Friday, January 6, 2012

Is Your Eating Gay Or Straight?

I am normally quite critical of those without nutrition training writing nutrition books or telling people what to eat. I’ll make exceptions when the advice is smart, funny or, naturally, when its something I agree with. In Wednesday’s Dining Times I read an article about Simon Doonan’s new book “Gay Men Don’t Get Fat”.  Immediately, the fact that Mr Doonan is the creative ambassador at Barneys went out the beautiful window, I was drawn in and laughing out loud.

Jeff Gordinier, the author states, “one of the tongue-in-cheek propositions of Mr. Doonan’s book is that the vast range of the world’s culinary options can be boiled down to two core categories: gay food and straight food.”

Some examples of gay food are:
Baby Arugula
Baked Chips
Figs and Dates
Food that's“lighter and brighter, it feels art-directed”

Straight Food:
Fried Food
Mexican Food
Black Angus meatloaf on a menu is described as “the Burt Reynolds of foods.”

Lest you think gay food is healthy and straight food is not macarons, the French cookie, are gay. Mr. Doonan says, “I can’t believe any red-blooded straight guy can even walk into a macaron shop. If you want to ruin a politician’s career, just publish a picture of him shopping for macarons.” 

When I finished the article I stopped for a moment and thought something I never have before…according to Simon Doonan’s criteria I may very well be a gay male or eat like one anyway. So if, as a straight woman, I identify more with gay male food, is the converse true too?  Nope, according to Mr Doonan, lesbian food is “earthy and healthful”. Examples are organic olive oil, thick porridge and heaping helpings of wheat germ. But in the Venn diagram of sexual orientation stereotypes and eating “whole grain bread is both ferociously lesbian and wildly heterosexual.”
My graphic design skills are severely limited but observe some groups overlap
While I contemplated arugula and googled Gay Men Don’t Get Fat I found all different theories on the subject, have fun and try to guess “the real reason gay men don’t get fat” according to Gawker. It’s much saucier than my one (grass-fed organic) beef with Mr Doonan. You see, Mr Doonan is anti-avocado. The distinction between straight female eating and gay male eating may be a lack of fat phobia among straight females. Or maybe avocados are “earthy and healthy” and a lesbian food. My friend, upon reading this article declared “I think I’m bisexual as I love sushi and Mexican.  So there are exceptions to every generalization.

As fate would have it at 2:16 yesterday, while I was writing this post, Barney’s sent an email informing me of a signing for Gay Men Don’t Get Fat tomorrow (Saturday) from 3-5pm at the New York Madison Avenue store.  I’ll be in Vermont eating what Doonan would call “hetero” food but maybe you can go.
Do you find poking fun at stereotypes offensive or fun? Is your eating gay or straight? Did you guess the real reason gay men don’t get fat without clicking on the link?


  1. This sounds hilarious and I might have to gt my hands on a copy. I would probably say I'm not a gay man eater because I don't fear fat but I DO fear getting fat...ha

  2. Interesting topic... not really sure how accurate it is because the gay men I've worked with feared getting fat but didn't watch what they ate. In fact, they usually ate burgers and Mexican food. I wonder how anyone can be anti-avocado?!! Avocado in my opinion is the greatest food ever.

  3. I think I am a gay man eater. I like every single thing on your first list! But I have my straight husband eating some of these things too so not sure what to say about that...

  4. I love comedy and all comedy hinges on (timing firstly) the ability to poke fun at stereotypes - vis a vis - I love making fun of stereotypes! I laughed out loud when I read the title of your post. (I refuse to use the acronym of laugh out loud). Having had a gay, hot, pec-adorned roommate for 3 years in Oregon, followed by 2 frickin' crazy-ass gay roommates when I first got to NYC, the reason gay men don't get fat is cuz they snort blow. OK, now I just got too saucy. And no, I don't do blow.

    The only problem I have with his theory is that he is leaving out a large gay male population: BEARS. Bears are fat fattity fat fat. And they get laid.

    My food preferences are bi.

  5. This is too funny!!
    It makes sense though. You don't see many men eating or talking about baby arugula! :)

  6. I enjoy poking fun at stereotypes. These days there's always someone who takes offense or someone who is using "humor" to insult people. But truly joking? It's great fun! How anyone can be anti-avocado is beyond me...does he have a category for crazy talk?

  7. Caron- I think there's a gay male fat phobia, anti-avocado as insane if you ask me. Kristen, my husband would totally eat baby arugula just wouldn't seek if out or eat in vrs a burrito. Cameo, the "real" answer to the gay men question wasn't drugs but________nobody is going there? Ameena- some "gay" food choices I would think common with metrosexual men. He may be straight but evolved. Lisa, there are exceptions but sterotyping so much fun. Erin, I think the fear of getting fat is pretty gay. Admission, I don't have the book yet but want it.

  8. This seems hilarious!! I might have to read it :) My husband is such a 'straight' eater it's funny. Those categories might as well have defined him. Although I am sneaking chia seeds into his food ;)

  9. Madeline, my husband too. I would categorize chia seeds as semi-lesbian. Not sure what that says.

  10. I was only Verging on Serious ;) It's the bom-chicka-bom-bom.

  11. I love Simon Doonan. As long as it's not done in a mean spirited way I think it's fine to poke fun a little bit.

  12. Totally agree Karen,if we can't have a little fun then it's way too serious for me.

  13. Too funny! I have a gay uncle and he and his partner get sushi ALL THE TIME :) IN fact, they introduced me to sushi when I Was about 13 years old. I'll never forget it.
    I was always under the impression that lesbians tended to be overweight (and no, I'm not stereotyping here, I seriously read that in a study!).

  14. You see Gina, I'd have to see that study but I love you finding research even to back up stereotypes.

  15. I'm sure this book will be super-entertaining! But wait, straight males and females have no food overlap?

  16. Sam, I struggled with those circles. I think certain straight women (high metabolism, "eat what I want types") overlap with straight men. And many hetero couples eat together but think, would your husband want to eat what you eat out to lunch with your girlfriends? Do you eat differently when husband away? Not as much natural overlap.

  17. No avocados?? That's just not right, gay, straight, or bi! Thanks for making me laugh (as usual) Lauren! I definitely think there's something to this, although in the end I would have to classify myself as a bisexual eater cause I like a little bit of everything. Hope you're having fun in Vermont!

  18. Agreed, if anything I would think avocados could be the overlap for all different groups but Doonan disagrees (and it's his book/premise). A little bit of everything makes you "spicy" and maybe bi too.

  19. Haha I semi-understand the placement of avocado. While yes a stereotype, a lot of my gay friends do tend to avoid the fat. While my girlfriends and I embrace healthy fats. I'm googling this right now to learn a little more haha.

  20. Oh my gosh. This book sounds absolutely hilarious. I definitely have to check it out. Thanks for writing about it!

    Hope you're having a great time in Vermont!