There’s a website that’s making the rounds. I’m not going to link to it, or mention it by name, because I think it’s been getting enough attention, but I bet you’ve seen it. Someone’s sent it to you. Or maybe you thought it was funny, and you passed it on to someone else. Because that’s how these things spread.
The site consists of a series of photographs of food. The photographs are usually lacking in quality, and they are all examples of foods which are either extremely largely portioned, high in fat, or both. The food is described as “gross,” and the clear idea is that you are supposed to look at the images, and be repulsed. I see very few examples of professional food photography on the site, and as we all know, amateur food photography makes everything look disgusting, washed out, and dull, while pro photography could sex up a shit sandwich.
This site has not been up very long, but the owners have already gotten a book deal, or one is in the works, depending on which interview you read. They claim that the site was supposed to stimulate dialogue about American eating habits, but that’s not what it’s about.
It’s about fat shaming.
It’s about putting up pictures of “disgusting” food so that people can click over to the site and congratulate themselves for not eating things like that. So that people can look at these images and make derogatory comments about fatties and how icky they all are, and how if fat people had any self control they wouldn’t eat so much. People look at these pictures of gross food and think that this must be what fatties eat all the time, and that is why they are so fat.
Some of the pictures even have the classic headless fatty in the background. The connection is clear: eat foods like this, wind up like the gross, disgusting, nasty fat person in the background.
The site reduces the whole discussion about size into a simple calories in, calories out paradigm. Less calories in must mean that you would be less fat. If you eat foods like this, you are fat, and you should be ashamed of yourself. You need more self control. It’s right there in the title of the site, that eating foods like this is what makes you fat. Nothing else. No other reason for people to be fat. (And totally ignoring the people who eat foods like that and don’t get fat.)
I’ve already noted people saying that they set their homepage to this site, so that every time they open their browsers, they see a “gross picture” which will remind them to stick to their diets. (The vast majority of diets do not work; people usually regain the weight and then some as soon as they stop dieting.) And people link to the site with language like “look at all the gross food fatties eat,” and “Americans are so disgusting and fat, and this is why.”
This site is not designed to evoke dialogue. It’s designed for one clear purpose, which is to make people ashamed of who they are, and what they eat. I can’t believe that this kind of garbage gets a book deal when there’s so much intelligent, original, and thoughtful content out there.