One of the basic needs of human being is food. It keeps us alive and healthy but also fulfills a social element of society. Food is a reason to come together as well as a everyday life topic. By preparing cake and sharing it we make friends at the office. By having a big dinner we celebrate a special occasion. The Chinese even tend to ask their counterparts if they have already eaten instead of directly asking how they are (this question evolved in a time when people where short on food and thus making this information crucial to know).
In a world where you usually don’t have to worry about an empty stomach, food plays a different role than mere survival. It is also a means for individuals to express themselves. Food considered “good” (healthy, exotic,…) is more likely to be more expensive than food considered “bad” (fast food,…) and by that it becomes an instrument to seperate society. In modern times we know that there is a higher chance to become overweight if one possesses a lower income whereas it is easier to live healthy when earning an higher wage.
On the internet (especially Instagram) it has become popular to take photos of food in order to present them to the community. You can see nicely arranged plates filled with “good” food along with the matching captions and/or comments. People are showing off what they are eating…isn’t that bizzare? The users are telling everybody (who wants to listen) through those pictures that they are somehow living a better life. Food is seperating them from a lower class because “good food” implies also an ability to spend more money on alimentation.
With captions like “healty dinner” and so on, it is made clear, that there is only “good food” on the plate. But why is this so important? It seems like it has become a big trend to eat healthy (which is really good in my opinion) but it also reached a point where it became excessive. There are so many different kinds of “ideal” diets circulating in the modern world which makes it almost impossible to keep track of them. Food has become a new lifestyle. It is not organic alimentation or vegetarism that I am pointing at. I am thinking of trends like “clean eating”, “carbfree” or whatsoever which are mostly undergone just for the sake of losing weight.
So people do not only show off their better income but also their better lifestyle altogether. Especially amongst females it seems like it has become a trend to exhibit every meal they are going to ingest. They are spending time on preparing, arranging and posting food online. They do not only show the world how they’re holding up in their diet, they show their “good” way of living, again seperating themselves from others. They eat “better” than others. They have a better lifestyle. They are fashinable by eating certain foods. And they only know that because they can compare themselves to others by using Instagram.