Almond Moms and Eating Disorders

Recently, the internet has coined a new term describing moms who push harmful notions of diet/exercise culture and force less than helpful eating advice onto their children — the “almond mom”.  

Several TikTokers are utilizing this term and creating video skits depicting things a typical almond mom would say or do.

As a self proclaimed daughter of an ‘almond mom’, this trend has brought up several feelings and prompted me to reflect on how this culture impacted me as a young girl, even before there was a term for it.

Growing up, I was always a little chubbier than other girls in my grade, but it was never something I noticed until my mother so lovingly pointed it out to me. I vividly remember being in the pediatrician’s office when I was probably around 9 or 10 years old, and after being weighed, my doctor began discussing the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise after noting that my BMI was higher than average for girls my age (even though BMI is a bullshit way of measuring health and wellness). My mother then said something along the lines of “I guess I’ll have to get you moving more so we can get rid of these!,” and squeezed the bit of fat that stuck out from under my armpit.

I was mortified and it was at that moment I became cognizant of the fact that my body did not look like my peers’. This led me to believe something was wrong with me and losing weight was the thing that would ‘fix’ me. 

Throughout my childhood and teenage years, my mother continued to make problematic comments about food including things like: 

  • Why are you eating crackers when we have carrots in the fridge? You just love your carbs!
  • Didn’t you have a popsicle last night? Remember, the doctor said only one dessert a week!
  • Why are you snacking? We are going to be eating dinner in a few hours.
  • Why do I buy all these healthy snacks if you still choose to eat like crap?!
  • You need to slow down and stop eating so fast! You act like you’re starving. 
  • I haven’t eaten anything all day! (it would be around 2 or 3 pm)
  • I’m so hungry, but it’s past 7 pm so I’ll just have to wait till breakfast I guess.

In addition to the above comments, there is not a single moment in my life I can remember where my mom wasn’t on some kind of diet or participating in a fad eating trend. She has done weight watchers, the military diet, intermittent fasting, keto, and used calorie counting apps…. the list could go on and on. Because I watched her do so many diets and try anything and everything to lose weight, I saw no reason I couldn’t do the same, so at the ripe age of 13 I put myself on the military diet (which for a young growing and developing girl, was essentially starvation). And my mother fully supported my decision. 

Comments and actions that stemmed from my mother’s almond mom behavior caused me to have a negative view of food and my body, as well as develop an eating disorder. Because of the prevalence of the almond mom trend, I find comfort in knowing that others have a similar experience to mine and understand how adversely almond mom tendencies can impact young girls. However, it also makes me deeply upset that so many people have had to deal with food and body issues stemming from the person who is supposed to love you unconditionally and be your biggest supporter.

With the trend gaining traction on TikTok, I am hopeful that people who plan to have children, especially daughters, see these videos and make a mental note to not traumatize their children by participating in this toxic behavior and perpetuating a culture that promotes eating disorders and contributes to poor body image.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, resources for support can be found here.

One thought on “Almond Moms and Eating Disorders

  1. Thank you for sharing. I think you did a great job with this post and it brought up some emotions for me. Good job!


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