With the rise of trends and viral social media posts, debate has often arisen about how good they are for the people exposed to them.

There is a growing concern that unhealthy habits or traits are being promoted and normalised more and more through these trends. One of them being seemingly of ‘low iron’ among brown girls being something of a fashion.

Is Low Iron Being Promoted?

The topic started coming up after United Kingdom (UK) based Desi influencer Erim Kaur posted a ‘brown girl’ version to the viral TikTok song ‘Looking for a Guy in Finance‘.

Kaur posted an Instagram reel, modifying the lyrics of the song to relate more with brown girls with the caption “THE OFFICIAL BROWN GIRL ANTHEM for summer 2024”. 

Kaur changed the lyrics to say, “Looking for a girl with long hair, low iron, brown eyes, and attitude,” and the video was posted on 19th May 2024.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by erim (@erim)

There is a growing sentiment that unhealthy traits are being promoted as being desirable among women, especially brown women. Romanticising or making health issues something of a trend could be going down a dark road. While these trends might start as harmless, they could also morph into glorifying things harmful to one’s body.

This could be particularly concerning considering how prevalent iron deficiency is among Indian women, especially the young generation.

Dr Nupur Gupta, director of obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram in an article on TOI wrote, “One of the primary reasons why many young Indian women suffer from iron deficiency is inadequate dietary intake, parasite infection and dietary intake.”

She also wrote that “dietary habits influenced by cultural norms, such as vegetarianism or restrictive eating patterns, can further exacerbate the risk of iron deficiency.”


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Dr Rajesh Bendre, National Technical Head and Chief Pathologist Apollo Diagnostics, speaking with IANS also said, “Iron deficiency among young women is a growing concern that is often overlooked. Despite efforts to promote healthy eating and supplementation, 90 per cent of young women still struggle with insufficient iron levels.”

Girl Dinner Trend Did Similar

Even the ‘girl dinner’ trend that saw more than 500 million views on TikTok alone was called out for encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices. While the trend itself emerged from the idea of what women might make as dinner when alone it soon became viral and started to show meals that were not nutritional at all.

The trend initially started with women eating snack boards for dinner but spiralled over into any low-maintenance comfort food being prepared and was kind of in opposition to the general thought that women must cook intricate meals or traditional roles about women and being primary cooks for their husbands and families.

The term was first coined by Tiktok user Olivia Maher (@liviemaher) in May 2023 when she showed her dinner being an “assortment of bread, cheese, grapes, and cornichons, and saying it’s ‘something a medieval peasant might eat.'”

It showed an indulgent way of cooking by women and even no cooking if they wished to like it, without having to be excellent cooks as society expected of them, normalising women being lazy in the kitchen.

It also reportedly poked fun, standing against other trends like clean eating and making everything from scratch.

However, even that trend has been said to promote eating disorders.

Registered nutritionist Jenna Hope, as per Healthline commented that while such ‘girl dinners’ could be healthy “Unfortunately, the TikTok Girl Dinner trend has given rise to boards which are high in saturated fats, salts, and sugars and those which are low in good quality protein.”

She further added, “Over a prolonged period of time this can have negative consequences on other aspects of your health, such as hormone production, mood, skin health, sleep, bone function, and more.”

Bari Stricoff, a registered dietitian at WellEasy also stated that “Girl Dinners have become part of the zeitgeist, and so this trend might give someone an excuse to have only a handful of nuts and a soda and call it dinner. In reality, this is incredibly problematic and something that should not be encouraged or promoted.

Having the one-off Girl Dinner with ‘picky bits’ should be acceptable and doesn’t require a label. But for some, the intentions are different and may reflect the larger issue or diet culture.”

She further added, “An ideal dinner will look different for everyone, especially when we consider different cultures and ethnicities. However, your dinner, and all meals, should have a balance of nutrients that include protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber.”


Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

SourcesThe Print, NBC News, Healthline

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: relatability harmful, relatability, viral, viral tiktok, iron deficiency, iron deficiency india, iron deficiency anemia, low iron, low iron meme, beauty standard, instagram reels, influencers, Erim Kaur, Erim Kaur brown girl anthem, brown girls, girl dinner, girl dinner trend, eating disorder

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.


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