x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Katie Trotter: the feminine fear of food

Women need to face up to the fact that their attitude toward what they eat is annoyingly bonkers.

Women are terrified of - go on, whisper it - food. This isn't an observation but more of an indisputable truism, in the way that the grass is green. I see it at work, out for dinner, at press events and fashion shows - you name it. We are unhinged, the lot of us, with no consistency, rhythm or reason. It's just the way it is.

It's all about illusion and delusion. I have a friend who only ever orders a salad starter when dining out (although I'm convinced she gets her driver to pull over for a sneaky Double Whopper on the way home - either that or she is, ahem, big boned).

We hop around food as if on hot coals, making what must be a truly irritating song and dance: "Oooh go on, just a nibble." "Should I?" "Could I?" "Will I?" We also tend to come up with some pretty absurd proclamations, such as "Oh gosh that's much too big - I'll never finish all that". When really what we are thinking is "Give me a break kiddo. I could hoover that up before you make it back from the bathroom".

When it comes to ordering food we are equally strange. We like to order food that involves a certain level of femininity. Lamb shank, scotch eggs, chili cheese hot dogs, etc are out. Carpaccio, sashimi, tortellini are in.

Bear in mind, too, that we need things to sound good. Baked snails? Forget it. Escargot Bourguignonne? Bring it on.

Watch the French and the Spanish (who have it a little more sussed than the rest of us) at work. I remember sitting at a bar in Barcelona on which there was an achingly good selection of cheeses on offer. They sipped and picked - where most of the rest of us would be all wild-eyed, scooping what we don't polish off into our handbags for later.

Men (I am aware of my swooping generalisations) have a more primal attitude to food. Hungry equals eat. Full equals stop. It makes an annoying lot of sense. I often wonder what they make of the rather sad-on-life girl sitting next to them poking away at a rocket salad (dressing on the side) all the while sideways eyeballing their big cheesy pizza.

We would probably enjoy a couple of prime ribs dripping in their beast's grease and juices - but it's fashionable food suicide, like sticking a flashing neon sign on your forehead that screams: "Look at me, I'm a big fat food maniac about to perish from overeating."

Perhaps it's simply time to call a food truce?



This week's highs and lows:

SUNO The new ethical brand is on our radar and available now at Matches boutique online.

REVIVAL OF ONE A single earring is the new hot trend? Not in our book, Milla Jovovich.

WHY WAIT? Burberry’s A/W 2011 menswear show let viewers buy the looks then and there.

MISSTEPS We usually respect Helena Bonham-Carter’s wacky style, but mismatching shoes? Really?

NEVER A DRAG We absolutely love Lanvin’s whimsical spring 2011 adverts.