Nutrition & Food in Popular Culture

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The Nature of Food in Popular Culture
 
Since the dawn of the television and movie era, the act and consequences of eating has been portrayed inaccurately. After reviewing nearly a hundred years of motion picture and television archives even the most thorough investigator would be hard-pressed to find a realistic depiction of food. These industries are known for responding to social change in other capacities such as the role of women in society and ever-changing social norms; but when it comes to food, the movie and television industries remains unchanged in its incorrect perception of eating habits.

The film industry has a history of responding to changes in society. Movies and television shows now present women and minorities as equal and they no longer condone spousal abuse or spanking children for wrongdoing. This was not always the case. In the 1950's sitcom, "I Love Lucy," the central character Lucy was seen putting makeup on her face to simulate a bruise. She did this so her husband wouldn't hit her after she made some kind of mistake with the dinner she was cooking. In that era, a plot line such as this was viewed as acceptable; but a similar plot would be loudly protested in modern times. Today's television viewer sees a much different woman in entertainment programs. Women are depicted as strong and independent characters and spousal abuse is never condoned. In this instance, popular culture responded to a change in American culture. Another example of this would be the changing role of blacks in the film industry. In movies made before the 1960s, black characters were rarely portrayed as anything more than porters, janitors, or factory workers. During the civil rights movement, however, we started to see a more representative depiction of African-Americans in culture. For example, Sidney Poitier in "To Sir with Love" was viewed as a major stride for racial equality in the film industry. And now, an African-American actor, Denzel Washington, is...
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