Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Cupcake Conspiracy

Photograph: Guardian

I’m struggling to understand what the cupcake revolution is all about. Seemingly overnight women downed tools, shut their Outlook accounts and started opening ‘boutique’ cake shops across the country. When earlier this year Marks and Spencer got in on the game I knew this was more than a subversive confection movement, it was a full blown craze. What was once the humble cake of choice for kids, the kind of bakery that came straight out of a box topped off with Dennis the Menace transfers has been transformed from nursery food into the birth of sophisticated patisseries. But why, I ask would a fully grown woman actively infantilise herself by eating a teeny tiny cake? Indeed, what sane adult would want to be seen dead eating anything in miniature? We all know how naff mini burgers, hotdogs, fish and chips, and beef wellingtons are so minuscule cakes should be no different.
But the ten years since The Beauty Myth when Naomi Wolf lambasted the cosmetics and diet industries for shaming over-indulgent womenfolk across the land into starving themselves, has seemingly spawned the hybrid treat – the have your cupcake and eat it cake helpfully consumed in one mournful mouthful. And that’s the problem with cupcakes they are thoroughly unsatisfying. From their momentary sugar high to the inevitable diabetic come down – they inspire madness and melancholy in equal measure.

So ladies take heed, for is it any wonder as Paris burned and its inhabitants starved on the streets, Marie-Antoinette could only manage the limp ‘Let them eat cake’ before she opened another box of Krispy Kremes?

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