So there is a story going around the major celeb news sources that was probably planted there by Megan Fox‘s publicist to show how healthy, sane and low maintenance she is. The story goes like this: Megan Fox is vegan. Megan Fox gets scary skinny and simply cannot gain weight no matter how hard she tries. Megan Fox stops being vegan, gains a tiny bit of weight, is a hero of body image. The headlines read: “Megan Fox Ditches Vegan Diet For Curves,” “Megan Fox Shows Off Curves After Ditching Strict Vegan Diet,” etc.
Except the diet described in the article sounds less like veganism and more like, um, starving yourself. “For a year and a half, until about four months ago, I followed a strict vegan diet based on raw fruits and vegetables, no bread, sugar and coffee,” she told Amica Magazine (as excerpted by The Daily Mail). “But I had lost too much weight. So now I eat a bit of everything. And I train three times a week doing circuit training with my trainer Harley Pasternak.”
This does not sound like a “strict vegan diet” to me. What “a strict vegan diet” really means is “an actually vegan diet,” i.e. one that eschews all animal products. As a “strict vegan,” I eat a lot more than raw fruits and vegetables. In addition to fruits and veggies (which I sometimes cook), I eat beans, grains (including bread), nuts, legumes, tofu, seitan, soy products, and yes, even (vegan) sugar. I’m actually eating a chocolate chip cookie right now. For breakfast. Suck on that, Megan Fox.
What Megan Fox actually described to the press is a bullshit raw food diet. Bullshit raw food diets are primarily practiced by three groups of people: those who know they are bullshit but want to drop a few quick pounds for Fashion Week before they go back to eating people food; New Age-y “health nuts” who believe in an alternate reality of junk science; and people flirting with disordered eating. If she wanted to gain weight but stay vegan, she could’ve started eating healthy fats like nuts and avocados, drinking protein shakes, or heck, even having dessert once in a while. Not to mention bread. Bread is delicious, you should try it! Of course you are not going to be able to gain weight if you restrict yourself to a single food group. That’s just common sense.
But the word “vegan” gets way more pageviews and angry comments than the phrase “weirdly restrictive celebrity gauntness diet,” so they stuck it in the headlines anyway. And now she’s on some other snake oily sounding thing called The 5 Factor Diet. To which I say: whatever. Do whatever kooky diets you want, eat as many adorable animals as you want, but please do not make people associate your food weirdness with what is actually, for many, a very doable lifestyle. It’s totally possible to be both an animal-lover and a person who is not hangry all the time. I know this because I have achieved it. It’s time to stop perpetuating misconceptions.