Food and the Female Body

There are so many interesting projects looking at women and food these days. You find endless treatises (some of them from me) on women in agriculture and the empowerment of women retaking domesticity. But, if you want to talk about food and bodies, usually the best you are going to find is nutritional information or weight-loss guides.

Luckily, things are changing even in that respect. There are some wonderful projects that are showing a more direct, and intimate, correlation between food and human bodies. And I don’t mean cannibalism.

First, you’ve got to check out these amazing paintings by Lee Price. I couldn’t believe that they weren’t photographs, they are that realistic. Price is showing women in their private food moments- however unrealistic they might be. The thing I like the most about these images is that Price doesn’t take the easy route and paint only fat women surrounded by doughnuts. Instead, that woman is rather slender, an artistic decision that I think goes a long way to shatter (and rightly so) our assumptions about weight.

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Then there is Honeysuckle Hype, who might be the coolest performance artist ever. I truly adore this pin-up Valentine she made, which was inspired by the image on the cover of Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat. But where Adams “detects intimate links between the slaughter of animals and violence directed against women,” Honeysuckle loves all things meat, especially beef jerky.

Now, she might not be the poster child of anti-industrialization when it comes to food (she claims to really love MSG and nitrates), but she is a provocative example of the power of women in food. She writes

Meat is complicated. Feminist theorists have drawn powerful parallels between the imagery and reality of the consumption of meat and women’s bodies, sometimes coming out against pornography and meat altogether.

I love beef jerky. And the performance work I do is sexually explicit, using my body to stage new ways of thinking about women’s bodies and food. My initial response as a queer feminist sexually explicit performance artist is a violent fuck you to anyone who wants to control what I do with my body or what I put in it.

In the current gastro-political climate, questioning what we consume is painfully hip. I am trying to articulate some questions of my own: Is there such a thing as a feminist ethic of meat? Who has the luxury of choosing whether and what kind of meat to consume? How are farmers, families, artists, butchers, chefs and others building viable and inspiring solutions?

(This video was for a fundraising effort, so it’s really the first 2 minutes that are interesting.)

Perusing Honeysuckle’s website, I came across a link for something called Meatpaper. Obviously intrigued, I had to check it out. What I found looks like a really amazing magazine. I highly suggest you spend a few minutes checking it out!

These are thanks to Addie over at The Feminist Kitchen. Her blog has such good things on it!


3 thoughts on “Food and the Female Body

  1. Love these images! What a great find and an incredible artist.

    Thanks for the comment 🙂 I grew up in Knoxville, but now we live in Atlanta. Always nice to get back up home though! And yes, people have a very difficult time reconciling a hippie vegetarian absolutely loving East TN!

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