Empty Bellies Do Not Beget Genius


Gala Darling

date published

March 30, 2016, 7:21 p.m.



This is a subject I am very, very passionate about. If you were expecting to be coddled on the subject, you’re out of luck. This is tough love, because we need it.

In today’s society, we often feel so much pressure to look a particular way. This isn’t news. But what ISnews is that the wave has broken. People are starting to push back. From Coco Rocha and Doutzen Kroes speaking out publicly about the size of models, to Jessica Simpson’s series The Price of Beauty, women in positions of power or influence — and women who are often looked up to as body or beauty ideals — are finding a voice. A voice which says, “ENOUGH!”

As Kathleen Hanna would say, “We’re not gonna prove nothing, nothing, sitting around, watching each other starve”.

What does it mean to starve yourself? What does it mean to go hungry by choice? Does it make you strong? (‘Look how much willpower I have!’) Does it make you different? Does it make you special?


A hungry person is an ineffectual person. A hungry person is one sapped of energy, strength, life-force. A hungry person can’t achieve anything, fix anything, come up with a bold, brave solution. Choosing to go hungry is a way of defeating your own strength, your own power. It is a way of making yourself small and useless. It is asking someone else to take care of you. It is about giving up, giving in.

You know what? No one actually wants you to be like this. Any person worth their salt wants a partner who is a worthy adversary, someone who is their equal, strong and proud, someone who will tell them to pipe down when they need it, and someone who can support them with unwavering personal strength and unconditional love. No one wants you to be like this. We want you to love yourself, feel beautiful, achieve AMAZING things and rock the world. We want you to inspire us and show us what you’re made of. We want you to be a rad role model, a beacon of light, a shocking wake-up call.

Anyone who encourages you to go hungry, to buy a size down because “you’ll fit into them one day”, who tells you “you would be beautiful if…”, IS YOUR ENEMY. NO EXCEPTIONS.

The food you’re putting into your body is what fuels you to be so creative, brilliant & fabulous.

Empty bellies do not beget genius.

A side note: Roughly 60% of six year old girls feel “overweight”. THIS IS WILD! Where do they get this idea from? Magazines, television, mothers who talk about how “fat” they feel, who complain about not fitting into their jeans, who serve themselves much smaller portions than the rest of the family. Okay, it’s time to get over it. Time to move on. Scary secret: no one really cares about what you look like! NO ONE CARES! IT DOESN’T MATTER! Stop wasting your brainpower on something so trivial and stupid. Because it IS stupid, no matter which way you slice it! Do something meaningful with your life! Do something which surprises people, empowers others, and shakes belief systems! Nothing could be less important than worrying about the size of clothing you wear!

Being hungry and sad is not sexy. It’s not cool. It’s not dramatic or mysterious. It’s a way of putting your life on hold. It’s procrastination. It’s you not wanting to prove yourself in any real way. It’s you being afraid of growing up and taking risks. It’s you putting off the important stuff.

Eating disorders are not a choice, but HOW YOU DEAL WITH THEM IS. You can choose for it to dominate and completely ruin your life, or you can decide to take control, LOVE YOURSELF and live the amazing life which is waiting for you.

I know that’s scary. Trust me, I do. Especially when you feel like your entire life, personality and all of your behaviours have been constructed around this ugly thing. If you remove that rotten core, what’s left? Who are you?

You are you, but amplified. You are you, pure & distilled. You are you, but happy. You are you, confident, brave, strong, risk-taking, and amazing. You are you, beautiful and incredible with a will of iron. You are you, but BETTER. You’re not losing anything — only getting back to who you REALLY are. It’s a re-ignition of your childlike wonder, your fascination, curiosity, acceptance, and flawless love.

You have no idea how much better life is when your head isn’t full of numbers and a fixation with achieving thinner thighs. I swear, you can’t even begin to fathom it. The world, and all of us in it, are waiting for you to join us! This is such an incredible, beautiful, wonderful place and you can’t see it when you’re hidden behind a veil of fear, insecurity, and nervousness.

You really can do anything you want. But having an eating disorder is like taking a crowbar to your own kneecaps. It’s debilitating and it shatters your world view. I want you to get on the roller coaster! I want your brain to fire on all cylinders! I want you to do something that makes me feel so proud to say you are someone I know! We all do!

You’ve heard it before, but it really is how you feel on the inside which counts. That is what will really dictate your luck, success and happiness. I promise you that the way you look on the outside has absolutely nothing to do with the way you feel. How you treat yourself, the amount of activity  you do, what you put into your body — these factors help determine how you feel, definitely. But if you think that starving or vomiting your way to being skinny is actually going to make you happier, you couldn’t be more wrong. All an eating disorder indicates is massive self-disgust and self-hatred on a catastrophic level. Feeling that way can manifest itself a variety of ways, from self-mutilation to drug abuse to bulimia, but regardless of the method, the darkness stays the same.

And how do you improve the way you feel inside? …You guessed it:


Gala Darling is a teacher, and speaker from New Zealand. She is also the author of “Radical Self Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dream”, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller. Gala is the founder of www.galadarling.com, and is a co-founder of The Blogcademy a class to improve your blog, and Miracle Worker, which helps women find meaningful, magical work.  You can follow Gala on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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