I was originally going to write a post all about canning for today—and even have an awesome giveaway from Ball jars for you—but that’ll have to wait until next week, because, kids, I’ve got something to say. And it probably isn’t going to be popular.
I’m annoyed by bacon.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that bacon and really, other kinds of “naughty” stigma foods, have become really hip and trendy. I know it sounds silly to say food has become trendy, but when you can walk into an Urban Outfitters and find a whole section of bacon-themed goods, it’s trendy. Hipsters, unite!
Now, I have no issues with bacon itself. In fact, quite the opposite. I freaking love bacon. It’s delicious! And good with just about everything. Bacon rocks! I’d actually love to be noming on some bacon rightthisverysecond.
My issue with bacon is the fact that it (and again, other not-so-healthy foods) have become this calling card for women to project their care-free approach to eating. I don’t have disordered eating! You know why? Because I eat lots of bacon! I put bacon on everything! I love bacon! I’m slender and like bacon! Look how cute and quirky I am! I can eat twenty pounds of bacon and still fit into my Daisy Dukes! That’s balance!
And that, in-and-of-itself, is even fine, in moderation. My real problem with this whole situation is the complete and total double-standard.
I really a lot of blogs. A lot of blogs. And a whole lot of those are food blogs. And the vast majority of them are written by beautiful, intelligent, clever, creative women (or else, I wouldn’t read them, obviously). But I’ve noticed an insane double standard when it comes to posting decadent recipes. A hypothetical example: a slender, single-digit-sized blogger can post a recipe with bacon and chocolate and cheese and twenty pounds of pork rinds and get lauded for how carefree she is about food. She’s a hero! She’s skinny AND eats like that! She must be super woman!
The double-standard comes in when a more zaftig blogger posts a similar recipe. I have my fair share of decadent desserts on this blog (which are way out-numbered by healthified, clean-eating recipes, by the way) and I have gotten multiple emails and comments telling me I shouldn’t be posting recipes like that. I’m not being a good role model. I’m celebrating obesity. I’m being irresponsible. I’ve even been told I should just stop trying to pretend I’m healthy because I post a recipe for Butterfinger Cheesecake or Bacon and Brie Mac and Cheese every now and again. Somehow, because I weigh 75+ pounds more than your “average” blogger it’s downright offensive that I post food like that. How dare I! I’m fat. I should be eating kale only! I’m a terrible role model!
If you’re a size six and eat bacon, you’re a hero! But if you’re a size 16 and eat it, you should be berated for your bad behavior. Why, hello there, double-standard. Nice to see you.
Oh wait, not really.
It’s not only in the blog world, obviously. It’s rampant in all of our media. You all know I love Gilmore Girls, but one of the top things I can’t stand about it (right behind Alexis Bledel’s painfully awkward hugs) is the portrayal of their diet of candy, fried food, take-out and coffee as cute and quirky. We’re led to believe that it’s an adorable characteristic that these naturally slender women can binge on pizza and cookie dough for seven straight seasons without gaining an ounce. There is something endearing about their pig out sessions. Why? Because it’s cute when skinny girls pig out. But there is article after article chastising Mike and Molly for portraying an overweight couple that eats unhealthy foods. Oh hey, double-standard is double. It’s okay for the beautiful skinny girls to eat like crap, but showing the fatties eating like crap is disgusting!
And what about the infamous Burger King bacon sundae? It finds itself in the center of the obesity debate. How dare they come out with such a fat-laden, caloric food in the midst of the obesity crisis! Yet, if a slender chef on Food Network suggested a similar recipe or a bacon sundae recipe shows up in the pages of a glossy magazine, it’s cheered. Now I’m in no way condoning the consumption of fast food, but what’s the difference? Why is it such a terrible thing from Burger King but so innovative and fun from someone else?
So why is it okay in our culture to be skinny and eat crappy, but not be fat and eat crappy? To me, there isn’t much difference. Even worse, it seems like to be skinny and eat crappy is even better than to be fat and eat healthy. How in the heck does that make any sense? In high school, I was the smallest I’ve ever been. I was about 50 pounds lighter than I am now, I lived on a diet of Honey Buns from the school vending machine and Mountain Dew. Let me tell you, I feel better, more alive, more energetic now at 50 pounds heavier than I ever did then. Food matters. And I think it matters a heck of a lot more than dress size.
I say, let’s eat bacon. Let’s all eat bacon, if that’s your thing! But let’s do it in moderation and without it being a social commentary on our eating styles. Just because I eat bacon every now and again doesn’t make me a lazy lardass who can’t control her eating habits and just because a slender girl eats bacon doesn’t make her the epitome of balanced eating. So let’s stop treating certain foods as if they speak volumes. Let’s stop celebrating slender women for eating something “bad” and let’s stop shaming overweight women for doing the same. Because neither of those are productive.
In general, let’s just…judge less, k? You with me?
Now go make yourself a B.L.T.
What do you think? Do you see the double standard? Do you think it’s fair? Am I overreacting? Do you think overweight people should be shamed for making poor choices? Do you think slender people should be celebrated for making the same choices? Do you think food choices should be judged, period?