You don’t win friends with salad. Unless they’re women
What do women want? This question has vexed philosophers, feminists and talk show hosts since time immemorial (or at least since Mel Gibson started making bad romantic comedies).
The good news is that we now have a definitive answer – and it doesn’t involve equal pay, housework help or a nude frolic on a Northern Territory balcony.
As it turns out, nothing brings a woman more pleasure, euphoria or knee-trembling jouissance than… (anticipation-enhancing trumpet flurry)… chowing down solo on a salad.
Unconvinced? Simply Google “women laughing alone with salad” and bathe in the bizarre glory of photo after photo of women tittering over tabouli, whooping over Waldorf, cackling over coleslaw, and so on.
The she-gasmic effects of raw vegetables were revealed over the course of 2011 as alert bloggers began noticing the excessive number of generic, advertising images of young women in hysterics over salad plates.
(A gloomy exception comes in the form of older women who often look pained – even grief-stricken – when photographed eating anything that involves raw broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes and a vinaigrette.)
Collections of nubile women laughing alone with salad, meanwhile, have achieved viral status on the internet, kick-starting a broader ironic appreciation of arbitrary clichés in stock photography to the point where “stocking” has been declared the new planking.
Popular themes listed on the Know Your Meme web site include:
- women struggling to drink water (in which parched but physically dyslexic females Niagara H2O on their faces from great heights);
- women proud of their two apples (in which women ecstatically – and inexplicably – flaunt a pair of actual apples);
- men laughing alone with fruit salad (in which men obtain women-with-salad-strength joie de vivre from bowls of chopped fruit); and
- happy black women shopping (in which capitalism causes ladies of colour to beam rapturously and perform gravity-defying air leaps).
It’s hard to know why any of this is so. Most of my female friends certainly manage to eat their salads sans orgasmic shrieking and only occasionally miss their mouths when drinking water in sports bras.
Still, it’s hard to ignore web sites such as The Hairpin which has just published a ‘50s-era image of a housewife having maniacal paroxysms over an iceberg lettuce as proof that ladies have always been readily pleased by green leaves.
In the meantime, life is busy imitating pop art on new websites such as stockingisthenewplanking.com in which civilians engage in deliciously dodgy reconstructions of glossy advertising photos.
It’s cliché-e-rific – and also provides strong evidence that today’s savvy media consumers know (and aren’t afraid to subvert) simplistic conventions when they see ‘em.
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