Pop: All the foodie ladies (put a napkin ring on it)
Over the past decade, pop culture has given us the supermodel, the waif, the slashie celebrity, the tween icon, the pop princess, the socialite, the reality TV star, the WAG and the funny lady (dabbling in fashionistas, rock-star progeny, crafty types and super-star stylists on the side) but the latest group of women to be pop-cultrified for mass consumption have one hand in a mixing bowl and the other on a MacBook. They are the female foodie heroines; the objects of male lust and female envy and marketing campaigns targeting your iPhone and your hip pocket.
They are about making the idea of cooking palatable and aspirational for everyday women and appeal to both men's stomachs and their appreciation of the female form. Not only can you have the luscious former literary editor Nigella Lawson on your TV screen, you can also keep her in your pocket with an "app that makes your cooking life easier", aptly named the Nigella Quick Collection, for your iPhone or iPod touch. Then there's the equally lovely Sophie Dahl, author of Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights, and maligned TV presenter (The Delicious Miss Dahl), who is as handy with prose as she is with a spatula. And now joining the British ranks of glamorous foodies is Gwyneth "GOOP-lady" Paltrow, who's said good-bye to her macrobiotic diet and hello to a book deal, with My Father's Daughter, her collection of recipes due out later this year.
Scoff as the serious chefs and epicurean pundits might at this likely fleeting female foodie obsession, I for one am happy to direct my girl-crush affections and pocket money towards women who make food preparation look fun and glamorous. For too long we have worshipped at the feet of women who want to suck the joy out of eating by whipping our bodies into submission, while male foodies (chefs, cooks and critics) have topped the celebrity media mantle. Poh to that!
Locally, we have MasterChef's female finalists, Poh Ling Yeow and Julie Goodwin, as well as industry stalwarts like Donna Hay, Kylie Kwong and Margaret Fulton, and comedienne Jane Kennedy (author of Fabulous Food, Minus the Boombah) and former Playschool host Monica Trapaga (author of She's Leaving Home) making a name for themselves as cooks women love. Save for Poh's Kitchen, where are the TV deals? I'd personally sooner watch Sarah Murdoch whip up a pavlova than oversee the next batch of bitchy top models any day. As these feminine foodies show, you can have a nice booty and bake your biscuits, too.
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