Stock Photo Hell
Circle Three: Gluttony
“I am in the third circle, filled with cold, unending, heavy, and accursed rain; its measure and its kind are never changed. Gross hailstones, water grey with filth, and snow, come streaking down across the shadowed air; the earth, as it receives that shower, stinks.” (Canto 6)
The third circle of Hell is filled with folks who took great pleasure in eating, drinking, and gluttonous physical pleasure. Therefore, these folks are subjected the the aforementioned constant barrage of sleet, rain, hail, and sort of shitty mud. Dante and Virgil encounter Cerberus, who always hungers. Virgil gets them past it by feeding it dirt, which is noms up greedily. They meet an acquaintance-friend of Dante’s, Ciacco, who has some choice political commentary about Florence. Mostly, though, Dante is just sort of squicked out by the whole place.
My search terms: gluttony, gluttonous woman. Auto-complete on Shutterstock really wants me to be typing “gluten-free,” which I find deliciously ironic.
So, just typing in “gluttony,” a solid 80% of the photos are of women eating, so doing a secondary search for “gluttonous woman” seemed almost unnecessary. I mean, if there’s one thing Stock Photo Women are great at, it’s dieting. It’s one of the Four Chambers of Stock Photo Women, after all. For those of you who may have forgotten, an important part of dieting is loss of control and then regretting your choices. Let me illustrate the process for you, since it’s all there on the first page of results:
Step One: Contemplate an Indiscretion
Step Two: Go Nuts and Eat Hyperbolic Food Indiscriminately
Step Three: Regret Your Choices
Step Four: Go Back to Your Diet of Measuring Tapes
Uhg, and as a depressing coda, the laundry-doing woman is back. This time, she’s eating a single piece of bologna in front of an open refrigerator and is now described as “obese.”
Also, on a bizarre note, when I did type in “gluttonous woman,” in addition to the usual pictures of women contemplating eating dessert items or women shoving their face messily into dessert items, there were a whole ton of pictures of supposedly “plus-sized”/”large” women exercising. They were of course exercising in the manner of Stock Photo Women, which means crunches and non-sweat-inducing exercises with tiny tiny dumbbells. It does beg the question, though: how does this pointless pretty exercising tie in to the gluttony/dieting cycle?
Anyway. As Dante goes through Hell, he acts like more and more of an ass until he’s no longer sympathetic to the sinners he meets, and he totally kicks the head of some guy who’s frozen up to his neck in ice in Circle Nine. What a jerk. Which is to say, I can feel the blight approaching, looking at these stock photos. As a return to reality, I feel the need to post something positive at the bottom of this post. So…Remember, ladies, the shitstorm comes from within. Unlike in Stock Photo Land, we don’t need to let food and dieting control our every thought.
Also, in case this concept is foreign to you, here’s the actually sane Health at Every Size: http://www.haescommunity.org/
And here’s a blog all about gender, race, and class in food advertising: http://www.genderfoodculture.com/
There. I feel less icky.
Next up: Avariciousness and Prodigality, a.k.a. Greed!
Spoilers: Food and money become really intertwined concepts when we say “greedy.”