You Did Not Eat That: Instafame and Foodshame
A few weeks ago, I went out to breakfast at one of my favorite brunch spots. It was a Sunday morning, rain was streaming down the glass windows and thunder was periodically disrupting quiet conversations with loud rumbles. Our waiter brought out three steaming mugs of coffee in retro colored mugs and returned twenty minutes later with piping hot plates of food. The small table disappeared under two omelets, slightly burnt toast, grits, home fries and a fluffy stack of pancakes generously drizzled with powdered sugar.
If that description didn’t paint a clear enough picture of a perfect morning for you, don’t worry, I snapped a few photos. I also posted one on instagram. And yes, my two companions waited patiently while I stood up to get a better angle and allowed my phone to adjust to the dim lighting.
According the Instagram profile owner “You Did Not Eat That,” there is something very wrong with this situation when it comes to models, bloggers, actresses and other public figures concerned with their body image that post photos of unhealthy foods. The account has up to ninety five thousand followers at the moment, and the number gets higher everyday.
“If you’re a size zero, and you’re frolicking in a tiny bikini on the beach, you probably did not eat the doughnuts that you posed with the sunglasses. It’s just presenting this curated life that’s beautiful and perfect and totally unrealistic,” said the anonymous owner during a recent interview.
Granted, the person behind the account claims they once saw “dozens of bloggers swarming a dessert table, taking pictures and spending five minutes merchandizing the sunglasses next to the macaroons. Then they walked away and nothing was eaten.”
I can see the frustration here. It’s pretty ridiculous to go out of one’s way to buy an unhealthy snack just to use it as a photo op for attention and not to actually consume said item. On the other hand, who’s to say that just because someone is skinny they have never and will never eat a donut or a fat slice of cake? Has an overweight individual never eaten fruit or a salad?
As a college student in the state of Florida, I know a lot of girls who are extremely body conscious, most likely because it’s usually 99 degrees outside, which transpires into light, minimal clothing and a lot of bikini wearing. It’s trendy to exercise and to watch what you eat. It’s trendy to have a thigh gap and a paper-thin waist and a flat stomach and… someone stop me before I get too worked up. But that’s not to say these dieting, exercising, females don’t indulge every once and a while and order a pile of midnight cookies or screech into the parking lot of Cold Stone a minute before closing.
And you know what? That box of cookie heaven or jumbo waffle cone with, don’t worry, low fat frozen yogurt is pretty damn good looking. And probably a great time for a photo op.
Instagram is about presenting a beautiful life, because life is beautiful. That time you ate a box of macaroons with a set of multi colored bracelets in front of the Eiffel Tower was a pretty sweet moment and should be documented. I look back at that breakfast nestled among other pictures of my life and sigh a little with happiness. I’ve compiled snapshots of my experiences into Instagram that I enjoy looking back on and remembering. The likes I received weren’t so bad either.
It’s not fair to point fingers at people in the public eye who work hard for the body they have, or are just naturally thin, and label them as lying, psycho kale eating betches who could not possibly consume a calorie that isn’t a vegetable. Maybe she did eat that.
Featured photo courtesy of: sweeterthanserenity.blogspot.com