Feel free to insult me

donutphotobytiffany.jpgThere are occasions when an insult is a compliment. For instance, if you (or pretty much anyone) were to call me a “skinny bitch” I’d be flattered and add your name on my list of favourite people.

I’m not the first to recognize this fact. The authors of Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen correctly recognized this fact and turned their knowledge into a successful book franchise.

What this example proves to me is that our culture has developed a rather strange connection to food. We love it and celebrate it with glossy cookbooks, $100+ restaurant meals and success stories such as the popular shows on Food Network Canada. Then, as evidenced by my blog posts so far this week, we spend just as much energy trying to avoid food and calories so that we can look and feel attractive.

The ultimate expression of this societal quirk was made obvious to me last autumn at the gala for the 2007 Toronto Art Fair. On opening night the convention centre was packed with stylish art lovers. Almost everyone in attendance was dressed fashionably and the group was generally thin and chic. Surprisingly, I found my dieting self (see Monday’s post) drooling not over the catered canapes on offer but over many of the paintings.Food was a very prominent theme at this art fair which needed a 300 page catalogue to showcase all the art on display. From the ubiquitous fruit pictures (among the best were 2-foot square canvasses featuring bigger than life apples for $9,000 each) to a minimalist painting of a single sprinkle-topped donut which sold for $12,000, it was obvious that not only do the culinary arts now extend out of the kitchen and into the artist’s studio but that there is a lot more money in selling pictures of donuts than the real thing!

You didn’t think I’d forget to mention today’s mystery letter, did you? I didn’t. It’s an L.


5 Responses to Feel free to insult me

  1. Jen says:

    Hi Dana,

    I have to say, that donut looks yummy but I’d rather buy a rainbow sprinkled donut and a coffee at Tim Horton’s for a few bucks rather than spend $12,000 on food art.

    I’m enjoying your mystery letter contest!

    Jen (aka., just another skinny bitch) 😉

  2. dana mccauley says:

    Jen, so nice to hear from a fellow skinny bitch.

    I have actually lost 2 pounds since Sunday! I’d say ‘hip-hip-horray’ but soon I won’t have hips and hooray on its own is just too easy to confuse with an illegal form of solicitation.

    Thanks for writing.

  3. rushel says:

    Hi dana,

    I think alot of people, if they could afford it would much rather hang up the minimalist version of a tastey calorie filled donut than eat it for little or nothing. And you’re absolutely right, we celebrate food, we pride ourselves on getting it out fast, qick and easy-it would seem like it is in so much demand! Yet we disect and analyze it before consuming it, sinply to ensure it has no waist expanding properties.

    I’m liking your blog, thanks for posting!

    Put out a vegetarian cookbook next 😉 [Surely I jest]


  4. danamccauley says:


    Thanks for your comment. I actually agree that the type of art I mention above is very appealing. I have two Vince McIndoe paintings in my dining room. Each one features a single piece of fruit and I LOVE them!

    As for the vegetarian book, I did do a meatless book a few years ago called Noodles Express and I’d absolutely consider doing another meatless book. I’m too hooked on cheese and eggs to go full vegan though.

    Have a great day! I’m off to the salt mines now.


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