In the age of fashionable food grams, tweets, and posts, it’s no wonder that #foodporn is one of the most popular hashtags on social media. Over 179 million photos are tagged #foodporn on Instagram, with plenty other “food” and “porn” word combinations to add millions more images. The pictures depict drool-worthy deliciousness that create instant cravings.
And it’s not just food. Anything that can be envied, desired, or glamorized is attached to the word porn on social media. Below are just some of the thousands of “porn” accounts that can be found on Twitter:
Wedding Porn? For real?
What people don’t realize is how harmful this normalization of the word really is.
Think about it. For most people, labeling something as “porn,” even if it’s just a sandwich, implies that it’s the most perfect, sexiest ideal. It’s their way of saying that this is a scandalously delicious meal that everyone would want. So when “porn” is used to describe the sexiest ideal of food, it logically follows that the origin of the word and its usage comes from the belief that actual pornography is supposed to be the sexiest ideal of sex; the best, most attractive, most desirable version of it. Right?
Porn ≠ sex perfection
Porn is marketed as the pinnacle of sexiness, but it’s the furthest thing from sex perfection. It is just a cheap, hollow counterfeit that exaggerates sex to the highest degree.
In this interview with a popular porn director, he says the production of porn includes actors performing painful sex acts and male actors injecting themselves to keep their erections for hours on end. The conditions that male and female porn actors tolerate are incredibly harsh, and physically extreme. Not to mention, with averages of 74 sexual partners in their lifetimes, porn performers are at a much higher risk of contracting STDs. And let’s not forget that porn and the global sex trafficking industry are heavily connected.
Does that sound like the ideal to you?
Porn ≠ relationship perfection
Also, porn can drive a wedge in relationships and hurt their intimate connection. Porn makes both men and women feel inadequate, and it warps the consumer’s ideals about what sex should mean or look like. Porn commonly normalizes and romanticizes disrespect, abuse, incest, infidelity, and aggression, leading to real issues even aside from sexual stuff. Consuming porn violates the trust, love, and fidelity that healthy relationships are built on. How is that ideal?
When porn enters a partnership, partners often feel cheated out of the natural, loving affection that healthy relationships are built on.
Porn ≠ any sort of perfection or ideal
Porn changes the consumer’s brain, dampens their sex life, and leaves them feeling lonely and isolated. Engaging with pixels on a screen instead of a real person drives a consumer into buying the lie that porn is perfection, that porn sex is the best sex. In a world that increasingly celebrates the cheap and temporary thrills of porn, those who consume the most will likely end up losing the most.
And have we mentioned that porn is connected to sexual exploitation and sex trafficking? Definitely not ideal.
We can do better than #foodporn
It may seem pretty harmless to tag that perfect slice of pizza with #foodporn, but in reality, these millions of posts all put together are teaching society that adding ‘-porn’ to something means it is the gold standard of that particular thing. Pornography is unconsciously normalized, celebrated, and promoted when it’s adopted into our everyday vocabulary and casual hashtags. But here’s the issue: porn, given all its serious harms, is not something any of us should have to get used to.
So maybe next time you want to post a picture of a sandwich, only use the hashtag #foodporn if it’s cheap, fake, and damaging to your health. Because that’s what porn is. Otherwise, let’s rid our society of the idea that porn is the most desirable form of something. Given the facts, it’s definitely not.
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