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Feasting Our EyesFood Films and Cultural Identity in the United States$
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Laura Lindenfeld and Fabio Parasecoli

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172516

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172516.001.0001

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Magical Food, Luscious Bodies

Magical Food, Luscious Bodies

(p.93) 3 Magical Food, Luscious Bodies
Feasting Our Eyes

Laura Lindenfeld

Fabio Parasecoli

Columbia University Press

The films explored in this chapter configure the magic qualities of food as an extension of the bodies of the women—often exotic—who prepare food. In fact, these movies often embrace an approach that takes inspiration from the literary style of magic realism, where women metaphorically become food, often thrown away or in need of management because of their unruly nature. This chapter, which includes an analysis of Simply Irresistible (Tarlov, 1999), Woman on Top (Torres, 2000), The Mistress of Spices (Mayeda Berges, 2004) and Chocolat (Hallström, 2000), illustrates how food becomes fetishized, gendered, and racialized in Hollywood films much in the same way that women’s bodies have been treated by mainstream U.S. media. Food is often feminized in mainstream food media, and the configuration of food as magical via the extension of the female – and often non-white - bodies that prepare food into the food itself, underlines the pornographic potential of food imagery.

Keywords:   Magic, Exoticism, Women, Femininity, Food Porn, Ethnicity, Sexuality

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