Reader Jenna sent me this picture. I’m going to write about why it’s total, ridiculous, bullshit.
By way of disclaimer, I’ll say that I have a disconnect with the source material that this references. The idea that one should “dance like nobody is watching” is completely foreign to me, since, as a dancer, I always want everyone to be watching. But still, I think I can be objective here.
First of all, let me translate this from the original language of “marketing lingo” to the much more familiar language of “culture that is completely fucked up around food”
It may be a bit of stunner, but the only reason we would eat differently when “everyone” (or anyone!) is watching is because we live in a culture that is so fucked up around food that we can’t be comfortable with our food choices. In a culture where every person has access to the types and amounts of food that they want to eat, and access to true and non-biased information about food, and where personal decisions about food are respected as they should be, a food company could not guilt people into eating their bread by suggesting that they should fear that someone might find out that they are eating bread with corn syrup in it and call Pie-1-1 to summon the Food Police.
Now is the point at which someone is going to scroll right to the comments and go into a diatribe about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup. Don’t bother because…wait for it…it. does. not. matter. Everyone who has found their way to this blog can also find their way to Google and make their own decisions about what to eat (though some people will not be able to eat what they would choose because of issues stemming from capitalism, including poverty and food insecurity.)
We should also be clear that this bread isn’t “good for” plenty of people for many different reasons, and being constantly ignored and overlooked when it comes to marketing kind of sucks. So maybe they could just have said that if you want bread, and have some disposable income, this is a good choice.
Speaking of which, in looking this bread up online the price ranged from $5.78 to $7.99 per loaf. Framing eating this bread as what is required for social acceptability of food choices puts social acceptability out of a lot of people’s reach. It may seem like a small or ridiculous thing but it’s not. Food shaming intersects with poverty shaming all the time, because when it comes to discussions of poverty and hunger, they tend to be co-opted by people who have no personal knowledge of either, but do have an affinity bordering on kink for ordering other people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
As a fat person, this picture basically made me laugh hysterically because it’s pretty common that people ARE watching what I eat, and if I tucked into this sandwich in public it would be on 4 reddit forums and People of Walmart before I could swallow the first artificial-flavor-free bite.
It would be great if, as a culture, we could put the focus on making sure that everyone has access to the foods they want to eat, rather than making sure that everyone is terrified about what other people are thinking about the food they do eat.
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective. This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com