#GirlswithGluten doesn’t celebrate women’s love of snacks, it celebrates impossible ideals

The kids internet tells me the new hip hot cool Instagram account is “Girls with Gluten,” an entire account devoted to sharing images of women “eating” food items that include carbs. There are photos of Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara pretending to eat donuts, some MAW named Brooke Evers holding a burger, a woman holding a baguette next to her calf to show what a fun and goofy lady she is living and loving life with bread and legs, a sexy lady in her underwear (who appears to have made a career of wearing underwear) touching a piece of pizza with her fingers, a model with a bad case of croissant-eye, and about a zillion more photos, mostly of twenty-somethings posing near boxes of pizza, holding donuts, flirting with burgers, or sexily eating pasta in bed, as we do.

Girl opens wide for gluten @sofiavergara @reesewitherspoon #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Girl caught with her hand in the gluten box @_martha_rose_ #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Girl, gluten goes in your mouth @hoskelsa #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Girl has gluten pins @sevenupp #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Girl hates waiting on gluten @brookeevers #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Now, I really am a big fan of carbs. I eat them every day! Often with cheese. The idea of cutting bread or pizza out of my life makes me sad and while I can’t pretend as though I don’t pay attention to what I eat (do people really eat as many donuts as Instagram says they do? Because I eat a donut maybe once a year…), frankly, I just don’t care enough about my weight to cut wonderful, marvellous bread out of my life. But while The Daily Mail proclaims, “Girls with Gluten posts photo after carb-loving photo of young women enjoying a variety of unhealthy delights such as pizza, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and pasta,” as a true carb-lover, I read it very differently.

This “Girls with Gluten” account strikes me as decidedly anti-eating-gluten. Rather than convince women to eat pizza for pizza’s sake, all it serves to do is remind us that, 1) Women are supposed to look sexy at every waking moment, including while they provide their bodies with sustenance, and 2) Women are always supposed to be obsessing over what they eat, whether it’s in an attempt to prove they do, in fact, eat, or the other way around.

Girl puts on gluten lip gloss @ahhhlisiadoe #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

If it truly was a pro-eating-food account, I feel that there would be more normal-looking people eating food looking like how normal people look when they eat food, that is to say, not by balancing it on their butts first.

Girl balances gluten buns. @santiagopgm #girlswithgluten #nationaldonutday

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Why is it that men don’t feel the need to photograph themselves eating all the time? Why is there no “Boys with Gluten*” Instagram account? Why do we always have to do everything in our underwear and why does that underwear not look at all like the actual underwear we wear while eating pizza in our apartments? (That is to say, the private inside underwear. Also known as period underwear. Also known as sleeping underwear. Also known as the loosest underwear we have, preferably the no-elastic underwear we’ve had for ten+ years underwear. Nobody sits around in their good underwear alone in their living rooms eating pizza. What a waste of good underwear.)

As discussed previously, it’s highly unlikely any of these sexy donut-loving ladies actually eat donuts, but even if they did happen to indulge once in a while, the need to document this consumption tells us so much about the purpose of this indulgence — i.e., that the purpose isn’t, in fact, to indulge. A writer for Medium intros their “Girls Standing Near or Pretending to Eat Gluten” [title altered slightly by author] piece with the line, “Girls can have their cake and eat it too,” going on to describe the account as “an Instagram featuring a combination of celebrities and regular snack lovers posing with delicious foods rich in gluten and grease.” BUT NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE SNACK LOVERS, YOU SICKO! People who love snacks eat snacks. They don’t pose next to snacks in tiny underwear. A better way to describe this account might be, “Women are aware that cake exists and sometimes are near cake, as documented here. Cake can create a fun atmosphere that may convince strangers you enjoy fun and atmospheres that are fun.”

The Hairpin calls these kinds of photos “snackwave,” a term coined “to describe the current Internet phenomenon of young women and teenage girls expressing an obsession with snack foods.” This “snackwave” trend, they say, is a way to reject the way that “health food culture [serves as] a thinly disguised way of policing women’s bodies.”

Rather than celebrate not eating at all, health food culture suggests that women embrace a #yesfilter view of salads and yogurt; staying thin and taking to their social media to express their enthusiasm over their choices.

In a way, snackwave is a protest against this mindset. Snackwave is about taking pleasure in foods that are deemed off-limits for women who want to stay thin and traditionally attractive. Food becomes cartoonish and goofy, rather than a constant test of whether or not you’re treating your body the way the world (i.e. menz) wants you too.

Like, I guess… Except that if this really were an IDGAF I-eat-what-I-want-fuck-yeah trend, why must it be documented publicly, next to boobs and tiny waists? And why is that lady eating pizza in a bikini on a fire hydrant? Surely there are more comfortable and practical ways to eat pizza?

Girl trades clothes for gluten. #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

And also, why any of it?? Why is it women that must make a eating a “trend?” Shouldn’t eating food be more about eating food than taking photos of food we might like to eat or might like others to think we eat? It’s all weird. And stupid. And symptomatic of the way in which women and girls learn to obsess over their weight and their bodies, in general.

Yes, the struggle is real. The struggle is real because you can’t just enjoy food without making sure the entire world knows you eat food and without trying to look fuckable while staring at fries — fries that you probably didn’t even eat, you food-wasting poseur. Also, like, eat, don’t eat, diet, don’t diet, stand near pizza or don’t. Nobody reeeeally cares. These kinds of accounts and images don’t serve to encourage the free-wheeling enjoyment of food, they just reinforce ideals that are impossible to achieve for most women and teach us to fixate even more on food and eating than we already do.

Girl struggles to eat gluten slowly @sarahstage #girlswithgluten

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

 

*There actually is a Boys with Gluten Instagram account, but it has 155 followers and, to-date, has not been covered by The Daily Mail because no one cares what men eat.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Rachel

    I was giggling to myself so much when reading this article. Funny commentary there “how normal people eat food, that’s to say, not balancing it on their butts first”. It makes me laugh also because if we actually stand back and look at this objectively, it’s just absurd! It’s ridiculous to see just how sexualised everything a woman does is! And the fact that there is so much pressure and focus on eating in the first place. Wow. Women really are some sort of mutant it would seem. How can people not see how loopy all these ideas about women are?!

    Ugh. Just came back down to reality. It sucks! It makes me so angry! Just another way to control women and mess us up mentally even more. Having the focus constantly on our bodies and how they should look for men. This is coming from someone with a long history of eating disorders and BDD. I’m in therapy for it all again. And you know, I like my therapist a lot. But he’s totally clueless when it comes to the pressures women feel. We’ve been breaking down the issues and delving into important past memories and I felt so unheard the last session. He said “for whatever reason you’ve picked up that people have al aus focussed on your appearance…but it must have more to do with you feeling you are lacking something”. And while I do agree i was lacking in areas of my self and only had appearance to rely on..:it’s not for “whatever reason” it’s because that WAS the focus! From a very young age. I didn’t just imagine it, and no other women imagines it! It IS very real!!! Just look at this example! We need to make a fucking spectacle over women eating! …or not eating. Or posing with food because women don’t eat…or they do. Or they don’t. Ugh who knows anymore.

    • Zhang He

      I really get what you’re saying. I’ve been eating disordered virtually my entire life. I’m “recovering” anorexic. But all “recovering” means, is that I didn’t want to die (and if I had continued, something would have happened to me because I reached 89lbs and Im tall). I still want to be very skinny, but I can’t and remain breathing, so I live feeling bad about myself all the time. A great portion of how I am is based on how a woman’s appearance has always been presented to me as the most important thing in our lives. The only way to find happiness and the only way to gain success. I had male therapists where I actually had to explain that to them. I had to explain how girls are inescapably bombarded with impossible images and message that their self-worth is based entirely on their looks, and he just looked at me blankly and nodded. I pointed out to him that his own waiting room was filled with fashion magazines where the models were Photoshopped to oblivion and impossibly thin. How could he not see it? Even in videogames, when there are female characters, they weight 50lbs with enormous breasts.
      But I knew he didnt get it. Then he would tell me to take a hot bath, have a cup of tea and practice “mindfulness”.

      This girls with gluten thing is just another vein of images that perpetuate an idealized concept. The woman who is “fun” and can eat all the food she wants, but still look perfect and sexy.

      • Rachel

        Oh I’m so sorry to hear of your struggle with eating disorders! I know there is a lot more to them than just media and society influence, but I really with therapists would get with it and understand it really plays a very big part still! It can’t just go ignored. I laughed at your “have a cup of tea and practise mindfulness” not because what you’re going through is funny, but because it’s so goddamn simplistic and patronising! It drives me nuts. They try to get us to view our bodies differently, and be happy, and have a more pleasant view of the world. But it’s so hard to do that when they world IS misogynistic and the ideal body IS super thin everywhere you look.

        Totally agree with your last paragraph too. Ugh. Yep us girls can eat all we want and SHOULD eat all we want as long as we are super thin, big breasted, and eat it sexily. Gross.

    • Linda

      I agree, these women are obviously not eating this food. Or maybe they have celiac disease and don’t realize it– I lost 30 lbs before I was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease. When I quit eating gluten (not carbs) because I had to (according to my doctor, a specialist, and a biopsy), I gained the weight back and am now healthy. Nothing puts body image into perspective like not having control over your physical health. So yeah, these women could be eating this I guess if they had celiac’s, but then they would get very very sick. What a dumb site — thanks to the writer for exposing it.

  • Great, another way to make women hate themselves. According to our culture women who do not look like stick figures suck, women who put in effort to become thin suck and women who worry about how they look or what they eat also suck. The only women who do not suck are the “naturally beautiful” (who are probably about 0.09% of the female population if you take into account the fact that “natural beauty” includes not only thinness, but also being busty and completely free of hair and acne.)

    I am not even sure if carb-free diets ever existed as a real trend (though I don’t pay attention to these things.) I think the idea that there are all these anti-carb women comes from Mean Girls and similar movie in which women who are worried about how they look are represented as superficial idiots who are also horrible bullies, because hating yourself totally equal arrogance, which equals being the worst person in the world. In the real world, 80% of women in the US hate their bodies. We are talking about a majority here, a majority that must include intelligent, kind women (unless you think 80% of women are Regina George clones.)

    I cannot understand why so many people think Mean Girls represents reality. Worse still, is the fact that people think it will help women. How does regularly comparing women (as a whole) to animals help women? How does implying that adolescent women are naturally horrible help women? How does offering no real solution to women’s innate horribleness other than cult-like confessional rituals in which they acknowledge their horribleness help women?

    I get it, the film is well made and funny. The people behind it are really clever and may have had good intentions, but they clearly had a very negative view of women. They also did not know enough about psychology to realise that movies like that can be self-fulfiling prophecies. People imitate what they see and become what they perceive themselves as. That said, the women I knew in high school were not like that. Yes, they were flawed human beings, but they were not deliberate manipulators and I am sick of women being portrayed as such.

    Getting back to the topic at hand. Are the creators of these images even aware that many people (particularly Asians) are born with gluten intolerance and thus their rejection of gluten is definitely not motivated by some crazy hatred of food or by extreme superficiality? Some people reject certain foods for good reasons. Stop making assumptions about why they reject them and implicitly insulting them by bragging about how “real” you are for eating them.

    How about the fact that wholegrain bread is a carbohydrate too, as is brown rice? Are they going to celebrate women eating healthily? No, because strong, healthy women are not sexy in the eyes of our culture. Ridiculously thin women are sexy, according to mainstream media and really overweight women are sexy according to fat fetishists, but not those who fall in the healthier weight range. Fat fetishists are more blatant in their celebration of female weakness (they find the thought of women walking slower as a result of weight gain), but being extremely thin is also generally unhealthy and associated with weakness. Neither state should really be celebrated in my view, which (contrary to what the liberal fat acceptance movement might say about me) does not mean that I “hate” people whose bodies are really fat or really thin. “Unhealthy” should not be seen as an insult any more than “victim” should be seen as one.

    I cannot help but feel that these kinds of “movements” are just another way to sell junk food. Do not be fooled. There is no conflict between the junk food industry and the diet industry. One sells the cause of the problem, the other sells the solution. It is a symbiotic capitalist relationship, much like the pretend conflict between the video game industry (with its focus on violent games) and the gun industry. They pretend to fight in order to take advantageous of people’s political feelings (their hatred of either anti-violence activists or gun control proponents) but in reality they keep each other in business.

    This is why I think both our food and our media need to be under the democratic control of the people and that decisions regarding the production of such things be based on a scientific understanding of how they effect people and concerns about human health.

    I know this comment might anger people (including radical feminists.) I swear, sometimes it feels like I am the only one who is critical of Mean Girls and the fast food industry (which is not a defence of the diet industry or appearance-based bullying), which is kind of strange considering the harms of both are pretty clear to me.

    • Low-carb/very-low-carb/no-carb is part of the Paleo movement. I ate no-carb at a couple of different points in my life to control indigestion issues but it was too expensive to get enough calories, and in the end it made my gut issues even worse, but I did try it. I don’t recommend it.

      I’m with you on Mean Girls. I had a lot of problems with that film. I think it’s popular because it’s girls in a film, and women want to see more representations of women.

      I hadn’t thought of these pics as being a way to sell junk food, but of course that’s exactly what they are. People imitating advertising.

    • tinfoil hattie

      I would like to invite you not to police women’s bodies, fat or thin. Neither you, nor anyone looking at another person knows the reasons for someone’s physical state. You’re participating in the very thing you’re critiquing.

    • Erika

      “I am not even sure if carb-free diets ever existed as a real trend (though I don’t pay attention to these things.”

      Okay, I do follow these things, and low carb is very much a huge trend. A flurry of top-selling books were recently written on the topic, such as Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. Some people believe that gluten is responsible for a whole host of health problems. Gluten is a protein naturally occurring in wheat, barley, rye, and many similar grains. Gluten gives dough its softness and elasticity. Having looked into the evidence of gluten causing health problems, I have concluded that it is generally safe for most people in limited quantities. Most people flat out eat too much, or don’t eat a wide variety of foods emphasizing fruits and vegetables, or eat too much junk food, and those are their real issue with eating, IMO. The exception is those with celiac disease who have a real reason to completely cut gluten out of their diets. I also did 3 weeks gluten-free myself and noticed no real changes. (I do not eat much gluten as it is.)

      “Are the creators of these images even aware that many people (particularly Asians) are born with gluten intolerance and thus their rejection of gluten is definitely not motivated by some crazy hatred of food or by extreme superficiality?”

      Asians do not have high rates of gluten intolerance, but rather, lactose intolerance. I agree, that people do not need to be quizzed on why they reject certain foods.

      “How about the fact that wholegrain bread is a carbohydrate too, as is brown rice?”

      Yes. Wholegrain breads and brown rice contain carbs. Carbs are not the same thing as gluten. Wholegrain bread has gluten because it is typically at least partially made with wheat flour. Brown rice is gluten-free.

      There are 3 macro-nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Our bodies need all 3 macros. For the general population, guidelines are: protein 20-25%, carbs 50-65%, and fat: 10-25%. Bodybuilders typically eat way more protein and fewer carbs. Endurance athletes eat more carbs. It is not unhealthy to eat carbs in moderation. It is hard to sustain a difficult workout without the quick bursts of energy one gets when they are eating moderate carbs and have adequate glycogen in their muscles.

      “Neither state should really be celebrated in my view” (referring to obesity and emaciation.)

      I agree wholeheartedly! I am an athlete and I treat my body with the respect it deserves. I do indulge in treats occasionally. But being healthy is the biggest treat to me.

      • “Okay, I do follow these things, and low carb is very much a huge trend. A flurry of top-selling books were recently written on the topic, such as Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. Some people believe that gluten is responsible for a whole host of health problems.”

        I was actually thinking of “trends” as in things people do because they are cool at the moment and not because they are genuinely concerned about their health and there appears to be evidence in favour of eating a particular kind of food. You know, the sorts of trend promoted by “women’s” magazines as a means of losing weight in order to look prettier, though I do recognise that some women might have both health and prettiness related motives for dieting.

        I have actually heard the claim that gluten is harmful, but as a chemistry student I recognise that often it is the quantity of a substance in the body that determines whether it is healthy, so I don’t advocate completely avoiding gluten either, nor do I think we should avoid consuming fat, but companies manufacture junk foods so that they will contain way more fat and sugar than what is necessary, because they know people tend to become addicted to these thing, which is why I try to stick to eating nuts. I also happen to like them. I know, how I dare I like something that is not likely to kill me in the long run. *Sarcasm*.

        That said, I am not always successful at avoiding junk food. I think that among certain groups and in certain contexts (e.g. parties, nights out) eating junk food is actually the norm and not eating it will make people perceive you as strange. You might get labelled an uptight health nut, even if you do not tell anyone else what to do. I think people who are doing things that they know are unhealthy often justify these actions with the claim that “everyone is doing them” and if not everyone is doing them, they get scared. Women have to deal with the extra threat of being labelled as shallow weight-loss freaks. They are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, which is why I wish liberals would get over the idea that sex and junk food are the things being persecuted and recognise that society just hates women no matter what they do.

        “Asians do not have high rates of gluten intolerance, but rather, lactose intolerance. I agree, that people do not need to be quizzed on why they reject certain foods.”

        That’s right, I confused gluten with lactose for some reason. That said, some of these items (e.g. burgers with cheese, pizzas) clearly have milk products in them as well, so bragging about how you can eat them and implicitly condemning people who do not as “superficial” and “not real” strikes me as pretty Western-centric. I am not saying that those involved in this “movement” are filled with feelings of hatred towards other races, but they have failed to take them into account.

        “Yes. Wholegrain breads and brown rice contain carbs. Carbs are not the same thing as gluten.”

        Judging by Meghan’s article, the group in question (the ones posing for the photos) actually seems more concerned with carbs than gluten, yet they feature no healthy carbs in their pictures, only unhealthy ones. The message I get is “women who don’t eat junk food are superficial idiots, even when they eat plenty of healthy food and thus clearly are not anorexic. Of course anorexic people suck, because people who are victims of things deserve hate, rather than support”. It all seems very hypocritical to me.

        “I agree wholeheartedly! I am an athlete and I treat my body with the respect it deserves. I do indulge in treats occasionally. But being healthy is the biggest treat to me.”

        I am no athlete, but I am no masochist either. I am not going to make myself less healthy just because of social norms (either for or against food consumption.) I don’t even get that much pleasure out of junk food. I like many foods that are considered healthy (e.g. nuts and cherries) just as much. I wish liberals would quit shoving behaviours down my throat in the name of “tolerance” and implying that my failure to practice them makes me less “liberated” and “empowered”.

        As for tinfoil hattie’s claim that I am “policing” women’s bodies. I don’t go up to random people and tell them what to do. I analyse social trends. I may not know the reason for a specific person’s physical state, but I know that obesity has gone up dramatically throughout the West in the past few decades. That could not be the case if it were entirely due to genetic or individual causes. There are broader, material forces at work (e.g. the growth of the fast food industry, the switch to less active forms of labour and recreation.)

        That said, I have never criticised people for discussing which behaviours/bodies are healthy and which are not. I criticise people for obsessing over how pretty women are (often at the expense of their health) or for trying to push unhealthy behaviours onto women (including beauty practices, dangerous/painful sex acts and consuming foods which may be harmful to their bodies.) I evaluate each behaviour seperately and have never pushed a simplistic “don’t judge” viewpoint, so I am not being hypocritical.

  • DefenderofThemyscira

    This is so fucking annoying. First off people who go on a gluten free diet usually have a disease and not because they wanna get skinny and that normal people can have gluten. Also I bet if these were fat women or average sized women eating all this then people would be hating on them to the moon and back.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Exactly. This has nothing to do with ‘gluten’ or food or snacks or carbs — it’s mostly just about (surprise!) objectifying women and/or a way for models to promote themselves.

    • Erika

      Actually, it is a “thing” for people to go gluten-free and low carb to lose weight. Many (if not most) people trying gluten-free and low carb diets hope to shed pounds. If whole food groups are eliminated, people tend to eat fewer calories. These fewer calories are actually the cause of the weight loss and not the elimination of gluten (or reduction of carbs.) You are right, normal people can have gluten. It is not gluten making people fat. Excess calorie consumption with insufficient caloric expenditure is what makes people fat. I also agree that people would be turned-off by average and fat women eating breads, pizzas, fries, doughnuts, etc… They would certainly make comments, wouldn’t they?

  • I’ve subscribed to a magazine called Saveur for years. (Mostly excellent recipes. Really.) It’s all about the food. (Well, and wine, and once or twice, beer.) There’s pictures of stout grannies making filo, big-nose Italian guys in their 80s who are gelato experts, little kids collecting mangosteens to sell in the food market. A real interest in food looks rather different from these sanitized porn shoots that are everywhere — kindergarten, church, breakfast cereal, everywhere.

    • DefenderofThemyscira

      That’s……that’s beautiful.

  • Morag

    ” … Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara pretending to eat donuts, some MAW named Brooke Evers holding a burger, a woman holding a baguette next to her calf to show what a fun and goofy lady she is living and loving life with bread and legs, a sexy lady in her underwear (who appears to have made a career of wearing underwear) touching a piece of pizza with her fingers …”

    Meghan, you killed me with this one. Hilarious! Oh, it’s too much!

    First, Laverne Cox ate macaroni before getting naked, now this. Who knew that the dietary mainstay for men, women, children and birds the world over was now so daring and edgy? That the staff of life was a doorway to sexy liberation? Just now, I used my agency to open my pantry and sniff some yeast and fondle a bag of all-purpose flour. It was empowering.

    Is pizza queer? Are pastries a form of BDSM? That one woman with a glazed donut balanced on her ass is clearly communicating her consent. When it comes to women and ground-up wheat, it’s all about choice.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Eating food is so radical and empowering especially when you look hot while doing it!

      • derrington

        I’ve heard of food porn, and here it is …

        • Meghan Murphy

          Yep!

  • The Real Cie

    Ugh, how annoying.
    I hate the gluten free trend as much as I hated the low carb trend. Most people don’t have a problem with gluten. People with celiac disease will always have a problem with gluten, whether it’s trendy or not to eat it.
    I have diabetes. I have to watch how many carbs I consume. I hate it when people assume I’m on a low carb diet to lose weight. I’m not. After years of yo-yo dieting and self-hate, I refuse to go back down that foul path.
    These women are conventionally attractive. They wouldn’t have any idea what it’s like to be concerned trolled. If anyone ever again asks me if I “should” be eating (insert food item that I may be eating) they may get said food item shoved where the sun don’t shine.
    Eat gluten. Don’t eat gluten. It’s none of my damn business. I’m sure people with celiac disease are just soooo thrilled that people like these women consider gluten free to be oh so cool and happenin’.
    I agree with the others above. You did an excellent job with the humor in this piece.

    • EEU

      Well, scientists are researching the effects of eating gluten. Some studies have found that gluten can trigger autoimmune diseases (other than celiac’s). There is a lot more research to be done, of course.

      I agree with you, of course. I just tried to explain why some people go gluten free even if they tolerate it.

      • Hannah

        There are also studies showing that it is beneficial. There’s really no clear reason yet to avoid it unless you’re allergic. Bottom line, don’t eat too much of anything.

        • EEU

          Agreed. I wouldn’t trust a couple of studies. I need irrefutable evidence. People try all sorts of diets to get better, though, and I can’t blame them.

  • lizor

    “living and loving life with bread and legs”

    Well that’s what life’s about isn’t it? I, for one, was up so late last night doing sexy spaghetti eating that I had to call in sick this morning. I just get within spitting distance of wheat-based products and off come the cloths* and next thing I’m in such a frenzy of life affirmation that time just flies!

    Just last week I naughtily fished the dumplings out of a huge vat of pea soup at our local homeless shelter and balanced them on my newly-freed nipples. When the hungry people in line tried to wrestle them from me, hilarity of Benny Hill calibre ensued. Too bad no one there could afford a camera phone to document the whole thing. It was awesome!

    (*I keep a cache of thongs I got for 90% off at the Target going-out-of-business sale, just for wheat consumption purposes)

    • Meghan Murphy

      OOOH YOU’RE SO FUN AND SEXY AND FUN. ALSO SEXY. #girlseatingfoodandbeingsexy

    • L.Arturo

      Bahaaaaa you are epic!!!!:D

  • This article made me really hungry. Cake! I have cake in the freezer. And while I’m not really big on pizza or donuts, that meal at the bottom looks really good. Time for breakfast.

  • Ellesar

    Quite possibly the most stupid site I have ever seen. Clearly appealing to men who have a fetish about women eating, but not to actually show any evidence on their bodies that they do indeed eat.

    It reminds me of a particularly crappy piece of shaming which was the Women Who Eat On Tubes – a London based site which encourages men to take photos of women eating on London Underground and shame them. Apparently it wasn’t sexist because women eat on the Tube more often!

  • rick

    What a dumbass instagram.

  • mauritia

    This piece is what I wish the @youdidnoteatthat instagram that was going around a while back had gotten to — I felt like they were close to hitting the mark but ended up pretty sexist and making fun of the individual women more than the culture.

    It’s probably a little unfair to suggest that none of these women actually eat burgers or donuts because, you know, some people are naturally slim, and there are a lotta women who keep their weight low the unhealthy way by eating junk and not much else (I sure got pretty thin living on booze/cigs/candy in college, unfortunately I also got B12 deficiency).

    But yeah, this trend is bullshit, and IMO caters to the same male fantasy as when dudes say they like “natural” women without makeup or fancy clothes — they like the appearance of a lot of effort, but they don’t want to feel guilty for expecting it. The end result is that women are expected to put in the effort while pretending that they don’t.

  • corvid

    The conspiracy theorist in me says “this is all about countering anti-gluten sentiments by using women to sell gluten-rich foods.” Just as women are cynically used to sell everything flippin’ else.

    (I have been known to be wrong, but, on occasion, have been halfway right.)

    • ArgleBargle

      Yes. Follow the money.

  • Nicole

    This is a really great article.

    I have always been naturally skinny as genetically my family is this way. But my entire life I have been accused of having an eating disorder by friends, therapists, doctors, strangers, and everyone in between. I am very sensitive about this and feel like I constantly have to prove to people that I do indeed eat. I suffer from digestive disorders my whole life which I think has also greatly contributed to how tiny I am. But it’s like, you can’t fucking win as a woman. If you are naturally skinny everyone makes you feel like you actually never eat and pressure you to eat food every time they see you even when you aren’t hungry, and if you are not the patriarchal ideal skinny then you are perceived as lazy, disgusting, and worthless.

    As a child friends and even strangers would pick me up because I was so small. Some people would even pick me up and throw me in the air (this happened until I graduated from high school). And men in public presently grab me if I don’t give them attention. It makes me feel like I’m some puppy that people think they can just touch at any time without my consent.

    People straight up ask me frequently throughout my life “do you eat?” My sister is also extremely small and one time at work a customer came up to her out of no where and said, “what size pants do you wear?” to which my sister hesitantly responded and the woman said, “everyone hates you.” and walked off. She wasn’t even saying it in a “playful way” (as if that would even make it better) she was just really cold about it.

    My whole life people have been obsessed with how much I eat, what I eat, when I eat, and if I even eat at all. I just want to be left alone.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Ugh. That’s terrible! I remember people saying similar things to me when I was young (I was a skinny, bony child…) and it made me feel incredibly insecure, to the point where I avoided wearing shorts, t-shirts, and skirts for years! Now, of course, I struggle with the opposite, fearing weight-gain (I hate to admit that but it’s true), but either way, the problem is that society obsessively focuses on women’s bodies no matter what they look like and it doesn’t help, no matter why it happens.

    • Morag

      Yes, Nicole, experiences like yours and your sister’s demonstrate to what extent women’s bodies are regarded as public property, as objects for evaluation. Not only by men, but by some other women as well.

      Even “compliments” aren’t much different from the critical comments and interrogations we’re subject to regarding our size and shape, in the sense that it’s all monitoring, whether we’re receiving approval or disapproval. Think about how we’re admonished to learn to “take a compliment.” The hint being in the word “take” — with the connotation of “taking it” without complaint, and also with grace and even gratitude. It’s another form of being coerced to give “consent.” On top of it, if we fail to be graceful in the face of a compliment which makes us feel ill-at-ease, then we are pathologized as suffering from some defect such as “low self-esteem.”

      The game is rigged, so winning is almost impossible. A girl’s or a woman’s vital energies are used up in having to go out into the world defensive and vigilant against the next invasion of her bodily privacy because this monitoring could come at any time, out of nowhere.

  • L.Arturo

    As someone who was once an undiagnosed Celiac who ate gluten until she collapsed. ..I can hold my hands up and say eating gluten is sooooo damn sexy!!!

    I can’t even put my finger on which point I felt the most ‘male gazed’ sexiest and empowered, it was between having a Camera stuck down my throat into my stomach and needing a blood Transfusion all thanks to being a Empowered ‘Girl that tapped gluten’….

    $mdh.

    • Sabine

      Dear God, what a pile of festering wank! (The Instagram shite, not the article obviously). This is all about pandering to male fantasy for the trillionth time. It’s puerile make-believe for the benefit of cretinous men! The fact is, unless one is in a very small minority, eating junk food on a regular basis will eventually make you fat, lank-haired and pimply. Yes, there are exceptions to this but let’s get real here. I have a high metabolism and am naturally very slim; I don’t have to exercise (although I do to stay healthy) to stay that way BUT I know that if I consistently ate crap I would get out of shape and look and feel like shit. Yes, we can all enjoy the odd cake, burger, whatever and not turn into a massive blimp or drop dead of a heart attack on the spot but this is not what this site is selling. It’s just more illusion for men who, if they believe such tripe, are even dumber than I thought…which I didn’t think possible. Women have been so completely brainwashed into wanting men to believe that they are 24/7 fuckable that they are now pretending they can gorge on junk and not put on a pound and that they never have to workout ‘cos they’re just lucky that way, giggle giggle pout pout. For probably 99% of women, if you eat piles of carbs and want a model-figure, er, yeah, you do have to workout. A lot. Men don’t want to know about the reality behind “being a woman” – I was seeing one guy who nearly vomited seeing me pluck my eyebrows (that relationship didn’t last long…) and hated seeing me put on make-up because it “ruined his fantasy”. Prick. It’s like all that (often faux) “one of the lads” shtick that only conventionally beautiful women can get away with without being viewed as a disgusting, unfeminine slattern. Yeah, you can burp, love football, drink pints, live on chips, watch porn and go to strip clubs but only if your (long, toned) legs and armpits are shaved, that bikini line is waxed, abs and butt are toned and you happen to look like you stepped out of the pages of FHM and are permanently “up for it”. What utter toss.

  • Babs

    Where is the non-junk food gluten? Where is the Instagram of a woman eating a sandwich on good wheat bread, pouring soy sauce into a stir fry, or grilling some seitan?