I read this great article just before I went to bed last night about that stupid Yoplait bargaining commercial:
“Why eat actual cheesecake when you can choke down a really disgusting artificially-sweetened approximation of cheesecake in semi-liquid form out of a plastic cup instead?”
Who thought this ad was okay??
First of all, if you want cheesecake, have cheesecake. There is no way in hell that a person who wants cheesecake is sated by yogurt. None. They’re not even the same texture! I could see if this were a butter/margarine comparison–at least those purport to be similar–but butter’s awesome (especially this butter) so why would anyone not want that?
Secondly, who advertises their product like this?
“Hey, you want a burger? Try our gum!”
It’s like they want you to be disappointed. Why not push how good your thing actually tastes than how much it will sort of artificially taste like the thing you really want, but that’s okay because you can still be a good person after eating it (which therefore implies that you will be a bad person if you eat what you desire)? It seems steeped in the premise that we are wild animals that don’t know what’s best for ourselves unless we’re explicitly directed. Maybe it’s because when women eat what they desire, it causes the downfall of all of creation? That damn Eve.
I am so over the deification and vilification of food and its resulting normalization of eating disorder thinking. Eat and enjoy your life. Things that make a food bad: taste/rancidity. Things that do not make a food bad: calorie/fat content. Things that make a person bad: repeated combination of actions/intentions, aka character. Things that do not make a person bad: what’s on their plate/what’s on their scale.
(I’m not talking about sourcing and sustainability and the issues that we have in our food supply. Those definitely exist. And I think there is way too much non-food in our food–but this isn’t about that.)
This is about this culture of shaming that we are creating/allowing. It’s about how we culturally assault women on a daily basis by assigning intrinsic worth to food choice and size.
This is one of the terrible, banal truths about eating disorders: when a woman is thin in this culture, she proves her worth, in a way that no great accomplishment, no stellar career, nothing at all can match. We believe she has done what centuries of a collective unconscious insist that no woman can do – control herself. A woman who can control herself is almost as good as a man. A thin woman can Have It All.
–Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia