Women Laughing Alone With Salad

Women Laughing Alone With Salad 12 Woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad.

This rather amusing compilation of stock photography from The Hairpin demonstrates a silly convention in commercial advertising: “Women Laughing Alone With Salad”. (See also: Women Struggling to Drink Water, This Pile of Bills is Making Me Touch My Head and Men Laughing Alone With Fruit Salad.) Like a word repeated until it begins to sound bizarre and nonsensical, these familiar generic images begin to feel weird and unsettling when viewed in succession.

Seen altogether, this collection of generic pictures exposes how little we scrutinize the meaningless (and yet, so meaningful) imagery we are bombarded with in contemporary culture. What is really troubling about these women laughing alone with salad is how normal they seem. In real life, if I threw on my generic cotton tee, slathered on a face full of make up and started maniacally laughing over a bowl of undressed lettuce, I would seem insane. Yet, these images present a convincing idea of what the healthy, happy, “normal” woman should look like (and what they should eat). I know these collections of generic photographic tropes were compiled as a funny observation about the world of commercial imagery, but they really drive home a rather serious point. For me, they sum up one of the reasons why I think contemporary art is culturally important: it attempts interrogate and offer an alternative to this kind of empty imagery that saturates mainstream culture.

Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad. Advertisement with woman laughing alone with salad.

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Hot curly haired black women go moist for wireless broadband routers and mainframesMaddox: One-handed, one-knee laptop bullshit is the preferred way to get work done“Women Laughing Alone With Salad” also reminds me of the very funny 9 Things I Learned About the World According to Stock Model Photography from the always irreverent Maddox (The Best Page in the Universe). My favourite observations from his list include “Hot curly haired black women go moist for wireless broadband routers and mainframes”, and “One-handed, one-knee laptop bullshit is the preferred way to get work done”.

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Images above via The Hairpin; images to the left via The Best Page in the Universe.

Elsewhere on the Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things:

19th century Victorian illustration of a map of a woman's heart, thumbnail.

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26 thoughts on “Women Laughing Alone With Salad

  1. I eat a salad for lunch every day. And I laugh a lot while doing so. The croutons, the lettuce,, the dressing, and then there’s the whole tossing factor. Hilarious. Salad brings me joy and fulfillment in a way that a human relationship never could.

  2. “In real life, if I threw on my generic cotton tee, slathered on a face full of make up and started maniacally laughing over a bowl of undressed lettuce, I would seem insane.”

    Oh priceless! I was reading this post in my office and my colleagues got startled by my laughter. Wonder if they think ‘I’ am insane.

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  15. The images confirm what women say about their salads: they are good,beautiful, healthy, nice, amazing, etc. Women in the US are constantly waging a war involving their appearance, trying to capture enemy targets via dieting, cooking, viticulture and fashion, placing in adoration whatever they put on their plate, hang in their closet, or stock in their pantry. To them, men eat like pigs, will die by 65, and will never understand Manolo Blahniks, I regard the stock photos as a reflection of women’s attitudes, and not with the unspecified paranoia from which the writer obviously suffers.

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