Ice Cream and Body Image One-Upmanship

Focus is passe. In the modern world we want to feel all the time. There is no point in just taking a walk in the park when we can also listen to headphones, munch on a hot dog, crank up our vibrating soles to the maximum , and check out the passing carnival of humanity.

  • The Game by Neil Strauss.

A woman's extremely long legs loped through the mall. They extended out from a derriere that was barely covered by extremely short shorts. As she loped, her lips sucked at an icecream cone. I, indulging in my favourite vice at a branch of the ubiquitous Costa Coffee, pondered the 200 Calories that she was consuming and whether she would forgo a proper nutritionally balanced lunch. Beside her, sashayed a short, shaven-headed thuggish looking man with a protruding belly.

The signal she was unmistakable: "I eat ice cream and I haven't got a dimple of cellulite on my pins. Take that bitch!"

When this woman eventually did sit down for lunch across from the thug who would undoubtedly stuff his face with pork ribs, a side of garlic bread and three beers, she would have a large glass of water. Thus, she makes a trade: the pose that having an ice cream afforded against real nutritious food.

Any more ice cream and you won't be able to wear that!

Her eating of ice cream is a social statement, a message to other women, a sneer. Yet, it rots her on the inside. She's signalling that she is an air-head with poor impulse control, that she is vain and prefers the one-upmanship to the more tangible benefits of her long-term health. In other words, she is signalling that she not long-term partner material. A thug is right at her level.

So what does what you're eating say about you?