Of all the Vogue editors in the world, Alexandra Shulman is my favorite. The long-running editor of British Vogue considers herself foremost a journalist, she speaks frankly on body-image issues in the fashion industry, and she just went on an epic rant against “health crazes” that make me want to give her a high-five and be her best friend.
And when she talks about “health crazes,” I’m pretty sure she’s talking about the juice cleanse. Sure, there are lots of other weird health crazes going around, and Schulman probably thinks those are pretty crackpotted too, but the detox juice cleanse thing is definitely the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions the pet health crazes among the fashion industry. Gwyneth Paltrow did one so long she started hallucinating, and Kelly Wearstler once did a food diary for Bon Appetit where she basically just admitted to not eating solid foods anymore. Being surrounded by people like that would make us want to have a good juice cleanse rant, too.
The New Potato is a food site, so she’s already preaching to the choir here. It’s not like she’s sitting at a panel with Gwyneth Paltrow saying this stuff. But she probably would, because she’s vehement about her distaste for the way people around her try to avoid eating food.
“It’s become a bit of an obsession of mine, people being faddy about their eating,” Shulman said. “I don’t think it’s healthy and I don’t think it’s sociable. I think it’s relatively bad manners, all of the excuses people make for not eating.”
“I also think it’s a really bad example. I’ve watched contemporaries of mine and the way they behave around food. They’ve got teenage girls; are they then surprised if their children have eating disorders?”
She has a good point about modeling behaviors. A lot of us probably remember watching our mothers eat and learning how to relate to food from them.
Shulman says she’s not the only one at British Vogue who is being driven to distraction by the “health”-focused eating fads.
No, I’m sure they’re all obsessed with it too. In the last issue we had something on juicing – ‘Juicing: Fad or Fiction.’ We’ve also just done something on if super foods are actually good for you. We had a nutritionist in and she was saying that things like chia seeds are really not good for you because they just make you feel full – that’s why people have them – but they have no nutritional value. I think it’s good to be healthy. I don’t think you should sit there stuffing croissants into your mouth. I just wish people could take a bit more pleasure – real pleasure – in food, without eating and then self-flagellating about it immediately afterwards.
Now that sounds like a Vogue editor I would like to go to dinner with, even if the conversation was exclusively, “ZOMG, juice cleanses suck, don’t they!?”