Pictures of Girls Eating
At first look, these photos are exactly what the title says they are- a whole bunch of pictures of a whole bunch of ladies munchin’ on some food.
However, what I really want you to do with this shitty ‘done on Microsoft Word because I can’t afford Photoshop’ collage is to take note of a very specific thing. That thing, of course, is happiness. These pictures are all happy. There’s a lot of smiling and mayo mouths and jam hands and rosy beer cheeks. I want you to look at the shit-eating grins, the crumbs at the corner of the smile, the pure joyous gluttony of the whole big shebang. I’m asking you to note how much these chicks are enjoying their food and how silly and giddy they look doing it. This, to me, is of the utmost importance.
Girls this generation get a bad wrap and a bad hand of cards. We are the dieters, the binge eaters, the ‘must always watch what we’re noshing on’ generation. Blame it on magazines, blame it on peer pressure, but we’ve been still been grabbing at our stomachs to see how much we can get a hold on since we were teenagers. We are the measured sex- measured by waistlines and flat stomachs, by diets and how many meals you have to skip to fit into a size 000. I’ll tell you one thing: I knew exactly the kind of body I was supposed to have even before I had the breasts to fill the whole thing out. That body was a skinny one, one achieved by diet sodas and fake sugars and depravation. Eating something with both hands, hunched over with the drip of some sort of condiment rolling down your neck was a ‘guilty pleasure,’ and it had nothing to do with health or your cholesterol. It had to do with physical appearance. It was the constant fear that somebody in high school would call you fat. It was the constant fear that we’d have to wear a bikini and not look like a smooth svelte mannequin while wearing it. We are supposed to stand on the scale if we thought we had too much pasta the night before, then berate ourselves when the scale changes for the higher. We are supposed to soldier ourselves. We are supposed to use food as a measure of our self-worth and our pristine ability to ‘restrain.’ Girls are praised for their lack of fat, for their lack of gluttony, for their lack. Why? I don’t know, really. For New Year’s sparkle dresses, for girl’s night out to scope for boys, for anything that might distract us from our brains and point us towards our body. Sounds like a lot of surface-skimming nonsense to me. Look at my fleshy muffin tops! Fleshy flesh is bad! Is it, though? Well, I think ignorance is bad. I think cruelty is bad. I do not judge a person by their hips, so I don’t know why I judge myself that way sometimes.
The other important thing is, how many pictures have you seen like this? I’ve seen the thinspo blogs. I’ve seen a lot of girls posing with model-y duck lips, drinking whiskey and tattoos as substance. I’ve seen a lot of Cosmo cover girls with Photoshopped curves. I just want to see a couple of girls fuckin’ eating..a reminder of the good when I’m faced with the bad.
I’ll tell you another thing- the moment I asked people to submit photos, I got over 200. These are all photos sent to me, not taken off the Internet. Girls were enthusiastic about this project. Girls eat all the time. They document themselves eating. They don’t mind smiling for the camera when food is around because it makes them giggle and it’s a good time they want to remember. They like the event of the whole thing, the joy of a delicious meal arriving at the table steaming hot, the euphoria of pulling apart melted cheese. Girls love to eat, and in a sea of thighs that don’t touch and the pressures to make them not touch? That’s worth something. I think a girl eating a sandwich is gorgeous. I don’t want food to be the dirty secret, I want it to be the proud friend we hang out with.
I could take this time to talk about the dark paths we’ve all been down. It’s a common thing for girls to have these moments of rock bottom, of low-self esteem and harmful decisions. I’ve had some especially bad demons to battle, really bad years of secrets and hatred and this is now normal for a girl. I don’t want this to be.
But guess what? I don’t want to talk about that right now. I don’t want to talk about the dark because I don’t want eating to be constantly associated with struggle. This is a celebration of food and girls. This is about talking about how much food makes us happy, how much we like to eat it, how much fun we have eating it. This is a cheers to the little bits of fat we get that are a small price for the activities we love. This is an homage to our friends and fellow ladies and how we love to go out with them and share appetizers.
This is a giant FUCK YOU as well- to the pictures we strive to look like, the dummy reality star non-contributors who make us question how we look, the moments we will have had and will have where we get mad at our pants. This isn’t about how skinny or not-skinny you should be, or what your body looks like at all. This is about pictures of girls looking happy while eating. This is about teaching our future daughters or nieces or little girls we meet someday that this is lovely and condoned behavior.
So yeah, at first glance it’s a bunch of pictures of some girls eating food. At second glance, it’s a hope that you’ll look at this picture when you feel ‘fat’ or like maybe you should ‘just get a salad.’
At the core of it all, though, it’s just beautiful girls being happy and free and loving themselves at the moment.
And I think you deserve that happiness too, my lovely eaters. With a big ole side of fries.