Diners, Dudes & Diets: How Gender & Power Collide in Food Media & Culture will be published in fall 2020 by the University of North Carolina Press.
Analyzing pop culture like dude food and the dadbod, Diners, Dudes & Diets tells an insightful and contemporary story about food, health, media, and the contest for our identities. During and after the Recession, gender norms shifted in American culture, resulting in a moment of gender crisis that opened the door for industry to target men in new ways. I reveal how the food, media, and advertising industries used the concept of “the dude” to sell feminized products to men. The dude celebrates the average (or even below average) guy. He interacts with food, but with such detached coolness and insincerity that it does not infringe upon his sense of masculinity. Brands deployed the dude to sell everything from men’s cookbooks and Guy Fieri to diet sodas, yogurts, and weight loss programs. I demonstrate how twenty-first-century gender crisis played out through food—and how understanding that process might help all of us to find more joy and justice in our media lives.
Get a taste of what I’ve already published on these topics:
- The Gender Politics of the ‘Sexy Chef’ in Romance Literature,” Nursing Clio, December 19, 2019.
- “Protein in the Macronutrient Imaginary: The Case of ‘Brogurt’ Marketing,” H-Nutrition. September 10, 2019.
- “The Joke in SNL’s Big Boy Appliances and ‘Man Food’ Marketing,” In Media Res. February 13, 2109.
- “Welcome to Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s Populist American Food Culture,” American Studies, The Food Issue 57, no. 3 (2018), 143-160.
- “I Was Trolled – Here’s Why I’m Turning It into a Teaching Opportunity,” Nursing Clio, July 17, 2018.
- “The Spicy Spectacular: Food, Gender, and Celebrity on Hot Ones,” Feminist Media Studies. Commentary and Criticism: Food Media Special Issue. 18, no. 4 (2018), 769-773.
- “Not a Day for Salads: The Football Food Rules of the Super Bowl,” Nursing Clio, February 1, 2018.
- “Real Men & Real Food: The Cultural Politics of Male Weight Loss,” Nursing Clio, August 15, 2017
- “‘Lose Like a Man:’ Gender and the Constraints of Self-Making in Weight Watchers Online,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 17, no. 1 (2017): 33-43.
- “Emily Contois on Food, Gender & Health in U.S. Pop Culture,” Brown University Research Matters, YouTube, November 5, 2016.
Top Image Credit, Center: Southwell Photo; Top Image Credit Left and Right: Emily Contois