Mum hits back at ‘Cheat Day’ lunchbox slogan for promoting diet culture to young girls

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  • One mum spotted a lunchbox with the words ‘Cheat Day’ emblazoned on the front and has taken to Facebook to slam the retailer for promoting diet culture in such a crude fashion.

    It’s actively encouraged to make sure that as a family you eat healthy meals which are nutrient-rich, full of vegetables and generally well-balanced.

    But there is a fine line between promoting a healthy diet and promoting diet-culture and the latter is something no one, but especially children should be bombarded with.

    Which is why when one mum spotted a pink lunchbox with the words ‘Cheat Day’ embroidered on the front with sequins, she was ‘sickened’.

    Taking to Facebook to share her disgust, Sonni Abatta wrote: ‘See this? This is a picture I snapped today of a little girl’s lunchbox that I saw for sale at a popular department store. Why do I say it’s marketed toward little girls? It’s pink, it has sequins and it was surrounded by other girls’ merchandise. So, safe to say that it’s aimed at our daughters.’

    She continued: ‘I am SICKENED that this phrase is on a lunch box. We scratch our heads when we see our little girls struggle with body image, with self worth, with confidence…

    ‘Our world is telling our girls that it’s “cheating” if they eat something that’s not 100% fat-free and perfectly healthy. In turn, that tells them that self-control and denying herself is to be valued above all. And that if she dares to step outside of the foods that will keep her perfectly slim and trim, then she is by default “cheating” and needs to feel some sense of remorse.’

    Hitting back at those who might say she’s over-reacting, Sonni stresses that these messages surrounding diet can have a lasting negative impact on young girls and that they need to be told they are so much more than their body.

    Sonni wrote: ‘So here’s what I want to say, and what I will tell my girls. Girls–you are not “cheating” when you enjoy good food. You are not “cheating” when you eat pizza. You are not “cheating” when you have a cookie, or two, on occasion.

    ‘You are not “cheating” when you live in moderation and allow yourself things that make you happy.

    ‘Girls–you are MORE than your bodies. More than your faces. More than your complexions. More than the clothes you wear and the things you buys and the other girls you hang out with.’

    Finishing the post she said: ‘You are beautiful, worthy, intelligent, and whole beings–whole beings who are worthy of so much love and respect, no matter what anyone, or anyTHING, says.’

    Read more: 30 packed lunch ideas the kids will love

    The post has started to gather a lot of attention and already has over 100 shares. Most people agree with Sonni and said that her outrage is understandable.

    One fellow mum wrote: ‘Appropriate fb rant! Feel sorry for girls today. Having a daughter myself I focus conversations on healthy choices instead of negative like “cheat” day. I don’t always get it right and certainly am not the icon of health myself. It’s a journey of progress not perfection!’

    As always, there were some critics and others who said the lunchbox may not be targeted at children. Either way, Sonni and her supporters said the whole diet-culture that is targeted at women is toxic and should be challenged.

    What do you think of the lunchbox? Have you seen anything similar that got your blood boiling? Head over to our Facebook page to join the debate and share your thoughts…