Food Shaming in the Time of a Pandemic

I promise that someday I’ll get back to reviewing books and chattering about pop culture, but in the meantime, here’s part two in my accidental …In The Time of a Pandemic series.

All I wanted was a candy bar.

Specifically, a Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme bar, because I’ve taken to watching Jeffree Star videos on YouTube, and the last one that I watched was a review for the Hershey’s makeup set (probably shouldn’t watch at work). I like these videos. I doubt that I’ll ever have the time to wear much makeup, but I love the videos. They’re colorful, over the top, and occasionally feature Star’s adorable herd of pomeranians. So I watched the one about Hershey’s makeup the other day, which left me with a craving for sweets.

All I wanted was a candy bar, because I’m tired of everything, and I work in a field that potentially exposes me to COVID-19 on a daily basis. I haven’t been sleeping enough. I’m constantly frayed around the edges. Every single day the pandemic creeps closer to me and I’m not dealing with it all that well. I decided to treat myself,  in an effort to cheer myself up a little.

I was sorting through the box of Cookies ‘N’ Creme bars, because they all seemed to be broken. It’s ridiculous, I know. I’m going to eat the thing, who cares if it’s already broken in half? So while I was doing this, some smirky guy, who undoubtedly thought he was funny, or maybe helping me, said “Candy’s bad for you” as he walked past me. I snapped my head up.

“So are a lot of things,” I replied without missing a beat. I was livid. I wanted to fling something at this idiot’s head. His inexplicable response?

“Like coronavirus.”

What the actual fuck was that supposed to mean? Maybe he wasn’t expecting me to actually dare to talk back to him, so he was thrown for a loop? What exactly was he expecting? Me to fall to my knees and bless his name for finally revealing some divine truth to me? I know what I look like. Let’s just say that I would have done very well back when plump women were considered the fairest in the land. I have childbearing hips; no amount of weight lost will ever, EVER make me anything smaller than a size 14, thanks to those hips.

Food shaming doesn’t help anyone. Ever. And right now? When the entire world is a literal trash fire? Kindly fuck right off and shut up. Let people enjoy things. Your criticism disguised as “helping” does nothing. Do you really think that larger people don’t know the difference between junk food and vegetables? Do you really believe that anyone needs your help or advice when they haven’t asked for it? Unless you’re a doctor or nutritionist that I’ve personally consulted, you have no right to say one goddamned word about whatever I choose to put in my mouth. And, honestly? I’m not a comfort or stress eater. Indeed, the opposite happens for me. I lose my appetite and get an upset stomach when I’m under stress. Captain Dudebro of the Food Police doesn’t know that I skipped breakfast, forced myself to eat a single soft chicken taco for lunch, and had eggs on toast for dinner. All he knows is that he saw a woman with no visible thigh gap daring to pick up a candy bar.

So, people of the world? If you’re tempted to say something to a person about the food that they’re purchasing or eating, especially right now, when many people are out of work and relying on cheaper food options? Don’t. Just don’t. Full stop. Turn around and walk away. Your advice is neither wanted nor needed, so save your breath and your intended victim the heartache. Everyone wins.