Overanalyzing: Why Do Hipsters Take Pictures Of Their Food?


Sometime around 2010, the first photo of a tofu cake (or was it a mango salad?) appeared on my Facebook feed. What was my reaction? I wish I remembered. Perhaps I smiled. Maybe I “liked” it. Or possibly I turned off my desktop PC (oh, the technology we used in ye olden days!) and headed to the kitchen. Most likely, I ignored it, not realizing that I was just witnessing the birth of a trend soon to sweep the world.

Similar images followed. First they were rectangular, after some time they got square and weirdly lit. And they kept multiplying to outnumber political rants, comments about the weather, and finally even pictures of cats. Various websites have sprung up in reaction to the fad. Like this one. And also that.

What the hell are people trying to say, when they post everything they’re about to eat?  – I asked myself. And these are the answers I came up with:

  1. “I exist.Don’t laugh, this one’s serious. Some people write their names  on walls to confirm their own existence, or appear on The Jeremy Kyle show, or write lame blogs. Others photograph their egg sandwiches to state “I’m ok. I’m alive. I eat. Therefore I am.”
  2. “Food is pretty.” Some people can notice beauty in everything, be it an abandoned shack, an old bike, a lovely piece of pavement, this summer’s first strawberries, or a bowl of chips. Good for them. (The people. And the chips.)
  3. “I’m sophisticated. Just look at my splendid gnocchi with sous-vide prosciutto di Parma!” Yes, my half-burned pasta looks sad in comparison.
  4. “I can cook.” In case you didn’t know, cooking is a really cool hobby to have. Almost as trendy as food photography. I’m not cool: I never take pictures of the pasta I burn.
  5. “I eat healthy. I am better than your fat ass, because all I had today was some quinoa with kale and acai. And a carrot “cake” made of carrots only.” I usually unfriend these people immediately and reach for another Pringle.
  6. “I eat unhealthy. Fuck diets. I’m a Nutella pancake eater and proud of it!” And that’s pretty awesome, my dearest hipster friend. Now could I please have some?
  7. “I’m vegan. I’ve read enough Peter Singer to give you a lecture about speciesism and the need for animal liberation, but also enough psychology books to know that an image of a tasty, cruelty-free lunch will be more effective.” What they don’t know is that the omnivorous majority doesn’t give a damn.
  8. “I’m (not) a hipster.” A True Hipster would rather be caught eating in McDonalds than admit to their hipsterism. Unless they do it ironically, that is. Saying “O eM Gee, I’m posting photos of my food! I’m suuuch a hipster!”

My next question is: why do fashion bloggers take pictures of their outfits? You tell me!



7 thoughts on “Overanalyzing: Why Do Hipsters Take Pictures Of Their Food?

  1. Pingback: Thursday Track: “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie | Coverrated

  2. Sad to say that I am also guilty of taking pictures of my food. Usually because the presentation of the food is just so pretty that I feel that I HAVE to take a picture. But then later, seeing the picture just makes me feel so hungry and crave whatever I took a picture of. >.< Anyway, enough about food! Your question was about outfit posts. I don't take many pictures of my outfit but I like to look back at the pictures to see how my style has evolved (and also to take fun of myself because usually I am like, What the hell was I thinking when I styled that outfit!)

    • Thanks for your comment! So you are reason number 2, you notice beauty in food – nice! Hahaha, and yes, I love to look at my outfits from 5 years ago and thinking WTF?! xD

  3. When the food photography trend appeared I was like “thats pasta, it’s nice and tastes good, but is not pretty because it’s pasta!” I could not find beauty in tangled noodles, soups, bread or whatever yummy thing one could think of. But then one day I went out with some friends, and we ate the most delicious and good looking salmon bruschetta, with red spices and green leaves around it. I think that was the first food icon I instagrammed, and now I can occasionally post a picture of chocolate cake, croissants or other sweets (they tend to look good). I did surrender. As for my outfits pics, that’s unquestionable, I do it because so, because I like them, and I like to see other people’s photos too. However, I still can’t find beauty in pasta.

  4. Ah, number 5 “I eat healthy” – the most annoying one of all! Sometimes I think Instagram is just a competition of who can be the healthiest. When the healthy food is followed up with sneaker pictures on the pavement captioned something like, “Just beat my time,” or “Always feel so good after a workout,” …puke.

  5. Pingback: Monday Review: One Day by David Nicholls | Coverrated

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