This post originally appeared on The Glow.
By KATE SPIES
This morning I very nearly shed a tear when I read a quote from a recent interview Jennifer Lawrence, 24, did with Vanity Fair magazine. Everyone’s favourite Cool Girl told the American glossy that gluten-free eating is, “the new cool eating disorder”. Adding, “It’s basically, ‘I just don’t eat carbs’.”
I fan-girl over J-Law as much as the next living, breathing female, but today…not so much.
Jennifer (yes, I’m using her full name: I’m angry) has me pissed. Really pissed. The one thing Jen forgot to mention during her food shaming, is that for people who do actually suffer from coeliac disease, like yours truly, it’s not just a fad diet. It’s not fun (it’s actually really bloody boring). It’s most definitely not just an excuse to avoid carbs. And it’s not cool.
And you know what’s even more uncool than running scared from anything that has come from a bakery? When people – who won’t get violently ill if they nibble on a bread stick – avoid gluten just for the sake of it (“I feel a teeny tiny bit bloated when I eat a loaf of bread”, “I think I once saw a pimple on my face after I ate pasta for 30 days in Italy”, “Gwyneth doesn’t eat bread, so neither do I”).
And you know what, there are so many people with occasional/convenient “gluten-intolerance” that it is a Thing now. The world does just think that the majority of gluten haters are following this diet to get thin or to be a fipster (food-hipster, definition: someone who follows diets just to appear en vogue). Even my girl JLaw thinks it.
And that’s why I’m angry at her, because while she’s focusing on all the fakers, she’s forgotten about all of us who are suffering a very real, very annoying condition. She doesn’t get it.
While everyone is worried about analysing whether JLaw’s comments are her throwing shade on (gluten-free enthusiast and her new BF’s ex) Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m stressing out if her remark will mean a hospital visit for me after the next time I eat out.
You see, every time a faux sufferer enters an eatery and says “Does that, like, come in gluten-free, I’m not really doing wheat right now,” or “Um, sorrrrrrryyyy, I can’t eat that brown rice because I’m gluten-intolerant,” another chef adds an extra tablespoon of flour to their sauce because they assume said person is just another, like, totally on-trend fipster. (Newsflash: there’s no gluten in rice.)
Most waiters will tell you that people claim food allergies when actually they just don’t like something, and when it comes to gluten it’s no different. If I had a new gut for every time a waiter scoffed at me for asking for the gluten-free option, I would have been miraculously cured years ago. They assume I’m just a carb-denier. That I’m overblowing the extent of my illness. That a bit of gluten won’t actually hurt me.