Dear BuzzFeed, I Don't Care
I live for online quizzes. Nothing brings me more pleasure than uncovering which Disney Princess I am based on my Thanksgiving food preferences, or having my age and location guessed based on three random but apparently insightful questions. These quizzes also give my competitive side a time to shine, so when I see the headline "Can You Pick the Coffee With Over 600 Calories?" naturally, I am going to get it right within three guesses (spoiler: I did, and it's the Caribou Coffee Vanilla White Mocha Cooler).
This quiz comes with the following disclaimer-- "Warning: This could potentially ruin your morning," because apparently calories now mean everything when it comes to enjoying not only our mornings, but our lives.
Buzzfeed, while I love you, I don't care which coffee contains more than 600 calories. What I care about is that calorie counting is a significant symptom of multiple eating disorders. I care that even people without eating disorders engage in this disordered behavior, and subsequently report that it leads to negative feelings about their bodies. I care that, according to NEDA, 25% of elementary school girls are well-versed in the concepts of dieting and calorie restriction as a means to weight loss, despite the fact that studies have proven calorie counting as an ineffective dieting technique. I care that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, yet are still stigmatized and overlooked in popular media. I care that calories are units of energy, not a measure of “good” or “bad” eating.
Despite what Buzzfeed and countless others attempt to normalize, no number will be ruining my morning now or ever. And I don't plan on wasting my minutes trying to guess the number of calories in different foods and beverages, because I have a life to live. A life free from calories, a life free from the number on the scale. My hope is that one day we can all enjoy our coffee without worry, all 630 calories of it.