Diners, Dudes & Diets


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. In Diners, Dudes & Diets, scholar Emily Contois reveals 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. Dr. Contois demonstrates 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 Dr. Contois has already published on these topics:

Top Image Credit, Center: Southwell Photo; Top Image Credit Left and Right: Emily Contois