FemiNoshing: Why Can't Even Female TV Cooks Be Fat?

I really enjoy your recipes, Giada De Laurentiis. I made your saltimbocca for New Year’s Eve, and your artichoke soup is a staple in my repertoire. But, if you don’t mind my asking, do you ever enjoy your own food? Sure, I see you taking a bite at the conclusion of each show, but honestly, I have my doubts that you dine that sumptuously every day.

The same goes for you, Padma Lakshmi. I’ll bet you never actually swallowed that repulsive-looking Carl’s Jr. burger you were chomping with such gusto in that commercial.

And let me not forget Debbi Fields, who for years made the most decadent treats on television yet never seemed to gain an ounce.

Now, ladies, I want you to know I don’t dislike you personally. And I don’t hate the thin (just slightly begrudge their genes). But I do despise what you represent: the celebrity chef who cooks heavenly food yet never seems to get to enjoy it. I despise your alleged effortless perfection, which presents you as the male ideal: the hot chick who cooks without getting fat.

You see, if you actually were eating all the food you cook, you likely wouldn’t look the way you do. You would be much more likely to look like Ina Garten or Paula Deen, who aren’t even that big anyway. Even Rachael Ray has been given lip for daring not to be a twig.

In the meantime, no one says anything to Mario Batali. Or to Emeril. Or even to Gordon Ramsay, who I theorize stays slim through sheer rage. Just wait, Jamie Oliver, until your metabolism slows down. That’s when things will get ugly! Ha, what am I saying? No one is going to care. Only our female chefs are forbidden from getting fat.


Author: A.K. Whitney

A.K. Whitney is a journalist in Southern California.


  1. Riot grrrl says:

    Wow. Why *should* they be “fat”? I mean, it’s not HEALTHY to be fat. It’s also not a good role model for young people.
    I can kind of see your point, if these chefs make notoriously fatty foods, but either way, it’s your choice what to eat so why should they be fat? I’m sorry but it just sounds like you’re fat and jealous of those women because they aren’t and that’s not empowering to women, it’s hateful and pathetic.

  2. A.K. Whitney says:

    “Hateful and pathetic?” “Fat and jealous?” Are you kidding?
    Way to make this personal, Riot grrrl.
    Goddess forbid one should critique television’s ridiculously stringent standards for women’s beauty, even on cooking shows! Ridiculously recent beauty standards, BTW. Where are the Julia Childs, or the Fat Ladies, these days? I miss them. They cooked amazing food, enjoyed it, and made no apologies for not being universally fuckable.


  1. [...] is part of a recent comment posted on a not-so-recent story I once wrote for FemiNoshing called “Why can’t even female TV cooks be fat?” While I agree that the story was written with a pretty heavy dose of snark, I’m not [...]

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