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In the Media | Your ‘hot girl stomach issues’ might be caused by damaging diet culture, experts say

Published by: Insider
Written By: Serafina Kenny

A "hot girl" is surrounded by gold bursting stars and floating comics panels showing her unhealthy behaviors, like constantly weighing herself and taking laxatives. A arch like panel in the middle of her stomach displays gastrointestinal discomfort.

You’ve probably heard that hot girls have stomach issues.

It’s all over social media — #hotgirlshaveibs has 28.2 million views on TikTok — and it’s been written about by media outlets including Insider.

Anyone can be a “hot girl.” It’s not about looking a certain way, or fitting certain beauty standards, but more about having confidence in yourself, and is part of the recent reclamation of the word “girl,” which has been used to demean women in the past.

So some “hot girls” joke about their experiences with IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain on social media, in an attempt to normalize “gross” bodily functions that women have traditionally been expected to stay quiet about.

But why do hot girls have stomach issues?

The fact that #hotgirlshavestomachissues is blocked on TikTok provides a clue. Instead of showing videos of young women talking about their constipation, IBS, and bloating, searching the phrase takes you to a landing page with links to resources to help with eating disorders.

Far from being a mistake with TikTok’s content filters, this apparent assumption that people searching for #hotgirlshavestomachissues may also have food issues is backed up by research and eating disorder experts. They say that diet culture — which encourages fad dieting and cutting out foods in favor of “clean eating,” and glorifies thinness over health — could be the cause of a lot of people’s gastrointestinal issues, whether or not they have diagnosed eating disorders.

Disordered eating can damage the digestive system, too

Obviously, not all women with stomach issues have eating disorders, but there’s a spectrum of “disordered eating” that can affect gastrointestinal health, too, Erin Birely, a licensed clinical professional counselor at the US-based eating disorder treatment provider the Renfrew Center, told Insider.

Read the full article here.

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