Wikipedia defines food porn as “a glamourized visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, blogs, cooking shows or other visual media. These may be foods of a high fat and calorie content, or exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex”. Best-hashtags.com verified that 28% of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr posts used hashtag #foodporn in 2017. In August 2018, Upfluence, a leading influencer marketing company based in New York, published that hashtag #foodporn had close to 130 million posts on Instagram.
Maggie Ruggiero, a NYC based food stylist, purports that food styling and photography is a business of seduction, visceral and dripping in symbolism. According to her, “We get there through the suggestion of shape if it’s phallic or yonic. Oysters and muscles, all bivalves are little sex organs really. You have to keep things wet, moist. Glistening always helps, there’s this promise of succulence… it takes you places. Emphasising the tactile, glistening surfaces, and the suggestive shapes, shots of food become a meditation on pleasure, lust, and yearning in all its glory.”
For this project, I am following Ruggiero’s lead and taking “food pornography” at its literal meaning. I present to you a collection of food (and food-related) images with overt, but playful, sexual undertones.