- This is a cover from a food magazine called bon appétit. The cover shows an iPhone taking an appetizing picture of a pizza, with the headline “The Culture Issue” and a caption over the pizza reading “How did we all get so food obsessed?” Evidently, the advertisement is underlining the growing sensation of posting pictures of food on social media networks, such as Instagram (as Instagram is also mentioned on the cover). This has indeed become an obsession, which can also be problematic, as my spoof of this ad will demonstrate. Individuals often post “picture-perfect” shots of their untouched food with puns and hashtags such as “#foodporn”, “#foodie”, “#foodstagram”, “#instafood”, among countless others. This ad’s side caption “Blow Up Your Feed! 10 Laws of Instagram” implies that there are rules to posting photos on Instagram that will garner more social media attention. Accordingly, the uploaded photos are typically not raw or unedited shots, as Instagrammers use filters and other adjustments to make their food look “Instagram worthy”. Moreover, this picture-taking phenomenon has garnered an expression that “the camera eats first”, indicating the eagerness that some people have to take the perfect photo of their fresh food before they (or anyone else) can eat it. This infatuation with food image becomes problematic when we consider our consumerism and over-consumption on a globally retrospective level. While we are taking 10-20 minutes taking the perfect shot of our food and editing it for our followers to drool over, others around the world (and even in our own “developed” communities) are starving – they don’t have the same “Instagram worthy” dishes to post as we do. If the “camera eats first”, and the photographer eats second, when do the impoverished eat?
My Jammed Version of the Advertisement
- To spoof the original magazine cover, I changed many things to address the social and cultural problems of the ad. Because the name of the magazine, “bon appétit”, is a French expression that roughly means “enjoy your meal”, I changed the name to “avoir faim”, French for “be hungry”. “The Culture Issue” was changed to “The Poverty Issue”, utilizing a play on words, by changing the meaning of “issue” from “edition” in the original ad to a “problem” in the spoof. I kept the pizza in the background, but changed the image that the iPhone is taking to an empty, dirty plate, with empty hands that imply they’re begging or asking for something. This empty dish in the iPhone is what I refer to as the “Poverty Filter” in the bottom right corner. I changed the original ad’s caption about the 10 Laws of Instagram to “Try The POVERTY Filter! 10 Cultural Problems” to address how Instagrammers often disregard or forget to consider issues of poverty and hunger when posting their food photos, and so a “poverty filter” would show us the realities of hunger rather than adjust the lighting of photos. I also changed “115 Recipes” to “780 Million Hungry”, to emphasize the massive number of people starving in the world. The original “How did we all get so food obsessed?” was changed to “How did we let this happen?”, prompting the audience to question how we let poverty reach so many millions of people around the world, while some of us over-consume and maybe even unintentionally brag about the food we have that others don’t, just by posting our pictures of food on social media. At the top of my spoof, I used blunt statements to urge the audience to reflect on their actions: “You are perpetuating consumerism!”, “Children are starving!”, and “Are you doing your part?”. Evidently, my spoof of the original magazine cover demonstrates the negative implications of doing something seemingly as harmless as editing and posting a photo to Instagram.