For those who do not know, an almond mom tends to be a mom who is obsessed about their weight. They then pass on all that unhealthy, toxic thinking onto their children. The term was coined thanks to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum, Yolanda Hadid.
In a video compilation featuring old clips from past seasons of RHOBH, Yolanda is shown talking on the phone with her then-teenage daughter, Gigi. Gigi was an aspiring model at the time. Now, she’s a fully-fledged super model.
“I’m feeling really weak. I had, like, half an almond,” a shaky-sounding Gigi tells her mother.
Yolanda’s response? “Have a couple of almonds, and chew them really well.”
Yup. Big yikes.
Another clip featured Yolanda shaming Gigi for wanting eat a slice of her own birthday cake.
"You can have one night of being bad, right," Yolanda says. "Then you gotta get back on your diet, though. Because, you know, in Paris and Milan they like the girls just a tad on the skinny side."
Since the term gained popularity, several people have shared their stories of their own almond moms and the damage that kind of toxic rhetoric has done to their self-image and health.
What is an anti-almond mom?
Amanda, a fashion influencer and mom, posted a TikTok that outlines exactly how she’s establishing a healthy relationship between her daughter and food, breaking a generational curse that all too often gets passed down from mom to daughter.
She describes herself as “a person who's lost 125 pounds,” who has been “overweight [their] entire life,” and “on a diet” before the age of ten.
She just found food freedom for the first time about five years ago — and she does not want her kids to go through everything that she’s been through.
She then goes on to list the top five ways she is teaching her kids about food freedom, and it’s all about a neutral mindset and leading by example.
First, there is a firm rule in their house where they do not comment on other people’s bodies.
“This includes the size of their bodies, but also how they wear their hair, maybe the type of clothes they wear. Bodies are neutral and we don't comment about them.
We also don't comment about people's health,” she says before sharing an example of how to correct this behavior when encountering it from someone other than a direct family ember.
“My father made a comment last Christmas about Santa needing to go on a diet, and we quickly corrected him in front of our children saying that we are not Santa's doctors, we are not aware of his health, and that is not for us to decide,” she explained.
Next, food is never a reward in their home.
“We can't earn food. We don't earn treats. Food is not a reward. Food is for energy. We talk about food in a very neutral way. How to good day at school? That's awesome. High five. But don't ask me for ice cream because I'm not giving you ice cream because you had a good day at school,” Amanda says.
They also never use words like “treat” which adds value to certain foods.
“When they had a good day at school, they don't even think to ask for a treat or ice cream or anything like that because we've never created that association between good things or earning things means food rewards,” she explains.
Amanda also never talks about her body in a negative way around her children. If her child witnesses her trying on clothes, she references the clothing item as being the issue for an ill fit, not her body.
She goes on, “I never talk about my body in a negative way, and my husband does the same as well. He will never find me trying on a clothing item and saying, ‘Do I look fat in this?"‘ or commenting about my physical body. I'll comment about how the jeans don't fit my hips or the shirt is too loose here. I'm changing the clothes, not the body.”
Next, when it comes to how much (or how little) their child eats, the conversational tone always remains neutral and observational.
“We do not subscribe to the Clean Plate Club, meaning we don't tell our children that they have to eat what's on their plate. We provide a meal to them. They eat what they want. They can ask for seconds if they like. And if they say, ‘I'm not hungry,’ if they're not hungry, the plate goes into the refrigerator until they say they're hungry again,” she says.
“We honor their hunger cues, and when they say they're full, we believe them. We also don't reward them for eating all of their food. We don't even comment on it. ‘Wow, you're going to be so big and strong.’ We might say things like, ‘Wow, your body was really hungry today,’ but we don't comment about the volume that they're eating, ever, really. Unless I'm like, ‘What did you eat at school today?’ Because sometimes I'm worried that they didn't eat anything at school, but it's always a neutral conversation.”
What is her motivation behind all this extra effort into ensuring her kids have a healthy relationship with food and self image? As a kid, she was inundated with constant talk about food and diet culture.
“I do this because there are so many times in my life, in my childhood, that I remember adults making comments about the foods that I were eating, or not eating, or my family putting a lot of restriction on what I could and couldn't eat, and it definitely created very disordered eating in me. I just want my children to avoid that,” she explained.
After her video went viral, other moms weighed in with their own food trauma and unhealthy habits, noting that the work Amanda is doing is so important.
“It's SO refreshing to hear someone who thinks/talks like me and was stuck on a diet for most of my life,” one user wrote.
The OP replied, “it took so long to break out of that cycle! I never want my kids to even start!!”
Another said, “This is amazing 😍 I got emotional thinking about how wonderful this would have been in my childhood.”
“If you know better, then do better! 🥰🥰🥰 I think my parents wish they could have raised me this way too,” Amanda responded.