instagram’s junk food accounts are going to war with good taste

In a sea of green smoothies, these hypercoloured feeds remind us that the best food is about fat, fries and friends.

by Wendy Syfret
29 January 2016, 3:20am

Image via @dessertbae

Instagram is a world furnished by minimal furniture, tasteful style and green smoothies. It's a curated snapshot of our lives as we want to live them-never missing a gym day or a blow-dry. As the number of accounts dedicated to clean living wellness continues to grow, a separate, but equally hypnotic, community has bloomed in their shadow.

Image via @dessertbae

To say these pages are dedicated to junkfood feels like we're selling them short. This isn't about eating a family-sized serve of nachos and feeling bad about yourself-these are wholehearted celebrations of excess and hedonism. To be clear; we're not talking about a curated pile of macaroons, we're talking about bagels stuffed with raw cookie dough and Nutella. These sugar coated, caramel filled, deep fried feeds are a personal challenge to good taste.

Image via @hungoverandhungry_

This is a place for curators to bask in the glory of pancake tacos, boast that the New York blizzard didn't stop them from lusting after ice cream sandwiches and disrupt repetitive narratives around food. Speaking to i-D, Emily Naismith of @emojifoodreview-and popular food podcast Ingredipedia- says she sees her page as a response to this endless cycle of good-living rhetoric. "I can honestly say if I ever see a fucking lola berry smoothie IRL I will combust," she joked. For comparison, her page proudly suggest serving marshmallows between Hokey Pokey biscuits. 

Over at @thetallfitgirl, Emma-an Ohio based powerlifter-juxtaposes piles of Oreo packets with work out selfies. Her shots directly challenge #fitspo culture by reminding fans that health and junk-food don't have to be mutually exclusive. Between the muscles and cookies you'll find the message that junk can have a place in a (very) healthy lifestyle, and taking care of one's body looks very different for each person. 

Image via @dessertbae

Alongside a focus on the joy sugar can bring, many of the accounts stress that food is, most of all, a communal pleasure. @hungrytwins and @g00deats are spaces where the pals behind the pages share shots of meals they enjoyed together, and relive happy food memories. Scrolling through comments, all of the feeds are punctuated by friends tagging each other, exclaiming how much they wish they could split that hot dog/waffle/truck-sized sundae.

A constant theme across all these accounts is the dedication to keeping food fun. "Too many people cry into their grain salads at lunch time," comments Emily, "I'm 100 percent serious about my love for food. But I think it's in a good, healthy way." Although she's realistic about the fact the food she loves is technically "unhealthy" she points out that in many ways the obsession with eating well can be as dangerous as a double cheese burger. "People become too obsessed with getting their daily intake of chia they forget what actually tastes good."

Image via @g00deats

This subtext present in many (though not all) of these images is a statement against a barrage of overly aspirational food posts. Or more specifically, the mixed messages they can present. Much has been said about our obsession with clean eating setting unrealistic parameters around "good" and "bad" food. When it feels like every corner of the internet is suggesting that anything more than a shot of tumeric water is a sin, it's easy to feel ill at ease with your own sweet tooth. These candy coloured and coated posts are here to comfort you, and let you know you're not a bad person for desiring more than a kale leaf and a colonic.


Words Wendy Syfret
Images via Instagram