW ARE WE ALL NOT PAST THIS? How has it not yet become lame (or even boring) to shit on people’s diet, and happiness, and lifestyle pursuits (or at least feel some hesitation in publicly declaring our antagonism towards them)? Aren’t women judged harshly enough for the things they do “wrong”? Do they have to be judged even more harshly for what their loves and passions are? Or for being too earnest? Or for living out their business so completely that they now joyously eat bee pollen? Does taking a minute to judge just feel THAT good? Maybe. Maybe it simply feels too good to have that moment where we get to think, “What the fuck?! That diet is insane! That woman is insane! LA is insane!” (though I will admit, it does feel extra good to say LA is insane).
But what if – and bear with me here – what if we are the ones that are insane? I’m pretty sure most of us have only tried a few of the foods she references and thus have no idea what kind of power they may hold. Maybe they make you literally sprout wings and fly away to a rainbow-land paradise for an hour before you return to your kitchen. If so, I think we all can admit that the joke’s on us. Or maybe, that doesn’t literally happen, but it still sort of feels like it does (which, come on, is still pretty cool). Or maybe, just maybe, all these foods really do is make this woman smile and add a little pep to her step because they represent her life’s passion and it does her body good. So, while I sit here and eat my ice cream (knowing that now is the time of night when Amanda drinks heart tonic and homemade heirloom raw cacao), I’m going to make the conscious choice not to begrudge her that.
Briana Pozner is a writer, actress & musician. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York