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Eloquent Article on "Food Shaming"--We don't do that on CH, do we? :-)

I know on CH, at least on the L.A. board, that plenty of food snarking occurs. Some is in good fun, but some may cross the line into "food shaming". I found the following opinion piece to be very well written (by a 17-year-old high school senior) and hopefully an interesting topic for discussion here...


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  1. Great article and unfortunately very true. I'm thin and if I turn down dessert people make me feel like I have no right to because I'm thin enough.

    1 Reply
    1. Brilliant! On another thread I questioned why some people have to yuck other people's yum. I just don't get it.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      3 Replies
      1. re: alwayshungrygal

        I think I might have spotted your phrase "yuck other people's yum" in another thread and have started using it. It's brilliant.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Thanks but I didn't create the phrase. I'm quite sure I discovered it somewhere on CH a few years ago.

        2. re: alwayshungrygal

          I don't know where we picked it up, but we've used "Don't yuck my yum" in our family for years. It's great when I'm eating something offal (pun intended) and the kids make a face...

        3. I think that teasing out food shaming from other issues is pretty critical.

          The salad eating/noodle disliking author - she admits herself to having being smug about eating mega healthy - but that doesn't seem to me specifically to be about "food shaming" specifically. Rather unfortunately typical high school "mean girl" type behavior.

          I wish that she had expanded her focus on shaming behavior and not just food shaming. Or that she had taken more ownership about how her friend perhaps felt that she was shaming her over the burger - because in the past she had been smug about food choices. Perhaps directly to this girl when eating a burger.

          Also - if you live by a strict diet (be it vegan, strict kashrut observance, multiple allergies, etc), there comes a point where you may have to accept that people will avoid eating with you at certain times. If there's an snout to tail tasting menu - and you're kosher/a vegan, it can hardly be called shaming to not being invited. Now if you're a vegan and your parents insist on doing an all pork menu for Thanksgiving - then it becomes fair to talk about shame exclusion.

          1. Well, as far as being a victim, I honestly don't give a rat's ass what people think of what and how I eat, whether I am sticking to my diabetic diet or blowing it with the WONDERFUL Lobster Alfredo I had last week!
            Now as far as being a bully, I don't care what my friends eat when we go out, but I do admit to being a "homemade food snob" here on CH. While not attacking any person in particular, I have made my feelings known about pre-packaged processed foods in general and boxed cake mixes in particular.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PotatoHouse

              Yes, but you don't tell people who admit to knowing Uncle Duncan and Aunt Betty that they are inbred cretins who should be banished to some windswept rock in the Aleutians and fed only wonder bread and gatorade till their dying day.

              1. re: PotatoHouse

                There's a film, who's title I'm totally blanking on, where they talk about a group of friends bonding over the things they had in common but more importantly the things that they mutally hated. I think that CH is a great place for people to bond on various "food snob" issues - and if others seek out such comments just to feel "food shamed" about....that sounds like a whole other basket of issues not having to do with the food snobs.

              2. there is food shaming.. a lot of it. food there is no bad food only bad eaters.

                I was asked in an interview "what should be done about the obeseity rates among people today"
                I said "that is the wrong question to ask because while you are standing there fatshaming the one one chubby kid in class there are four girls class who everyone thinks are perfect that are starting down a road of disordered eating of resticted eating binging and purging anorexia and food issues that will damange thier bodies and mental state just as much So the issue is How we as nation veiws food and eating"

                1. I would point out that the author is a high school kid. Having been one myself, when the only tweets were from birds and "internet" would be taken to mean that thing between two tennis players, and having grown up in (a) a small Illinois town and (b) a family that tended to like adventurous eating, I was all too familiar with that phenomenon. It's part of the herd's suspicion of any member whose habits differ in some way from their particular clique's. If we were roasting weenies at a Scout campout and I'd brought the natural-casing garlic wieners our family had come to like, or if I mentioned that my favorite soup (from Campbell's, for pete's sake!) contained tripe, a good deal of sneering was certain to ensue. Only difference now is the much wider range of food discrimination - who knew from vegan in 1956? - and the much larger field in which to express one's disdain. They're still just kids.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    I didn't explicitly state this, but one of the reasons that I mentioned the fact that she was 17 years old in my OP was because I was very impressed by her writing at that age. Yes, as cresyd mentioned, there were areas she could have explored, but perhaps she did not have the space allotted (or perhaps it wouldn't have been published if it went much deeper). For as brief as the piece was, I thought it was very well fleshed out.

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      I was equally impressed by her ability to express herself and her message so eloquently and elegantly. My only point was that the behavior she's describing is and probably always has been common to the adolescent and post-adolescent human being, and as with most such behaviors the greater number of us get over expressing it openly, though we may continue to think poorly of an obese person's buying a package of Ding Dongs and a Diet Coke, or confessing to liking tripe.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I do agree that we moderate it much more in our interpersonal relationships in real life, but as a thirty-something lover of all things offal, I sometimes feel a little strange ordering tongue and liver sandwiches at a deli that has it when dining with people who are less adventurous eat. That people may think that what I'm eating is weird, even if they may not say it to my face, still gives me pause. Not necessarily because I think they'll think less of me, guess it's just a bit of the awkward teenage desire not to feel like an "other" peeking out.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          I mention this in my post, but fully agree that narrowing "shaming" down to "food shaming" by a high school student....I don't know where I'd specifically draw the line.

                          First, she did write a good article. But to me it's a good article from a high school student - and as it's about high school I think it misses a lot aspects. I remember going to school terrified that my lunch would be different and people would make fun of me for my different lunch. But, having a lunch that was as "normal" as possible really stemmed from my fear of being teased by my peers or drawing attention to myself.

                          By the time I got to high school, there'd be loads of girls at lunch going "wow, half a sandwich and part of my apple make me feel so full!" Again - nothing specifically to do with food, but all sorts of other high school issues.

                      2. re: Will Owen

                        That Campbell's soup you mention; Pepper Pot?? I haven't seen that in the market in 50 years. I didn't know they still made it. It was my favorite.

                      3. The article is an variation on a theme . The ideas should not blossom , like a carrion flower plant, into a new category of political correctness.
                        Here are a couple of established categories.
                        A parent complains that the child is behaving like a shit. The child counterattacks by angrily blaming the parent for making the child feel guilty.
                        Try this one. The wife's ideas about something that needs to be done are nuts. The husband complains. However, he tries to verify the validity of the statements that the wife makes on which her conclusion is based so that he can change his opinion and apologize if he is wrong. Of course the wife is wrong . The wife blames the husband for taking away her confidence. The more often this cycle happens, the worse the husband's behaviour.

                        Courtesy and self -preservation do oblige that one sometimes shuts up regardless. But crappy eating and rude behaviour with respect to food have consequences past the individual the subject of the comment found offensive, and most of us don't live in a Trappist monastery.

                        .......................What a good idea for our next vacation!

                        1. Isn't this just ... peer pressure?

                          Y'know, the purest form of human bonding known to humankind?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Peer pressure + high school....where would we be without it?

                            1. re: cresyd

                              That is where I learned my "I don't give a rat's ass what other people think" attitude.