You heard me.
When I was a young teen, my mother would sometimes try to make me eat yogurt. “Just a bite, for protein,” she’d beg, as I’d stare at her, glassy-eyed, over two large pumpkin muffins. Usually, I gave in. But I’m not a teen anymore, I’m an adult. I dislike most things about this so-called “food” and I will not eat it.
To begin with, I hate the word “yogurt.” I hate that it is sometimes spelled “yoghurt.” I hate that, in the year 2015, a woman made yogurt from her vaginal secretions. These two things are disturbingly easy to associate with each other. Yogurt is basically the phrase “moist panties” in food form, a yeast infection you give yourself as a magic spell against yeast infections. Managing to seem both aggressively performative and girlishly private, yogurt—as comedian Sarah Haskins explains in her web series, “Target: Women”—is marketed almost exclusively towards my gender as some kind of special celebratory Girl Treat that makes us waggle our eyebrows and twirl each other around our sparkling kitchens, unburdened by the weight of actual food.
Yogurt, you see, is not real food. It’s goo. It’s adult baby food that you put real food in or around to mask its creepy, unsatisfying texture and sour, milky taste. Despite what the yogurt industry would have us think, yogurt is not an indulgence. It’s not something that can be eaten joyfully. As far as I can tell, it is meant for brisk and grim consumption by stock photo models on a spaceship floating outside the matrix.
However, even stock photo models are robbed from speaking visual truth to the utter joylessness inherent to yogurt eating. If you search “Yogurt + Woman” on Shutterstock, most of the photos you will find are decidedly not-grim. Instead, you’ll find models holding spoons up to their open mouths like beaming, dextrous babies, tempting their taste buds with a glistening white glob of bacterial jizz. And speaking of which, a significant number of said photos look like this:
Is yogurt for real?! Not only is yogurt baby food for women, it’s also sexualized baby food, and no offense if you like yogurt, but basically, every spoonful we allow into our mouths is a gesture of capitulation to thousands of years of patriarchal tyranny.
Occasionally, of course, members of the patriarchy eat yogurt, too. But although my dad eats yogurt, and my roommate, who is a man, loves yogurt, and I’ve seen several males checking out the selection of Liberté at my local Whole Foods, it is generally understood that yogurt is not a “guy thing.” This, too, is reflected by the search results that come up when you search “Yogurt + Man” on Shutterstock.
Here is a man being emotionally force-fed by his crazy yogurt fiend girlfriend, who also went ahead and signed him up for the Guilty Remnants:
Here is a hairy, disembodied arm stirring a gigantic vat of yogurt:
Here is meat:
Take a moment to look at that disgusting pile of orange protein. How does it make you feel? Oppressed? That’s what I thought. From these images alone, it’s pretty obvious that eating yogurt is a genial pat on the rear to the rigid, destructive gender norms imposed upon us by society.
My female friends hate yogurt, too, even if they don’t know it yet. One, a 25-year-old publicist, told me: “I love yogurt!!! Love it.” Sounds pretty defensive to me! Another, a 23-year-old editor, said: “I love yogurt. Like, if I get stoned and eat a million yogurts, I feel fine about it. Also, I’ve never gotten a yeast infection.” I don’t really believe her, though!
A third friend confessed: “I like yogurt, but sometimes it makes me feel like I’m eating mucus.” She’s onto something! It does feel like eating mucus. Kate Dries, a yogurt activist who also works at Jezebel, claims to like yogurt, but added that “it’s better in Europe. Actually, Cambodian yogurt is the best.” The long arm of the Yogurt Lobby, it would seem, has reached Southeast Asia.
A big reason, probably, that my friends are so pro-yogurt is that it’s often referenced as one of those foods that’s “great for women.” Well, I’ll tell you one thing: I’m a woman, and yogurt is not great for me. Yogurt, along with “salads as meals” and “almonds as snacks,” makes me feel cranky and unsatisfied, like a squirrel scavenging for nuts in the forest. I have not gotten around to finding a primary care doctor, but I’m sure that when I do, he/she will back me up.
So please, join me. Free your digestive tract from the watery chains of Big Yogurt. Because women deserve solid food.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images via Shutterstock, Illustration by Bobby Finger