Why Do People Love To See Models Eating?

And the models sloppily eating pasta are completely unlike us, in that we are generally allowed to eat pasta sloppily. I mean, not really. I am incredibly worried about eating pasta sloppily. A friend mentioned that she is not only afraid of seeming slurpy, now, she’s also afraid of ending up a stock photo, so I guess Buzzfeed articles like these give us more reason to worry about that than ever.

But, in general, I do not think people have serious concerns about whether or not they are eating pasta in an incredibly appropriate way. There will be no serious repercussions if you eat pasta and do not eat it daintily. If anything, it will make you seem cute in a Lady and the Tramp kind of way. Or just kind of gross. I’d probably avert my head if a stranger came up to me and began eating pasta agressively, but that would be for a lot of reasons.

Nothing will happen except that you will seem extra adorable.

But when models do it? Well, they seem like cowboys.

When we see them eating pasta, unlike us, we assume they must be doing it because they are willing to rebel against everything they’ve been told they are supposed to do. They’re not going to just eat kale. They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. And they’re going to express that by eating massive bowls of spaghetti in the most ineffective ways possible.

And that’s exciting, because, by doing that, it reminds us that we’re a bit better off than they are.

We get to feel superior to the beautiful women in the pictures because we know that, while people may not pay us to take our picture, we can eat pasta anytime we want. What’s more, we eat pasta so regularly that we eat it reasonable gracefully. We eat it without difficulty at all. And when you look as the joy in the model’s faces, we feel like that is really all they want to do. It gives the impression that the good life is not defined by looking incredibly attractive and being paid for your photograph, it’s just defined by eating a bowl of pasta. Looking at photos like this make us feel like we have made the right choices to a tremendous extent.

Or, I suppose, we could all just want to see people act out Lady and The Tramp. Honestly, just as “Models Eating Cupcakes Well” is a pretty good article idea, that’s a pretty good movie. But if that were the case, surely someone would have figured out how to stage this with dogs (get on it immediately, everyone.)

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    • Eileen

      I think it’s also that it makes them look human. Not “like us” so much as, well, actually living creatures that have (reasonably) functional digestive systems. High fashion often does up its models in a way that makes them look like dolls, or aliens, or something, and my fashion model friend says it’s not uncommon to be told things like, “Wait in this room and don’t make any noise,” or not to be able to eat or drink anything for hours except water through a straw because the hair, makeup, and clothes can’t get messed up. There’s a reason the French word for model is mannequin. Seeing a model eat something – pasta or maybe a cheeseburger – reminds us, oh, hey, she’s actually a human girl/woman underneath all that crap. Which is kind of nice.

    • jamiepeck

      I don’t know, I think there’s a lot of eating disordery stuff going on in a lot of the food shoots I see…the models are never just eating a normal meal normally, they are binging, with the implication that they’re going to purge afterwards. Pretty gross, IMO.