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How I Feel About the Unicorn Frappuccino as Someone With an Eating Disorder

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If you haven’t heard, Starbucks released a “Unicorn Frappuccino” for a very limited time. It isn’t a coffee drink, but rather a cream-based drink that has a sweet and sour flavoring to it. It’s named after my favorite mythical creature because of its bright pink and blue coloring and festive sprinkles.

The second Starbucks released this drink, all I saw on my social media platforms was people discussing how “unhealthy” the drink is. Picture after picture of nutrition facts, statements of disapproval — it was sincerely the most food-shaming I had ever seen on my social media feeds.

At first, I very much let myself get wrapped up into the disordered mindset of thinking the Unicorn Frappuccino is unhealthy. I read through all of the posts about why it shouldn’t be consumed, why it would negatively impact my health, etc.

It took me about five minutes to realize my eating disorder was attaching to the concept of “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods, and using the Unicorn Frappuccino as an out. By no means does my logical, healthy brain think this drink will do anything negative to my health, and my logical brain is absolutely right!

There are many problems with actively shaming a food or drink, but one prominent problem is how it affects the people around you. The Unicorn Frappuccino does not prevent people from living happy, healthy lives, and insisting that it does contributes to the toxic diet culture we live in. Diet culture has made my personal recovery from an eating disorder so much more challenging. In my eating disorder, I was praised for the “healthy food choices” I was making, despite the fact I was very unhealthy. In recovery, I have been shamed for the “unhealthy food choices” I have made, despite the fact I am now healthier than I have ever been.

As a person in recovery from an eating disorder, I live in a world where “healthy” is allowing myself the food I need in the amounts I need it, which includes feeding my soul. Yesterday, my soul wanted a Unicorn Frappuccino. I got one, I drank it, and nothing has changed. I am just as healthy as I was yesterday, and allowing myself to consume this drink without anxiety or fear is actually healthier for me than avoiding it based on its nutrition

“Healthy” is a subjective term, and I will continue to strive for my version of healthy, even when that means consuming what others have deemed as unhealthy sometimes.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Photo via Starbucks Facebook page.

Originally published: April 25, 2017
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