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Cupcakes Are Exploiting Young Women

by | 21st, October 2013

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MATT Seaton wants to talk about a serious issue in the Guardian: cupcakes.

You know what cupcakes really are? – butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women’s insecurity about their looks and identity, and offer a completely false and self-defeating solace of temporary gratification, almost certainly followed by remorse and disgust.

They’re just cakes, you say. Ah, but they’re not just cakes: like any cultural artefact, they have implicit values baked in. And the values I see in cupcakes are of a demeaning, self-trivialising sort of hyper-femininity. This is where I start to sound like the worst kind of moralising Puritan killjoy, but it’s just really hard for me to believe that serious, self-respecting adult women would be at all susceptible to this gooey, sickly-sweet embodiment of female wish-fulfilment.

Some comments are just as fantastic.

igwhitebird

This is what I find mildly disturbing about the whole cupcake mania. They look like kiddie treats but have somehow become associated with grown women. There does seem to be a cultural message in there that women are expected to be “pretty, sweet and delicious” (as well as being nurturing, cup-cake-making domestic goddesses). It feels as though these things are being used as a way to infantilize us. Creepy …

ksquared

For me, it’s the juxtaposition of this whole fluffy pink girly cupcake/cakepop baking thing against the current concerns about recession, foodbanks, food poverty, and obesity that I find so hard to swallow.

Other half-baked exploited young women:

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SNP Deputy Leader Nicola Sturgeon makes cupcakes in Glasgow for Mothers Day, as she highlights the SNP’s support for families whilst on the Scottish election campaign trail.

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Performer Paloma Faith.

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On her 89th birthday, veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas blows out the candle on a plate of cupcakes held by President Barack Obama who celebrates his 48th birthday today also, at the White House Press Briefing Room, in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009.

 

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Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr serves cupcakes during his 68th birthday celebration outside the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, Monday, July 7, 2008.

 

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Jackie Robinson’s wife and children gather close to help him blow out the candle on a cupcake as they celebrate the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder’s 35th birthday at home in St. Aldans, N.Y. on Jan. 31, 1954. From left are, Sharon, 4; Jackie, with David, 20 months, on his knee; his wife, Rachel; and Jackie Jr., 7.

 

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In this June 18, 1985, file photo, Ernest Borgnine holds a giant cupcake dressed as a clown in Los Angeles, for the revival of the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee.



Posted: 21st, October 2013 | In: The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink