[Guestblog] National Enquirer Headline: Woman Eats! In Public!

By | October 22, 2009

If you’re a woman eating in public most people will consider it performance art and a judgment invitational. You can expect comments on the type, quantity, the good-for-youness, and your chosen food receptacle. The only thing that might draw more attention to the fact that you are a woman eating, is if you happen to be eating salsa out of one of those sombrero-style hats constructed out of nachos, especially if the chips are extra crunchy. Actually, I take that back–if you’re a woman who has the gall to eat in public people basically react to you as if you are loudly and theatrically consuming a novelty hat.

And it’s annoying. And there are times when I will actually avoid eating around others because anything other than “that looks delicious!”–and let’s be honest, sometimes even that, disrupts my frenzied shoveling my enjoyment of what should be pleasurable hour of sustenance. We all eat. Sometimes lots, sometimes a little, hopefully what we’re eating is always delicious. Can we, as a society of people who require food to live, work, and play just accept this as such and move on?

Of course not.

Scene: classroom, graduate seminar. A colleague of mine mixing her salad–we are on break– in some sizeable tupperware–which you know, allows for tossing as opposed to just having the best stuff sink to the bottom or the formation of an unmovable, discrete ingredient layered brick. Witnessing this truly incredible feat of something someone has never ever done before ever in life, MY PROF takes it upon himself to loudly remark on the OMG SIZE of her SALAD BOWL. Because anything bigger than the palm of your hand is comically large, AMIRITE?

She turns red and says: it was the only clean tupperware! My boyfriend didn’t wash the other stuff!

The presenter–arranging his notes for the next half of the presentation- sees she’s uncomfortable and joins in her defense: the bowl is just big, it’s probably not full!

I, being one of those insufferable radicals who disagrees with the premise that a woman should have to defend her choice of fucking tupperware–and nevermind that, her choice to eat at LUNCH TIME– blurt out the following:

I love it when people comment on what women are eating like it’s their business! It’s totally a class move!

And no one says anything. Though one colleague and I exchange glances. and it’s awkkkkkkward. And then the presentation resumes.

Evidently I’m taking a page from my mentor Lesley–one of the best Lesleys OF ALL TIME– and opting to be fat and mouthy in public versus just plain old fat. The latter is way too status quo and way more likely to lead to easy career opportunities and we absolutely can’t have that. I do everything the hard way. It’s my schtick!

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