Ladies, Put Down Those Sexist Cupcakes!


We all know the cupcake bubble has burst, and yes, most of us roll our eyes while gleefully shoveling mini-cakes into our mouths during office birthday parties. But the Guardian's Matt Seaton has a violent, angry distaste for cupcakes, as he shares in his op-ed.

At first it seems his main problem with cupcakes is their association to a type of Sex in the City indulgence and the accompanying ridiculous price tag. Which, okay, cupcakes could be a little bit cheaper. Good point.

Cupcakes seem designed to appeal, in the main, to young women. They are glossy lifestyle accessories for the post-Sex in the City generation. And with prices to match: in some of the fancier establishments, they're $3-4 for a single cake, or $1 a pop for a bite-size mini.

He quickly amps up his argument — cupcakes are not just expensive, but they are the "high heels" of the baked-goods universe: beautiful, appealing, but ultimately instruments of pain. And he has yet to figure out how to eat them:

But have you ever managed to eat one without either getting frosting on your nose or ending up with sticky slime between your fingers? They're the edible equivalent of ultra-fashiony high heels: great to look at, ridiculously impractical. And like heels, borderline masochistic.

But then we get to the crux of his anger. Cupcakes, though delicious, are totally ruining women's self-esteem:

You know what cupcakes really are? — butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women's insecurity about their looks and identity, and offer a completely false and self-defeating solace of temporary gratification, almost certainly followed by remorse and disgust ... the values I see in cupcakes are of a demeaning, self-trivialising sort of hyper-femininity ... it's just really hard for me to believe that serious, self-respecting adult women would be at all susceptible to this gooey, sickly-sweet embodiment of female wish-fulfilment.

Interesting. Sure, somewhere along the line — maybe thanks to Girls and the sad bathtub cupcake — they became the snack food for women "going through it." But also, cupcakes just taste good, so maybe don't make a big deal about it.

... But since we already are, let's go ahead and rally against ice cream and put red wine into the category of indulgent substances that add to our self-loathing. And while we're at it, poor, frazzled Cathy has been attACKing chocolate during her many decades of frustrated singledom. Chocolate is the ultimate misogynist. And now none of us can have dessert.

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