So like (insert arbitrary made up percentage here) of Internet users under 30, I use Instagram. I’m not the most active poster and never was, but once I got a phone with a decent camera, and especially since I moved to New York, I’ve found more and more opportunities to snap off a photo of something interesting/pretty/funny/etc. Generally, I’m pretty happy with most of the things I put on there (a few drunken instances of “THERE’S TOTALLY ENOUGH LIGHT–oh wait” notwithstanding).
However, I’ve noticed a new contrarian trend that’s been popping up for lo these past few months (an eternity in Internet-time): the Anti-Foodporn Contingent. For whatever reason, the ever-growing slice of the online community that uses a heart-stoppingly amazing triumph of technology and communication to bitch about everyone and everything (yeah, I know, irony) has decided that it is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE to post pictures of food to Instagram.
The justifications for this attitude have been wildly varied. Most people just tell me it’s “annoying” but can’t really give me any explanation beyond that vague word, and one author has claimed that people who post pictures of their food to social media are more likely to have eating disorders (hrm…). Overall, there seems to be a pervasive attitude: pictures of food, or “Foodporn”, in the common parlance, is totally lame. It even seems to be viewed as pretentious.
Is posting a picture of some particularly amazing meal you ate really worse than or equal to, say, posting constant pictures of your kids or cat? I’d say no, because EVERYBODY likes food (except people with certain eating disorders, I suppose). The only argument I can think of for being violently opposed to Food Porn is the suggestion that posting amazing meal after amazing meal comes off as a bragging, but isn’t that also true of people who post beautiful shot after beautiful shot from their amazing vacation most of their friends can’t afford?
My justification: I love food, and I think food is a social experience. I would much rather go and eat at some amazing restaurant with a big group than by myself, so it’s only natural that this would extend into “social” media. It’s also a great way to expose people to new places or types of food (“OMG what is THAT”), and hell, it might just make somebody’s shitty day a little brighter. I guess my nasty retort will always be that the Internet is steeped in annoying garbage, and nice pictures of tasty food is pretty innocuous compared to some of the garbage I’m subjected to daily on my social media feeds (Amanda Bynes, anyone?).
Speaking of social media and diabetes, I stumbled across the best/worst/best again place on the Internet. It’s a subReddit called “Fatpeoplestories”. It’s basically a content dump of stories built around the premise of “fatlogic”. Fatlogic is a word used to describe the attitude that is so very present in the frightening-as-balls “fat acceptance movement”: the idea that some people are just going to be fat no matter what (which does happen, but not nearly as often as people like to pretend), that anybody who isn’t fat is somehow oppressing them by not being fat, and that society as a whole trying to move towards a more healthy lifestyle is “discrimination” against fat people. Really, it’s mostly made up of stories about fat people being huge entitled jerks for no reason (and when I say fat, I mean ENORMOUS. Most people put guesses for height/weight in the posts, and they usually top 350 lbs).
Needless to say I feel a lot of schadenfreude cackling at these stories (I’m a sucker for r/justiceporn too, and I consider this a dietary offshoot), but then I discovered something very odd. Most of the people on r/fatpeoplestories are fat!
Huh? Apparently, it started as some sort of thing that fitness junkies were doing, and then the sub spun off as some sort of weird motivation-type thing. They have a a day called “fat 2 fit” in which members tell their own stories about how they used to be mired in fatlogic, and now they are no longer fat or they are well on their way to not being fat.
It’s more or less the RED ASPHALT of obesity.