Group 4

The rise of the foodie fashion girly

She’s serving looks and delicious meals


Historically, food and fashion have not always been friends. If not always enemies, then sometimes something like a toxic situationship. Who can forget Kate Moss’ “nothing tastes as good skinny feels” — the words that launched a thousand skipped desserts and still, according to a brief survey of the diet-pilled side of the internet, still looms heavy in the minds of the calorie-conscious. Or fashion noob Andy Sachs getting told off for eating carbs in The Devil Wears Prada? When fashion did get foodie, it often hinged around a calculated juxtaposition between food considered unhealthy and models who embodied the beauty ideal. Think Emily Ratajkowski sultry-eyed and smeared with spaghetti or Victoria’s Secret Angels posing with pizza slices moments before walking a televised runway sculpted in their skivvies.

But following widespread critique of the industry’s “thin by any means necessary” MO – those means often being eating very little and mostly from the fruits and vegetables tier of the food pyramid — starting in the 2010s, it became increasingly unfashionable to centre supposed contradictions between food and fashion. Yet people remained interested in what exactly models, it girls and influencers, were into eating. Thus, a content genre was born. First on YouTube — the most viewed videos on Victoria’s Secret model Sanne Vloet’s channel, started in 2017 and with over 1.5 million subscribers today, all have titles like “what I eat in a day as a model”. Then, model diets became a point of interest everywhere else online — from Instagram story AMAs to TikTok vlogs in which models and influencers shared clips of smoothies and bowls mid-bite. The recipes and meals shared weren’t necessarily bland, but it also wasn’t foodie paradise. It was usually  the kind of thing you might eat on a run-of-the-mill weekday or to get some energy on your way to the gym — oatmeal with sliced banana and superfood powders, roasted vegetables and cuts of fish, seaweed snacks and chips made of chickpeas. 

So, when model-musician and face-of-the-times Gabbriette started posting cooking videos last year, it felt different. She wasn’t making nourish bowls, she was making s’mores and Taco Bell crunch wraps. She wasn’t just fueling up in an athleisure set, she was frosting multi-level chocolate cakes while wearing Mugler. Gabbriette’s recipe videos are a full on cooking show — the kind you’d expect from a late 2010s Bon Appétit affiliate if they were also the embodiment of “bad girl Angelina Jolie in her blood vial era” and constantly being cast in shows for designers like Diesel and Balenciaga and campaigns for brands like Agent Provocateur and Juicy Couture. It’s culinary… it’s captivating… it’s good content!

Gabbriette is not alone in the content kitchen — models like Bella Hadid and Iris Law have also taken to posting food-filled videos that veer away from the oatmeal and giant salads of the 2010s. On TikTok, you can find Bella eating birria tacos while talking about her tooth infection — admittedly in an extremely glamorous way, dressed in all white — and showing us how to make her favorite salami and brie sandwich on a picnic blanket. Meanwhile, Iris is serving us recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, rating banana pain au chocolates in Paris, reviewing her favorite places to eat in east London, and Wildflower Cases co-founder Sydney Carlson's Instagram is now equal parts fit checks and food vids. So why have the fashion girls gotten so into foodposting? And why do we all eat it up?

Part of it’s pretty simple — the usual “Celebrities! They’re just like us!” business at work again. It’s nice to see some of the most famous models in the world eat cured meat out of a package (even if it’s salami on the pricier end), rather than Uber Eats-ing Nobu. And it’s no secret that we expect more from our influencers these days, whether supermodel or straight-up content creator. We want them to do something beyond posting and looking pretty — even if that’s just posting, looking pretty, and showing us how to make a sandwich. We saw this at work when Kendall Jenner went viral (for all the wrong reasons) when she cut a cucumber like someone who had never seen a cucumber or a knife before. Gabriette is going viral for the opposite — she has knife skills, she knows the difference between baking soda and baking powder, she’s DMing the chef behind a vegan dark chocolate cake to find out how exactly to make it after a few failed attempts. And making your own food, even with fancy ingredients in a kitchen that definitely has a dishwasher, is in some ways an antidote to the LA influencer archetype — who buys overpriced pantry staples only from Erewhon and who can afford to dish out on expensive meals that still align with numerous dietary requests, that seems evermore out-of-touch amidst a cost-of-living crisis and pending recession.

And for a lot of people, this content is relaxing and ASMR-adjacent — recipes are spoken through in soothing low-tones, there are rhythmic chopping and cutting noises, and there’s most likely a crunchy bite-shot to top it all off. For some, it even borders on “comfort content”, especially for those who deal with food restriction or body image issues — a commenter on Bella’s sandwich show-how, which includes a drizzle of olive oil, reminds fellow watchers that “Bella isn’t afraid of olive oil and you shouldn’t be either”. To many, seeing fashion girls eat full-fat cheese and butter made from cow’s milk is refreshing, especially to a generation who grew up on Instagram graphics showing you how to order low-calorie drinks at Starbucks (replace the whole milk with almond). But it’s worth mentioning that the food made and consumed in this kind of content is often still a little “Goop”-y — most of Gabbriette’s recipes are labeled “grain-free” and use “healthy alternative” ingredients like almond flour and coconut sugar. And there’s also something to be said about the reality of models who more-or-less have the same measurements as Kate Moss did when she got all “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” on us actually eating s’mores and salami and brie sammies, whether or not they’re grain free, as a regular part of their diet. Ultimately, food shouldn’t be in or out of fashion depending on if girls on the runway are also walking you through how to make vegetarian fall empanadas. But it’s also certainly a sign that the don't-just-be-pretty shift isn’t stopping any time soon — so for now, let them eat cake! 

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