A Comprehensive Analysis of the Posting Behavior of Instagram Models
There’s a trend on social media that has troubled me for some time now: Attractive girls who post photos and captions pertaining to their “obsession” with food.
The obvious take-away is that this is just flat out not interesting. Hey, you like food! That’s actually so funny because I like food!
But this isn’t the typical “post a picture of your meal at dinner” gimmick that everyone and their mom complains about. These aren’t pictures OF food.
These are photos of themselves, with captions using a falsely constructed “obsession” with food as a prop for “likes.”
It’s becoming ubiquitous across the medium.
What exactly is it, though? What is the validation being chased?
Posting a picture like this is behavior that screams “Look at me! I’m so normal! I eat junk food just like you!”
But they want it both ways. The caption may scream “I’m normal and love junk food,” but the picture is intended to emphasize how hot they are.
It’s essentially a Humblebrag:
to make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities…
“Look at this In-N-Out. Don’t you love greasy, 3,000 calorie meals? I sure do. Oh but by the way did you notice how much more thin and attractive I am than you are?”
Their goal is to show off their extraordinary beauty and impeccable figures, but they think that by being self-deprecating about their “diets,” they will come off as relatable, girl-next-door types.
The problem is that they AREN’T girl-next-door types. They’re models.
They clearly aren’t obsessed with eating. I know this because I am obsessed with eating, and I don’t look like these women. I know this because I know others who are obsessed with eating, and THEY don’t look like these women.
Incessantly striving to flaunt an obsession with food is a method of absolving themselves of their role in perpetuating unrealistic expectations of the female body, despite being victims of these unrealistic expectations.
It’s Stockholm syndrome.
These girls maintain their figures by staying away from McDonalds. McDonalds is the enemy. And yet, they feel compelled to prove their love for McDonalds?
They may WANT cheeseburgers. They surely ENJOY cheeseburgers. But they can’t HAVE cheeseburgers if they want to maintain their model looks, which is the basis of their very identity in the first place.
Because they want what they can’t have, all they’re left with is their misguided instinct to praise cheeseburgers instead. To acknowledge how much they love cheeseburgers. How obsessed they are with cheeseburgers.
They’re victims putting their abusers on a pedestal.
• • •
Where does this notion that it’s cute or funny to eat like an animal even come from? I eat In-N-Out. I eat Raising Cane’s. The only thing it ever brings is shame and regret. You won’t see overweight people boasting about their trip to McDonald’s, because they know it’s not something to show off.
Only people who DON’T eat like shit think it’s endearing TO eat like shit. Everyone who DOES eat like shit understands it’s nothing to be proud of.
“On my way to steal your food.” Are you? Good luck. It’s a fucking Wendy’s Baconator with a 32 oz Dr.Pepper and a side of chili. We’ll see how you feel about eating that when you get here.
• • •
There are articles out there discussing how being bombarded with pictures of perfect Instagram models actually leads to eating disorders among teenage girls. They see an endless stream of images with beautiful, thin, fit women and are crushed that they can’t obtain that look. So they turn to unsafe dietary habits or starvation in attempt to lose weight so they can look like these models.
Now, imagine how damaging it is for those young girls to see these perfect models claiming they consume junk food regularly? How discouraging is that? It’d be like a shredded NFL player with muscles sculpted by the Gods claiming he doesn’t even work out. How would the scrawny kid who’s been busting his ass in the gym to no avail feel about that?
“I’ve been starving myself, eating nothing but salad and berries, and she eats CHEESEBURGERS and looks like THAT?”
It’s reckless. It’s the worst thing they could possibly do in terms of setting an example.
These women, based on everything that is scientifically proven to lead to the body types they possess, ostensibly live extremely healthy lives, filled with steady exercise routines and responsible dieting.
I commend them for that. I respect them greatly.
They have a platform to show that their appearance can be attained through hard work and healthy living. To encourage others to follow their lead.
Instead, they use their platform to say things like this:
Very cute. Very funny. We get it. You like cheeseburgers.
You can search by location on Instagram for any In-N-Out, or any relatively trendy, greasy food joint, and you’ll find dozens of perfectly posed, immaculately beautiful women celebrating their meals:
The absurd constant that threads all of these photos together is that there is literally NEVER a bite taken out of the food they’re boasting about.
Which tells you that they’re not actually there to eat. They’re there for the photo op. They’re there to SHOW that they’re there. The potential picture they could get out of the trip was probably a major factor in their decision to go in the first place.
First thing I do when I get my food? Shove it down my sad, grease-thirsty gullet. That’s because I eat like a normal, compulsive American. There’s literally never been a time where I got my food and thought, “let’s wait a few minutes, because this seems like the ideal time to have my photo taken.”
These girls having the presence of mind to pause, pose, PRETEND to take a bite for a photo, and probably take 4 or 5 photos to guarantee they get a good one, is decidedly NOT the behavior of someone obsessed with food and eating.
I’m not saying they don’t actually eat anything when they’re there. They get their cute photos, and dig in after that task is settled. They might eat a lot. Maybe they even eat the whole burger. That’s not the point. The point is that the conscious effort put into taking these photos demonstrates that they’re treating these fast food trips as special events. And if you ate like this regularly, as someone who is “obsessed with food” or always has “cheeseburgers on the brain” would, you wouldn’t treat an In-N-Out meal as a special event. Simple as that.
Sometime’s I’ll go to In-N-Out for lunch. Then when someone asks me what I did for lunch I’ll tell them I went to Subway just to maintain some form of dignity. I don’t want others to know what a sack of shit I am. Sometimes I’ll order McNuggets and eat them on the way home, then tell my family I haven’t had dinner yet so they don’t have to know about that pathetic 10-piece McNugget snack I just shoved down my face hole.
THOSE are the behaviors of normal people. We eat too much, too often, and feel guilt when we do. We certainly don’t beam with joy at what we’re about to do to ourselves when the food arrives at the table. That moment is the last thing I want to share on the internet for others to see.
That is the reality that these Instagram beauties are completely ignorant to.
• • •
I’ve picked on the girl shown above pretty steadily throughout this process. I kept coming back to her in particular because I’m fascinated by how deep into the “I love food” persona she’s dug herself. Almost every post includes some sort of clever caption about eating. That’s the identity she’s dead set on portraying.
I don’t know if she thinks it’s endearing. I don’t know if she thinks it’s cute or relatable. Maybe she doesn’t even put this much thought into it, and simply thinks it’s funny.
But here’s what I do know:
In the only candid, non-posed photo of this girl during an actual meal, you can see she’s eating a small bowl of oatmeal and fruit.
That’s the reality of their diets.
That’s the reality of how our bodies function.
Why do they choose to endorse the fantasy instead?
Who do they really think they’re fooling?