A few young women are changing how they discuss eating and body image following the discussions about what they call almond mothers who are on TikTok.
The phrase “almond mom” began trending on TikTok in the month of April after a video that featured ex- “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast star Yolanda Hadid became viral. In the clip, she advises her daughter Gigi Hadid who was a teenager at the time and to “have a couple of almonds and chew them really well.” The suggestion was made in response to Gigi, who model who said she was feeling “really weak.”
Both Hadid has responded to a request for comments. However, Yolanda Hadid weighed in on the popularity of what she called a “small little clip from ‘Housewives'” in an interview in October in an interview with People and said it was misinterpreted. “It’s such a silly narrative that is out there that has nothing to do with the reality of our lives,” she claimed. Hadid also uploaded her own video on September. 29 on TikTok of her eating an almond-based bowl.
Many users on TikTok have utilized the video as a platform to discuss their own personal experiences with their mothers and the diet culture with the hope of breaking the pattern of unhealthy aesthetics for the coming generation. “#Almond Mom” and the #Almond Mom hash tag “#AlmondMom” had more than 6.1 million views on the platform by Friday.
“Seeing her fixation on her body made me feel like I should be fixated on my body,” TikTok creator Carly Koemptgen stated with reference to her mother.
Kempton, who is 25, has recently shared that Koemptgen, 25, recently posted a video of her “almond mom” snacks at her mother’s home. The snacks consisted of things like crackers and mini jerky made from organic ingredients.
“But this is not just exclusive to my mother,” Koemptgen declared. “Her mother was a victim of the food culture of her time as did her mother. It’s more than just my mom and me.”
In a different video, the creator, who was unable to respond to the request for comment, and her companion, were confronted by the two “almond moms.” The two were able to recite “all the toxic mantras our almond moms live by.” The quotes they quote within the film include “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips” and “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
A few experts who spoke to NBC News likened the term “almond moms” to those who suffer from orthorexia, which is an obsession with eating the right and “healthful” eating, according to the National Eating Disorders website.
Research suggests that how parents talk about their bodies when they speak to their children can have a huge influence on how youngsters view their bodies. A study from the year 2015 study by Common Sense Media reported that children aged 5 to eight years of age “who think their moms are dissatisfied with their body are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their own bodies.”
Some sociologists pointed out that the desire for slimness has been around for a long time and is the result of the history of diet culture’s entanglement with racism.
“The last 40 years of eating disorder research are filled with primarily white young women with disordered eating and also filled with the influences of their families on that disordered eating,” said Natalie Ingraham, an assistant sociology professor of sociology at California State University East Bay.
Carla A. Pfeffer, an associate professor at the department of social work and human services at Michigan State University, said some of the criticisms of “almond moms” is rooted in misogyny as well as a society that places the responsibility of parenting mostly on women. She described “almond moms” as a scapegoat of the diet culture and not the root of the problem.
Mothers today have to contend with messages from the media, which not only has thinness associated with good as well but that children who are thin are often equated with a good parent as well, according to Jessica Wilson, a dietitian and the author of “It’s Always Been Ours: Rewriting the Story of Black Women’s Bodies.”
“Whether or not you’re a good parent depends on the size of your child,” Wilson stated.
Many of the creators who are out there hope that the next generation will change how they talk about health. They are making tiny changes to the way they handle the topic of fitness and food.
“I definitely feel like my friends are more attentive to not policing food and having more self-acceptance,” Koemptgen declared.
“The “almond mom” discourse on TikTok has made the creator Tyler Bender realize just how difficult it is to keep from discussing the feelings she has about her body in front of her eldest sister, who is now 10. She began posting videos that parody the role of her “almond mom” on TikTok, which she claims is her own version of “sarcasm therapy.”
In one of Bender’s most-viewed videos, which has garnered over 2.5 million viewers, she appears as an exaggerated rendition of her own mother. She poses a question that most people with “almond moms” are familiar with: “Are you really hungry or are you just bored?” Bender then displays protein bars she calls “literal chocolate bars,” and says that peanut butter should be prohibited from the home because “your dad is getting fat.”
I truly hope that people notice these and think, ‘OK, this is something I’m not doing for my child.’
-TIKTOK CREATOR TYLER BENDER ON HER VIDEOS ABOUT ‘ALMOND MOMS’
“I really hope people see these and say, ‘OK, this is what I’m not going to do to my daughter,'” Bender, 20, stated. “‘This is what I’m not going to act like because I’ve seen how ridiculous this is.”
For many years, Bender said she would be angry when eating certain foods, such as bagels. In the past, she’s put “so much time and energy into unlearning.” As a result, she’s said her current favorite thing to do on the weekend is to grab bagels in the store of Einstein Bros. Bagels.
Bender has said that she’s trying to stay clear of topics such as whether or not her clothes are fitting or what she’s eating. The mother and daughter are working together to break certain behaviors that were engrained in both their childhoods.
“I take ownership for her, just as a mother would take ownership for her daughter, so I’m practicing not being an ‘almond mom’ to her,” Bender revealed of her the conversations she has with her younger sister. “And I’m helping my mom to not be an ‘almond mom’ to her as well.”