Monday, June 2, 2008

Gordon Ramsay On Boobies, Widgets and Fat People

image Gordon Ramsay is the loud mouthed chef famous for his rants on Hells Kitchen.  Each week viewers can tune in to watch him demean potential head chefs for one of his restaurants. He has famously addressed the female chefs as, "hells bitches". Each week at least one of the male chefs makes a pointedly sexist remark about the female chefs. As you watch the weekly tirade one begins to hope that at least some of this ignorance is part of an act to increase ratings.  Apparently I was wrong to hope, he truly is an ignorant ass.  When asked how he got his children to eat their vegetables it is reported by the Sun that he said, I say to Meg, "You’ve got to eat your lettuce, otherwise your boobies aren’t going to grow."  To prove that his ignorance is not limited to gender, he tells his son, "If you don’t eat your carrots, your widget’s not going to grow."

This is exactly what children need.  To focus on their genitalia because that is the most significant part of their bodies.  Imagine the horror of a flat chest woman.  What could she possibly have to offer the world, because large boobies are all that represent value and power for a woman.  As for his son, growing in a world that is ripe with phalocentrism, Daddy has reinforced in his mind the value of his penis.  Protect it, nurture it, feed it, so it can grow big and strong someday.  Implied in this message is that the penis is powerful, and one cannot afford not to invest in it.  For the Ramsays its all about boobies and widgets.  I am curious about one tiny little thing...if these parts are so important how come they get cute little pet names.  If the children are supposed to value you them, you would think he would at least invest the time in teaching them the biologically correct names.  Perhaps they are so powerful that breast and penis are words that can only be whispered, least they loose their magic power.

Unfortunately for us all Ramsays ignorance did not end with genitalia.  He went on too espouse his views on fat people. In yet another sun article he opined, "I don’t think a chef should be fat, because I was a fat chef once. I don’t think it’s a good advert for customers, especially when it comes to encouraging them to eat desert, and you look at the poor fat chef and think, ‘Well why should I have a desert? He’s clearly eaten them all."  The bottom line to him is, fat is bad for bad for business, and so it is okay to pick on someone else's personal appearance. Of course all people are fat from over eating.  It has nothing to do with a thyroid problem, illness etc?  We will just assume that the cook is a fat lazy slob by choice.  If his business goes under it is because he is to repulsive to look at.  It would certainly not behoove the general population to accept their cook for who they are, and marvel that they had the good fortune to eat a good meal. 

I am sure that some of you reading this are wondering why am I bothering to post such a little fluff piece today.  The answer is quite simple actually.  We consume ideas from the media without thought thus internalizing social constructions that create certain segments of society as other.  Ramsay has no problem attacking people for being fat because it is culturally acceptable.  Ramsay has no problem elevating the importance of his childrens genitalia because we live in an overly sexualized society.  Daily we are subjected to these messages, and they are often targeting the most vulnerable and or impressionable members of society. We think it is fun to watch him rant, rave and demean people.  This is what constitutes entertainment in the media.  We have become decadent, arrogant, and insipid in our choices.  Thought provoking television is quickly becoming a thing of the past, if indeed it ever existed.  If we must be served this daily load of tripe, we should at least attempt to consider its implications.  No message is ever neutral.


cyn said...

First, Alton Brown. Then, Gordon Ramsay.
I do thought he was being mean to the contenders of Hell's Kitchen just for the rating. And because some of them were really, really rude and annoying or slow or really not qualified to run a restaurant, or sometimes they took things personally against the other contenders and forgot about teamwork. He is much less mean at his British show, Kitchen Nightmares, where he helps owners and chefs of restaurants in shambles. He is a bit rude with them, but only if they are particularily horrible people and they are abusing their boss' trust. In his average cook shows, he is actually quite nice. It's aimed to us, the mortals who don't want to engage in a career of professional chefs, but just want to make yummy food for ourselves.

And now this. This broke my heart.
Maybe he is just a victim of the diet/media industry. He comments he once was a fat chef, and maybe he was told to lose weight. Maybe he has been fed the "facts" of the obesity epidemic, etc. and he is just repeting these "facts". I want to believe the Sun is just making things up and exaggerating, something it does usually. It's the 2nd worst newspaper in Britain, right after Daily Mail.
Anyway, he has fallen from my grace. If 16 year-old girls can wake up from the obesity myth, why can't a +40 man with a show and loads of restaurants? No chance to say "Poor Little Gordie" to him. Time to get over it and break the cycle.

The same goes to the way he treats his children. Threatening their kids with not growing "sexy bits" if they don't eat veggies is not very different from punching them and telling them they're worthless, just like his father did to him. Time to break the cycle already.

Renee said...

I had not heard about Alton Brown but I am not surprised. To be honest even though he has a scary knowledge of food he has always struck me as very arrogant.