Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Food fears

When I was first diagnosed with anorexia, this was one of my greatest fears (not the Beckham part). Any food that I hadn't cooked myself was suspect - what if my mother had slipped something in? Restaurants were hard enough - now I have proof that sometimes waitresses really do things like over-butter veggies or switch out diet for regular pop. The only person who had any "duty" as to changing my body was me. I'm a fan of C.H. Anderson for the most part, and I get that she's ashamed of what she did. I hope this doesn't point to a larger trend in the restaurant industry, but given that "even the chefs would get in on it," I'm really concerned.

It's not obvious, but this is linked to the "thin privilege" I wrote about a few days ago. Waitresses who try to "fatten up" patrons, whether from spite or good intentions, are making judgments about patrons based on the foods they order. Bottom line - you don't know why a person chooses to eat what they do. People have food allergies, special dietary needs. Or maybe I just don't like butter on my vegetables. I understand that restaurant staff can't "rewrite the evening special." But if your patron has a special request, don't assume you know why, and certainly don't try to "fix it."

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