Anne Bean

I make delicious words. // I make words delicious.

Stock Photo Hell: Gluttony

Stock Photo Hell

Clearly a well thought-out plan.

Clearly a well thought-out plan.

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
In order to be a good Stock Photo Woman, you must be simultaneously attracted to and repelled by food.

In order to be a good Stock Photo Woman, you must be simultaneously attracted to and repelled by food.

For bonus points, contemplate your food with your exercise bike, measuring tape, and scale RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.

For bonus points, contemplate your food with your exercise bike, measuring tape, and scale RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.

Step Two: Go Nuts and Eat Hyperbolic Food Indiscriminately
Very important: You must eat a huge pile of food in the messiest way possible in order to show that you're having a gluttonous binge. For bonus points, fuck up your hair.

Very important: You must eat a huge pile of food in the messiest way possible in order to show that you’re having a gluttonous binge. For bonus points, fuck up your hair.

Step Three: Regret Your Choices
And who profits from your shame? Why, surely not the companies that sell food like it's a drug, no. Not weight loss companies, either. Um. *sneeze* I can't keep it up you guyze I am allergic to sarcasm.

And who profits from your shame? Why, surely not the companies that sell food like it’s a drug, no. Not weight loss companies, either. Um. *sneeze* I can’t keep it up, y’all; I’m allergic to sarcasm.

Step Four: Go Back to Your Diet of Measuring Tapes

Yes, I meant literally.

Yes, I meant literally.

You are also permitted to eat small apples and medium-sized clocks.

You are also permitted to eat small apples and medium-sized clocks.

 

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.”

"Obese black woman goes to fridge to get a late night snack."  Just keep in mind: there is a photographer here who really wants to take pictures of this woman sitting on the floor.

“Obese black woman goes to fridge to get a late night snack.”
Just keep in mind: there is a photo-grapher here who really wants to take pictures of this woman sitting on the floor.

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?

"Large beautiful woman exercising"

AMERICA WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING LOOK AT YOUR LIFE LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES

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.”

1 Comment

  1. Vaguely related to the subject of dieting, and how it’s even more bullshit than initially suspected: http://seriouspony.com/blog/2013/7/24/your-app-makes-me-fat

    Also this post has reminded me of cycle 4 of America’s Next Top Model where they had the top 7 models each portray a deadly sin, and it JUST SO HAPPENED that the curvy black model whose weight they’d spent several episodes harping on got gluttony. HMMMMM.

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