A few weeks ago I wanted to write a post about peaches and sexuality and perception. I may still get to that one day. In the process I started looking for images of women eating, and spent hours and hours looking at thousands of images, and nearly all of them were twisted in some essential way.
I shuffled the search terms like a deck of cards, hoping to find a magic combination that unlocked a wealth of genuine and interesting photographs of women consuming food. First of all, most of the images that come up for “women eating” are stock photos for ad agencies and they are about as real as Cool Whip. The women pose with the food, pouting or hamming it up, looking about as sincere as a third-rate community theatre player. Sometimes they look like they are at war with the food, or they realize they look silly and their eyes say: I need the paycheck.
I thought “Naked Women Eating” might return something more sensual. Yikes. Yes, lots of pictures of women engaged in various forms of oral coupling. Interestingly, “women eating sausage” does not give you the results you might fear. (Or long for, depending on your feelings for sausage.)
There are plenty of scary images: women devouring things that are still alive, grossly overweight women pushing copious amounts of food into their mouths, women with their beds or bathtubs full of empty candy wrappers. Even the old masters disappoint. Okay, yes there’s a Tahitian woman eating a fruit. (Not one of Gauguin’s finest.) There’s a famous painting of a woman eating porridge. Yay, porridge. Lots of paintings of children nibbling on cherries or chocolate or the tip of Fido’s tail. Women? Not so much.
Why do you think this is? Is the idea of a woman eating something so difficult that it can’t be painted or photographed without the subject appearing grotesque or farcical? The images of women eating seem to exist for one of three reasons: to sell you something, to repulse you or in the case of pornography, to arouse you– but that doesn’t really count, because it’s not like they’re eating food. Are we women so self-conscious about eating that we freeze in the face of the camera lens, or stiffen before the painter’s canvas?
I’d like to hear back from you on this. If you’ve found a compelling image of a woman eating food, please share it.
Target 77 (Yes, I know, it’s going in the wrong direction, I haven’t figured out why.) 4033 steps
Breakfast: yogurt with granola; Lunch: pork chop with a teaspoon of apricot-sriracha sauce, half a cup of cottage cheese, half an avocado, 8 cherry tomatoes; Dinner: cold roast chicken, the best red potato salad ever, half a cup of cottage cheese, sliced tomato.
40 minutes picking up apples off the ground. (Harder than you’d think.) Grocery shopping. Packed and took 6 tubs and a piece of furniture to storage.