My wife showed me something this evening -- it is a link that has been making the rounds on Facebook. I'll describe it but I won't link to it. You can go search for it if you want but I refuse to be part of that process.
According to this link, some woman, somewhere, makes a different cutesy lunch for her child every day. She cuts the bread just so and arranges the eggs or the carrots so the lunch looks like her kid's favorite tv show or film or some other pop icon. She then takes a picture of it and gives it to him to eat. I'm upset on many levels, not the least of which is that this is a cheap way to get your kids to eat carrots. First off, this is another person who has exploited mediocrity to become a meme. She isn't doing anything creative -- she didn't make the tv shows; she didn't invent the video games or direct the movies. This woman is arranging food to look like what others have done. And yet people are passing pictures of her kid's lunch around. I hope that someone from DYFS looks at the food balance and decides that the lunches are not properly composed and takes her kid away.
Also, this woman clearly has some artistic ability. I don't. Is it fair that she can get internet famous (which means "not really famous at all") because she has taken some artistic gift and applies it to food stuffs instead of struggling in the textbook design field like all those others who drew Tippy the Turtle successfully. I now have to explain to my children not only why I am not famous but also why their lunches are so comparatively plain. Don't I love them? Why can't I make a sammich in the shape of the leading characters from Law and Order or Dance Moms?
Next...her kid has to eat these. What kind of respect is he learning for art? I worry that when he goes for his junior year abroad to Paris and visits the Louvre, he might think it acceptable to nosh on the Mona Lisa. Or he won't appreciate real art because he'll say "Yeah, that Degas is nice, but I don't see any cookies, so how can it be called real art?"
And remember, she takes a picture of these lunches every day. She is pimping out her kid's lunch. She knows that it is simply a self-publicizing method. If she were doing this without the coverage then I could see her as a frustrated artist. Now I see her as a frustrated art-whore looking for popular approval. Well, she isn't getting it from me. I'm eating stripes and solids tomorrow in protest.
I somehow didn't throw up when I read about the guy who dressed in different costumes each morning to say goodbye to his kids as they got on the bus. At least in that case I had the sense that he was embarrassing them, so it was a redeemable act. And the photographer who took daily pictures of his kids and posted them as one video series of stills to document their growth? I forgave him because he isn't doing much more than the average parent does at a kid's bar mitzvah for the slide show. He gets to call it art because he is a professional. The proud parents get to waste 10 minutes of my time because I am usually half in the bag. It's all good.
But this food thing was beyond forgivable. Will her child be able to eat an average lunch when no one is catering to his cultural whims, or when the school bus hits a pot hole and the ketchup splatters so it looks like Grover has a bullet wound? What kind of expectation is this setting up for his future wife?
And if you look at the food, it isn't that interesting. A slice of bread. Some crackers and veggies. Did she ever have to force him to eat a food he hates because of the artistic integrity? Has she triggered an allergic reaction because it was more important to have just that shade of mold-blue/green?
I'm going to go and shape my leftover Chinese food into a square and give it to my kids. Why a square? Not because it will be reminiscent of some tv character, but because when I poured it out of the box, it was pretty much already there.