What is “Freshmen15”? Time and time again people ask me to explain what the name of our blog means. Robotically, it’s so easy to just tell people it’s an account on Instagram where we post pictures of food and have racked up over 200,000 followers. But really, it’s so much more. It’s a brand, it’s a message, it’s a promise.
Behind Freshmen15 are five beautiful, strong women working towards the goal of empowerment in young individuals. What started as an Instagram account revolving around indulgent food posts, quickly turned into a way for people of all ages to engage in and embrace gaining the “freshmen 15”. It’s a phrase so commonly avoided, bashed, and shamed by society, but it’s an important (and usually inevitable) part of life. We all wanted to challenge the stigma surrounding gaining weight in college and in turn enjoy the benefits food has to offer.
We specifically target young individuals, high school and college students where the pressure is higher to weigh a certain number and look a certain way. According to the National Eating Disorder Awareness website, 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. 46% of 9-11 year-olds are very often on diets. Our society teaches children to diet before they’ve even been taught long division in the classrooms.
At Freshmen15, we are on a mission to become a part of the movement to end the diet-obsessed culture we live in. We encourage young individuals to go out and try new food cultures, new dishes, new restaurants, and then show us! We want to help create and nurture the excitement around indulging in foods that are considered “off-limits” in our society. We showcase new restaurants, new areas, and new foods every day. We recognize our followers and the enjoyment and fun the food brings them.
Social media continuously emphasizes that people, especially women, must fit the same exact mold to be accepted. We see the newest fad diets highlighted daily and the “rewards” and said euphoric feelings that come with following through and losing weight. Having learned from personal experience, I can guarantee losing weight won’t fix your problems.
We hope to help change the way people view food, dieting, and their self-worth. We encourage individuals to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Whether it's entering into college and cooking for the first time on your own, going out to dinner with new people from work, or simply stopping by that bakery around the corner, we want to recognize and embrace it all. We want to help embrace the real you.