Posted by: Ophelia | May 29, 2008

“Guitless snacks”

Recently Quaker rice snacks came to my attention, or rather, their commercials. I’ve been unable to track them down but the most recent featured a woman at work being tempted by homemade cupcakes. Her inner monologue instructed her to be strong and she triumphantly snacked on some Quaker oat rice snacks as she proclaimed that the coworkers “homemade superpowers have no effect on me.”

I’ve always had a problem with the way some foods are advertised as food alternatives. Don’t eat food, eat these! (“These” tend to be flavored yogurts). So I wandered over to the website only to find that, “We got a makeover! Now, we’re even better at helping you with your weight management plan.”

So, rice cakes aren’t actually tasty–they’re something to eat so you don’t have to feel guilty. As we all know, foods that tastes good or have any amount of fat are something to feel guilt about. We may put on weight if we dare to indulge. Remember the yogurt commercial wherein the woman describes all the delicious deserts she’s consumed only to confuse the dry cleaner who believes she must have put on weight? Surprise! Those foods are yogurt!, the new website for the Quaker rice snacks has plenty of recipes wherein you put things on the rice cakes that taste like other things. The articles are geared towards nutrition and “fitness” but its hard to declare that these are their concerns when their rerouting page points directly to the struggle of weightloss as the true message of the website. Its kind of hard to talk about the wonders of proper nutrition when you’re advertising your food product as not food but as little edible plates that sort of taste like food and that’s what ladies need–along with websites with lots of baby pink.

Buying into the notion of guilt and innocence when it comes to food is in no way healthy. Foods don’t come in good and bad, and encouraging those sorts of thoughts makes it impossible to believe that Quaker gives even a passing thought to encouraging health and well being.

Furthermore, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever mistake a cupcake for a rice cake with things on it, so its not a very helpful substitute.


I didn’t intend for this pontification to coincide with anything, but this just in Rachel Moss doesn’t want you to feel safe being fat in public.

This past weekend I was in Wisconsin for the WisCon convention. I have a lot of posts to write about that, including some ruminations on panels and some stuff about POC at WisCon. But this post is about something that happened during the convention that is contributing to my angry blackness and making me so angry I want to hurl gendered slurs in this woman’s direction for a week.

A woman named Rachel Moss put a post on Something Awful mocking attendees not because of their politics or their feminism or their willingness to come to Wisconsin, but because they were too fat, too white, too male, or too black for her taste.

Let me make sure you understand. Rachel Moss paid $45 to attend a convention for the express purpose of stirring up shit and making a nasty post on the web (not to mention leaving nasty notes). She secretly took pictures of people. She made fun of “fat” people. She decided who is POC and who isn’t. She called a 9 year old boy a pussy while naming his mother, thereby naming him.

All for the lols.

What kind of fucked up lowlife must you be to engage in these activities?

(The Angry Black Woman)

No wonder why advertising campaigns like this fly under the radar. We’re so concerned with hating fat that it makes perfect sense to deprive ourselves of “guilty pleasures” such as food.



  1. Yeah…
    I like rice cakes because I think they taste good, but you are spot on with the notion of “guilt and innocence.”

    I actually feel guilty every time I put food into my mouth. I realize this, and it still happens. What the heck? How has that idea become so ingrained in me??? Couldn’t possibly be because of commercials and websites and magazines like this…no….not at all…

    That’s probably the biggest feminist issue that I have personal experience with…That’s why I have opted out of a lot of media (T.V. for the most part, magazines). They don’t make me feel good at all.

  2. gray hoodie!

  3. Next they’ll call them “non-foods”

  4. Get the hell out of here! What nerve. I’m so tired of the “let’s talk about what people look like at events” thing. Some feminist is pushing out her bosom, some feminist wears a short skirt at conferences, feminists take issue with body image because they are ugly…I mean is this the best they can do? Give me a break.

    On the rice cakes- well, they’re ok. Just ok. Obviously many of us eat junk because we like junk. If we all loved to eat lettuce all day there would be little discussion. They are trying to sell the idea of fit without sacrifice just like companies like weight watchers bark that you can “still eat chocolate cake”. The message is that you do not have to trade and we all know thats bogus. You have to burn more calories than you take in. If you blow a day’s worth on Ben and Jerry’s…well, there will be a consequence if this is a pattern.

    I think trying to add in all this shame stuff makes people feel bad and diminished.

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