Fad Diets Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

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We at R29 Wellness try really hard to relay our editorial philosophy of “no fad diets, ever, period, kthx.” Yet, we still get emails pretty much every day from enthusiastic PR folks hawking some new version of Atkins, or an absurd new cleanse, or a smoothie line that’s “all about clean living and detoxing your life.” Evidently, there are a lot of people out there who take the idea of a “quick fix” very seriously — and, with so much money to be made in food fads, it’s hard to blame them.


In a stunning new photo series, Italian photographer Dan Bannino has taken on diets, but with a twist — through his lens, the eating habits of Bill Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyoncé, and others are given the classical treatment of an Old Master still life. Says Bannino, “I’ve tried to capture the beauty that lies in this terrible constriction of diets and deprivation. I wanted to make them significant, like classic works of art that are becoming more and more weighty as they grow older.”


While many of us focus on the ridiculousness of the countless regimes we see every day, Bannino’s work contemplates the implications of our diet-obsessed culture, especially in 2014. As Bannino says, “My aim was to show how this weirdness hasn’t changed since the 15th century. We’re all human beings — even if we’re sitting on the throne of England, or if our husband is Jay-Z!” Stars: They’re just like us.


But, does Bannino have personal experience with the Master Cleanse or the cabbage soup? Not so much. “I’m Italian,” he explains, “so I can’t even think about being on a diet!” God bless.


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