Arabella Werner

Arabella Werner is a student at the University studying Communication and Spanish. In her free time she enjoys photography, coaching gymnastics, and exercising. She is a big advocate of mental health and eating disorder awareness. She plans on working in the public relations or event planning field. She also is interested in medical translating.

Macy’s Gets Backlash From Inappropriate “Portion Control” Plates

As a survivor of bulimia and anorexia, I can tell you that these so-called portion control plates promote the development of eating disorders for many reasons.

The controversial “portion control” plates were introduced at Macy’s for a short amount of time. They consist of three portions that are labeled as mom jeans, skinny jeans, and favorite jeans. 

I find these plates not only completely inappropriate, but also actively harmful to the population.  People of all ages could be harshly affected by the plates as they are essentially trying to promote an unhealthy and strict portion size. 

As a survivor of bulimia and anorexia, I can tell you that these so-called portion control plates promote the development of eating disorders for many reasons. 

They not only urge you to cut down your food portions, but they also reference negative body image by stating that wearing certain jeans should make you feel worse about yourself. They also make the connection that eating a larger portion will automatically influence or shape the pants you wear. I consider these kinds of thoughts disordered eating in and of themselves. They are obsessive and unhealthy. 

The development of anorexia starts not only with poor body image, but also a slow decrease in caloric intake. Macy’s promoting one portion size as better than another is harmful. They are saying that a smaller portion size will essentially make you look better and will then make you happier. 

The development of my anorexia and bulimia started as a way to lose weight but quickly evolved into a coping mechanism and then an addiction that was used as a negative mechanism to regulate my emotions. The deadly practices of starvation and binging and purging did not bring me joy, like I thought it would. I thought losing weight would make me happy and make others like me more. However, the people in my life who truly cared about me during my struggles are the ones who continue to stick by my side because they are genuine and sincere in their efforts.

I can tell you right now that happiness does not lie in the number on the scale, or the number represented on a tape measure around your hips. 

Happiness is found within us and through self-discovery and enriching experiences. A smaller portion may lead to an even smaller portion, and before you know it, you have formed a deadly eating disorder. I have had many friends pass away from eating disorders, and I can tell you now that it is definitely not healthy to promote the formation of eating disorders. That’s what Macy’s did through selling “portion control” plates.”

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