Thoughtful Revolution



Things that Taste Better than Skinny Feels (and Why This Post Is Worth Writing)

As I’m sure everyone is, by now, probably aware, Kate Moss (waiflike model of ’90s fame) was recently quoted as saying this: “Nothing tastes better than skinny feels.”

Come up with at least 5 problems with that statement. In 30 seconds. And if you can’t — which is highly unlikely — I’ll supply a few: use of pro-ana rhetoric that smacks of garden-variety “thinspiration,” reinforcement of a single attractive body type, reinforcement of the artificial [fat=gluttony-laziness-disease]/[skinny=glowing-with-perfect-health] dichotomy, refusal to acknowledge the diversity of female experience, unoriginal repetition of a retrograde diet mantra that has existed, in some form, for decades.

And finally: I believe, with all my mind, body and soul, that a hell of a lot of things taste better than skinny feels.

Before I start enumerating those culinary pleasures, there’s a word or two left to say. Posts on the subject by fellow bloggers have raised enough questions that I figure I ought to attempt some answers preemptively; below is a reflection that I hope will address any qualms.

Disclaimer. The last time I could reasonably have been accounted “skinny,” I was three years old. I have struggled with my weight all my life; the only way I could return to a state of skinny — much less Kate Moss skinny — would be through full-out starvation, and indeed I was at my thinnest when, in tenth grade, I stopped eating for extended periods of time. Ergo, for me, skinny feels lousy and unhealthy and unnatural. Would someone who was naturally pencil-thin feel the same way? Of course not, and it’s insulting to assume so. But I don’t mean to relish the pleasures of food as a covert way of saying “eat a sandwich”. I also don’t mean to imply that those who suffer from eating disorders could just cast all their troubles away if they wanted because this food tastes so darn good. Because that’s been a major concern with many “Things that Taste Better than Skinny Feels” posts, and justifiably.

But feminist blogging is meant as a safe space for everyone, and a safe space not only to take on problems but to embrace pleasures that patriarchy has traditionally withheld from women. Yes, I realize that it is triggering for folks with eating disorders to read list after list of favorite foods — I’ve been there, I know. So, too, is it triggering for women with vulvodynia or other physical barriers to sexual pleasure to read about the joys of sex. Does that mean that, for an arena to be properly sensitive and feminist, all positive discussion of food or sex must be scrapped? Such a move seems counterintuitive to me, even as I understand the motivation behind it. Food, like sex — though arguably more so — is something that society discourages women from enjoying; in what might be colloquially called “the real world,” visible enjoyment of food is too often suppressed or accompanied by the requisite fat talk. A feminist blog is designed as a safe space, and in that vein should be a haven not only for complaints but for pleasures that we are, as a general rule, not supposed to express. I can’t talk about food when I sign off the computer — my ability to discuss it online is as much a prerogative, and a feminist prerogative, as yours to avoid discussion of it. That has been an operating principle of this blog, and if it seems repugnant and hyperprivileged, please feel free to call me out.

And without further ado, a few “Things That Taste Better Than Skinny Feels.” (These are not all vegan. I am not all vegan. And that’s that.)

1) Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.
2) Fried rice, browned all over and slightly burnt on the bottom, or coconut rice.
3) Alfajores. I had about thirty of these in Argentina: a pair of cakey sugar cookies, sandwiched together with oodles of dulce de leche and smothered in coconut shavings. Mmmm.
4) Hot chocolate with vanilla extract and whipped cream.
5) Fettuccine pomodoro.
6) Crusty Italian bread with olive oil and cracked pepper.
7) Spring mix salad with oil and vinegar.
8) Sauteed mushrooms.
9) Cucumber tea sandwiches.
10) Pumpkin anything. I’m a big fan of pumpkin soup.
11) Panang tofu.
12) Green curry over seitan and broccoli.
13) Crepes stuffed with grilled vegetables.
14) Vegan With A Vengeance’s coconut cupcakes.
15) New Mexico-style vegetarian Frito pie, with plenty of green chile.
16) Yuan Fu’s “chicken” with cashew nuts.
17) Shahi paneer.
18) Really excellent pad thai.
19) Sourdough bread with avocado, lettuce and red pepper hummus.
20) Potbelly’s Vegetarian Sandwich, hold the American cheese.
21) Cherry pie.
22) Pumpkin pie.
23) Any other kind of pie.
24) Red bean buns.
25) Eggplant in garlic sauce.
26) Nutty brown rice, tossed with the leftover sauce from any given main dish.
27) Veggie pizza, with an emphasis on the roasted tomatoes.
28) Guacamole with corn chips.
29) Burritos.
30) Black beans, rice, and salsa, all scrambled together and microwaved: the most satisfactory “quick lunch” out there.
31) Stoned Wheat crackers, despite (or because of?) the unintentionally hilarious name.
32) Chocolate-covered raisins.
33) Honey-roasted cashews.
34) Asparagus.
35) Avocado sushi, topped with pickled ginger.
36) Fondue.
37) Symphony bars.
38) Freshly baked sugar cookies, topped with a handful of rainbow sprinkles.
39) A toasted plain New York-style bagel with chive and onion cream cheese. Anything less is blasphemy.
40) Tabbouleh salad.
41) Acorn squash.
42) Beets.
43) Ripe figs, on their own or stuffed with goat cheese.
44) Sweet potato latkes with cardamom applesauce.
45) Kung pao tofu, complete with crushed peanuts.
46) Blondies, which I maintain are far superior to brownies.
47) Black bean soup in a bread bowl.
48) Spanakopita.
49) Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers.
50) My mother’s matzah ball soup.
Feel free to add your own!

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Comments

  1. * Stefan says:

    This is a wonderfully timed post.

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  2. * D says:

    That is a truly awesome list, and like Stefan noted, wonderfully timed.

    I hadn’t heard that quote before, but it definitely struck me viscerally, as I’m sure it did you. And as someone who does not really like food, I can say that I still believe there are myriad things that taste better than skinny feels. Feel free to talk about food as much as you want, in my books. Happy Thursday.

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  3. * spencejw says:

    I love you, just fyi. This is absolutely right, 100%, and having just had a fairly large Italian dinner (Roasted Vegetables for an appetizer, then Gnocchi with tomato & mozzarella sauce (alla sorrentina)), I am hungry again. Here’s to good food!

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  4. * Danny says:

    (Your blog ate my comment the first time!)

    I agree with Stefan on the excellent timing.

    Your list does almost make me hungry. As someone who doesn’t really like food, I can still agree that plenty of things taste better than skinny feels… Oh, and I had pumpkin rolls tonight and thought of you. 😉

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  5. * Lily says:

    hips that can fill out a pencil skirt.
    just saying.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 10 months ago


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