There was a great article in the New York Times this week about hollywood actresses and the incongruity between their claims about diet versus actual practice. In magazines like Esquire, Vanity Fair, Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, it is customary for journalists to sit down for meals with actresses while they conduct interviews. In good and thorough journalistic practice, these stories usually disclose what the starlet consumes. Often, the celebrity being interviewed will surprise us by ordering something significantly heartier than one would expect for her frame.
Film publicist Jeremy Walker has actually coined a term for these instances: DIPE - documented instances of public eating. Apparently, Hollywood publicists stage mealtime interviews with celebrities that may have borderline (or full-blown) eating disorders, knowing the details of the meal will be published.
Cynical as I might be, I'm surprised that this practice is so pervasive that it has developed it's own acronym. I find this false representation that actresses project to be irresponsible and utterly selfish. I think it's cruel and twisted to stage publicity scenarios where celebrities enjoy food, when, in fact, they really don't. But I think it also speaks to a greater social disease in America where Michael Pollan could certainly weigh in. Our relationship with food and nourishment has become so fragmented that there is an elaborate Hollywood conspiracy to fool the masses into believing celebrities do not torture their bodies when, in fact, they do. I wish people could just own their consumption habits for the sake of impressionable people who look up to them (rightly or wrongly.)
What do you think of DIPE? Does it surprise you? Are you offended by the practice?
You can read the New York Times article here. I'd love to hear your thoughts.