Body, Family, Health & Wellness, Mental Health, Relationships, Self care

New Year Resolution: Avoid The Almond Mom At All Costs

by Megan Pavek

what is almond mom

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s spring editorial intern Megan Pavek. Find her on Instagram at @megan.pavek. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at thezillennialzine@gmail.com.

In typical new year fashion, January inspires us all to start a diet and hit the gym for the first couple weeks of the year. While I’m not opposed to creating healthy habits, as I entered through the doorway of 2023 myself I couldn’t help but feel a little skeptical. Was the immediate urge to count calories and lose a few pounds fueled by my own goals and priorities? Or was it something less pure, something that stunk of deprivation disguised as a beauty standard? Stumbling upon a cartoon created by artist Lily O’Farrell, I immediately felt validated in my thoughts.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lily O’Farrell (@vulgadrawings)

Lily’s popular Instagram account named vulgadrawings is known for creating incredibly honest and comedic takes on feminist issues. She has a knack for identifying internalized misogyny, and in doing so, validates and liberates followers all over the world. In a recent post, Lily’s cartoon explores the tumultuous relationship between the months of December and January- a month of eating versus a month of dieting. The cartoon depicts a woman struggling to navigate between the two extremes, especially if there’s a history of unhealthy relationships with food and dieting in your family. Enter the Almond Mom.

The Original Almond Mom

What is almond mom? This term was born from an interaction between Yolanda Hadid and her daughter Gigi during an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Gigi tells Yolanda she is feeling weak after undereating as part of her diet. Her mom’s solution is to eat a few more almonds and chew them slowly, as if that will make a mere morsel of food feel more filling. As this clip resurfaced, fans were quick to notice an unhealthy relationship with food, noting that this wasn’t the first time Yolanda had influenced her impressionable daughter into disordered eating habits.  

The almond mom concept blew up online in the last year because individuals all over the internet found this dynamic between moms and food relatable. To quote vulgadrawings, “almond moms are obsessed with their own thinness and the thinness of their daughters too.” Common characteristics of an almond mom include: calling themselves fat, skipping meals, constantly being on a diet, or commenting negatively on other people’s bodies. Being raised by someone with this mindset can impact your own relationship with food, your body and your mental health. Feeling pressured to look a certain way in order to be accepted by your family is not ok.

What’s The Internet Saying?

Many users on TikTok created videos detailing experiences they’ve had with their own almond moms. Notably, the holidays were a common theme in these videos. Daughters portrayed their mothers constantly reminding them to watch what they eat, workout more or monitor their weight excessively toward the end of the year. God forbid you eat two Christmas cookies without feeling guilty!

Others noted that their moms would try to control when and how much they ate, count their calories and suggest that they fit in an extra workout if they ate “too many snacks.” Typically, these comments and behaviors are reserved for women only while the men in the family got to eat whatever they wanted whenever they wanted.

For many, it was therapeutic to call out and refute this type of behavior on TikTok. Almond mom comments should not be normalized. Being skinny and being healthy are not synonymous. Not eating potato chips doesn’t make you better than the person who loves eating potato chips. By internalizing this restrictive lifestyle, we feed an unhealthy mindset revolving around food, which can grow into an eating disorder or cause body dysmorphia.

How We Move Forward

Diet Dieting GIF by Bobbi DeCarlo - Find & Share on GIPHY

Vulgadrawings points out that this is a cyclical issue, and someone else probably passed on these unhealthy standards to the person who passed them on to you. So while it’s always easy to blame our moms for all of our problems, that’s not the suggested course of action here. Regardless of the generation, diet culture continues to affect us all whether we realize it or not.

If you recognize almond mom behavior, reject it. Wear what makes you feel good, regardless of whether or not someone else thinks it “looks flattering.” Eat when you’re hungry, regardless of how long it’s been since you last consumed food. Uplift the women in your life and compliment their talents or personal qualities instead of their physical attributes. Raise your daughters to appreciate their bodies and take good care of them. Coincidentally, this does involve pizza and chicken nuggets. Call your mom and tell her you love her, but no, you will not be bringing any negative relationships with food and dieting into 2023.

Scrolling by and wondering what is almond mom? We hope we have explained this term! Have you experienced almond mom behavior? Let us know in the comments below!

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