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The One Where I Rant About Bacon

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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 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 have become this calling card for women to project their carefree 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 read 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 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 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 6 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!

Source

So why is it okay in our culture to be skinny and eat junk, but not be fat and eat junk? 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.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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144 Responses
  1. Michele Olson

    Bravo Cassie!!! I loved this blog so much I made my fiance listen as I read it out loud to him. You just made me realize that I’ve been giving him excuses to eat like crap just because he ‘only’ needs to lose about 30 pounds where I need to lose about 100. I excuse him for eating crap food while I am eating healthy because ‘he’s not the one who needs to 100 pounds’. I need to stop doing that. Double Standard.

    1. Cassie

      I’m guilty of doing it, too. I’ll serve Babyface a bigger portion while giving myself something smaller, even though I probably need more calories than he does!

  2. Bobbi

    I was JUST having this conversation with someone the other day. I’m a size 18/20. I’m not small, never have been and I dream but probably never will be. Most days I’m okay with that.

    It’s AH-DORABLE when a super thin friend eats two plates of food at a bbq but I eat a hamburger, no bun, AND a piece of bbq chicken and it’s like “Shew girl, we gotta get on a diet tomorrow.” WHY!?!?!? Why do thin people get to eat until their heart is content but I don’t? Don’t our arteries clog the same way?!

    1. Cassie

      Ugh! Food judging in general is just…horrible. It’s horrible that we’ve, as a society, made food something to feel guilty about. It tastes good for a reason. We are supposed to enjoy it!

    1. Cassie

      That is such an awesome post, Lesley! Thanks for sending it along. So many great points are made. 🙂 I love the part about how we can’t know by just looking at food if it’s healthy or not. And even so, something might look healthier if it’s being eaten by a slim person versus an overweight person. Fascinating!

  3. I haven’t read through all the comments so I’m sure I’ll be repeating what others have said. I agree with you. Celebrating unhealthful eating, or thinking it’s cute/trendy/whatever is not cool. I don’t care if the person eating the food is fat, skinny, old, or young, bacon and other unhealthy foods shouldn’t be put on any sort of pedestal. Is it okay to eat them and indulge sometimes, no matter what your size? Sure. But leave it at that. It’s not hip; it’s not admirable in any way. It’s a part of life. No one eats a perfect diet all the time and that’s fine. I’m so completely sick of the infatuation with bacon. Get over it, already.

  4. <3 I don't think I've ever commented on your blog but I wanted to say that yours is one of my absolute favorites and even though I have this weird thing where I have to read the blogs in order on my reader, I always skip to yours when I see it. 🙂

    I guess I am your stereotypical "slender" food blogger who makes bacon chocolate chip cookies and talks about how I ate the entire batch. (Which I did.) Do I get judged less because I'm "thin"? I have no idea – I've never had anyone comment about it which I guess answers the question. I don't think anyone has a right to shame others for eating what they want and honestly, if someone decided to school me on what I should/shouldn't be eating, they'd probably get a pretty nasty email in return. Eating is an incredibly personal thing and we all have a right to make those decisions for ourselves. Maybe I don't agree with what you (general you) put in your body, but it's not my flippin' body so I'm not going to spend my time worried about it.

    Anyway, I just woke up so I have no idea if that made any sense. I eat a slice of bacon before my workouts. It's easy, gives me some protein to get going, and doesn't make me want to puke. Bacon is good. 🙂

    1. Cassie

      Thank you so much, Amanda! I think you are totally right about shaming. Not only do people not have the right, but it’s also totally not productive! I’ve never met anyone who changed their eating habits because they were shamed into it.

  5. MidTad

    I don’t read many blogs, I don’t look at pinterest, I don’t tweet, I don’t have time (I am a 43 year old working mom mom of a 14 and 10 year old) but I do read your blog – this post is why!

  6. Zoe

    Lets not forget the awful “Oh, you’re Jewish and don’t eat bacon? Your entire life is wrong.”

    Obviously, the double standard about women is much more disturbing, but I am SO effing sick of all the hipster bacon crap. And yes I’m Jewish, and I get so tired of because I don’t eat bacon sundaes/bacon donuts/bacon m&ms or Mt. Dew or whatthefuckever bacon non-food is being pushed these days, I can’t ever be a foodie or an adventurous eater.

  7. America has such a completely skewed relationship with food. We really do. And honestly, it’s saddening. It’s sad that I spend an hour in Wal-Mart (which I usually avoid, preferring to find ways to fit my budget at other stores just because of the crowds) and all I walk away with are non-perishables because they think it’s okay to have the produce literally MOLDING in the cases, but the line for the fried foods at the deli is 15 people long! How is that okay?

    And I love pinterest, but I had to stop clicking on the food topic because of the one-up-manship that came with it. Even if you searched for something healthy, you still ended up with “healthy” brownies wrapped in cookies covered in reese’s alternatives which aren’t healthy at all because they’re made with processed chemical “food” that isn’t really food at all!

    1. Cassie

      YES. YES! The Walmart thing! We were in Meijer yesterday and there was an obscene aisle of no-name potato chips, but they organic produce section was so sad.

      And I really wish Pinterest broke down their categories a little more. The Food & Drink section is 95% obnoxious desserts. Which is great, for the one time of year when you need an obnoxious dessert, not so great for the other 364 days.

  8. Wow – I read this this morning, and came back to comment – and see 95 comments! You hit a nerve. I had to write because I was thinking of you as I was in the drive-thru window at KFC feeling guilty to be there! I hate that I feel guilt about anything I eat – I know I’m not perfect, and I exercise, eat well, and go off the edge now and again. I just try to have the good food outweigh the bad. But why, then, do allow myself to feel bad, and hope not to be seen in a drive thru line?
    As far as bacon – I live 260 miles from Portland, OR, home of Voodoo Doughnuts – home of the bacon-maple bar! Heaven on earth! I had one after I ran a 15K, and plan to have one after my marathon in October! No guilt when eaten AFTER I’ve done something – but then again, why should I feel this sense of checks and balances? Sometimes I just want to sit and eat junk and watch a movie and NOT do anything to earn my snacks.
    You really outdid yourself on this blog -it should be submitted to a broader audience – who else do you write for? Go for it!

    1. Cassie

      I despise feeling guilty about food. Whatever it is! The rare times I do buy a Mountain Dew or Combos (YUM!) I am always terrified I’m going to run into someone and they are going to see me eating bad food. Of course, those are MY issues. Things I need to recover from.

      And I keep hearing about Voodoo Doughnuts!

  9. Oh geez, you’re absolutely right. In the end, just because a thin person can eat junk without gaining weight doesn’t mean she’s not making herself and her body unhealthy. There are several conditions which one can get from unhealthy eating which do not involve obesity. In the end I suppose it’s simply about the fact that so much is said about how dangerous it is for your health to be overweight and obese, but thin people can be equally unhealthy even if you can see it physically.

    1. Cassie

      Yup! The focus for so long as been on “OBESITY IS BAD” that I think it’s sent the totally wrong message. It’s not the literal weight that you should be necessarily fighting, but the poor habits that often (but not always!) come along with obesity.

  10. I loved this post so very much!! I agree with it all – right down to the Gilmore Girls references. 🙂 I admit, watching that show I thought about how I wished I could eat like that and not gain a pound…but do I really wish that?! No, not really. On vacation this past week I ate like a pig (no pun intended for this post!), and my body’s feeling it.

    On another side note semi-related to this, something I’ve noticed is that people who are smaller than average often receive a lot of hurtful comments about weight as well. Someone I am close to is considered “below average” in terms of their weight for their height (but they’re still healthy), and they would actually like to gain weight in order to reach the “normal” range. It just doesn’t happen for them due to their metabolism. So when people constantly bug them saying, “Gosh, I wish I could eat like you and stay skinny” it’s actually offensive.

    I think that regardless of whether we’re big, medium or small, people need to stop comparing weight and just worry about themselves. Am I eating the best possible things for my body? Am I doing what I need to in order to be healthy? As much as it’s important to care about others other than ourselves, in this particular case I think sometimes it’s better to look inward and worry about ourselves first.

    1. Cassie

      YES! I totally agree about the other side of the spectrum, too. I obviously have one perspective, but I know many slender women get the exact same kind of comments and judgements. I have a good friend who gets told to “Eat a sandwich” all the time. And she eats a lot more than I do! Girl can shovel it in.

      In general, I just want us to all stop making judgements based on food and size!

  11. to start, this is one of my most favorite blogs on the internet. You have a great writing voice.

    And I love this post! You have really touched on something that I have been thinking about too – I have recently lost about 45 pounds eating whole foods and a good amount of healthy fats, which people can’t seem to understand. I know people who will scarf down a scone and frapp for breakfast, and then ask if my cholesterol is high when I eat a hard boiled egg. Argh!

    You rock! Keep writing!

    I’m definitely into the HAES framework. Let’s just focus on being healthy!

    1. Cassie

      Thanks, Eliz! I HATE the whole “fat will make me fat!” thing. It’s so antiquated and the judgement that comes from the movement is everywhere. I actually quite like fat, thank you very much.

  12. jeri

    The double standard goes the other way too. When you watch a cooking show don’t you generally assume that a more portly chef makes better food than a skinny one? I mean, who’s house would you rather go to for Italian: Mario’s or Giada’s?

    1. Cassie

      It absolutely does! I mean, “Never trust a skinny chef” is a really, really common saying. Who says slender people can’t cook with the best of them? It doesn’t mean anything. ANYTHING.

      1. jeri

        How cool that you actually respond to everyone’s messages. You don’t have to respond to this, I just wanted you to know that I think it’s cool.

        1. Cassie

          Thanks, Jeri! I try to respond when I can. I feel like if people spend time to comment on my blog, the least I can do is respond to their comment. But sometimes, life just gets in the way. 🙂

    1. Cassie

      You’d be amazed at how cruel people can get when they are hidden behind the anonymity of the internet. But I try not to let it bother me. 🙂

  13. It’s very interesting to me how most people now assume that overweight people want to order smaller portion sizes and that superthin girls want to order plates full of junk. I feel like not so long ago, the reverse of that was true. Not exactly a change for the better, if you ask me.
    As someone on the other end of the spectrum (I’m in recovery from an eating disorder), I don’t enjoy the stigmas either. I’m eating a lot more now than I used to, but I’m still eating really healthy foods, because I feel like crap if I eat lots of fries and chips and sugar-y junk. I understand that people are concerned for my health, but your family urging you to eat more, especially when you’re really full and physically and emotionally uncomfortable, gets old really fast. It’s unfair to judge anyone just on the basis of what they eat or post – you have to look at the big picture.
    Thanks for being awesome, as always! 😀

    1. Cassie

      It is interesting that people assume that if you are eating healthy, you must be either (a) fixing a problem or (b) have an eating disorder. It’s like the general public doesn’t understand that you can eat healthy just because you want to and it make you feel good. That doesn’t mean you are trying to lose weight or have disordered eating. It doesn’t mean anything! It’s food!

  14. Kristin

    So, I have been reading your blog for a few months, but never comment. I am terrible at posting comments because honestly, I just like to read what you (and all the other blogs I read) have to say. But I have to comment today. Why? Because I said, out loud, ‘OMG that ALWAYS bugs me too!’. But that wasn’t in regards to the topic of your blog, it was for this: “but one of the top things I can’t stand about it (right behind Alexis Bledel’s painfully awkward hugs)” I too, own all the seasons and have watched start to finish more times than I ever care to admit. Every time Rory gives a hug, it looks like it is physically painful. How did the directors never catch that and fix it?!? Sorry this is random, but I had to share my love of GG for a moment! Love your blog by the way 🙂

    1. Cassie

      IT’S SO TERRIBLE! It literally makes me cringe every time she hugs someone. Especially the people she’s supposed to be so in love with (like, when she hugs Dean, OH EM GEE).

  15. Kat

    First time reader….This actually caught my attention on Trapit. I love what you have to say. It’s very true how there s a double standard. But not only is there a double standard that it’s ok for skinny people to pig out, but how they think if you are “over weight” you must eat junk food and fast food all the time. In other cultures curves is a sign of good health and skinny people are though to be sick, so where did we go so wrong?

    Thanks for this awesome article. I will definitely be checking out what all you have going on and look forward to your future posts.

    1. Cassie

      Thanks for popping in Kat! 🙂 I think we are so privileged in this country, that we’ve forgotten that having food—healthy, clean, accessible food—is such a luxury that a lot of people don’t have. And even if they do have, have only had for a short period of time. We have a very short memory in this country.

  16. Pauline Shaffer

    Commenting on one of your posts has been a loonnnggg time coming! I love your blog first and foremost. This entry really hit home with me. The bacon trend is super annoying to me-(especially being vegetarian!) But I really relate to the size conundrum and the obnoxious media part.
    I admire you for many reasons but one of the main ones is that you seem to understand the whole Balance concept. I love all your recipes! I also admire your honesty with your struggles and successes with weight loss/healthy living etc. Basically I love your outlook and appreciate your words. 🙂
    Oh and my boyfriend is also skinny entirely due to genetics and literally can (and sometimes has) eat loads and loads of bacon whereas I have to work out daily and count calories-SO frustrating haha.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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