Carbohydrates Are ‘Luxury’ Brands in Chloe Wise’s Eyes

Wellness with a Wow

Carbohydrates Are ‘Luxury’ Brands in Chloe Wise’s Eyes

We all know high carbohydrate foods can raise blood sugars but did you know that they’re also raising eyebrows in the art world?

Chloe Wise’s viral “Bread Bag” series, in which she affixed luxury logos to carbohydrates and gave them names like Pancakes No. 5 and her videos, in which she and her friends recite things she’s overheard such as: “ I realized I eat quinoa all the time, and I don’t know what it is,” have caught the attention of the art world.

She spends about eight to 12 hours a day in her Brooklyn studio working on food projects depicting the sensual promises of chain restaurants including ‘Olive Garden of Eden’.

What’s the idea behind her carb heavy and highly caloric work?

“Part of it is how women are addressed in the media, like ‘You want to lose weight, you want to be healthy, you want to be the best you.’ For men, it’s like ‘Enjoy yourself’. For women, it’s like, ‘Cut Back’. And it truly affects us,” said Wise in New York magazine. 

I think her approach to capturing the millions of contradictory messages being shot at us daily is necessary and so needed especially in the wake of  Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget chief’s recent comments.

In response to Senator Bill Cassidy’s position that any health insurance should pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test” (providing coverage for conditions like the heart issues suffered by TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s infant son that Kimmel described on his late night show), Mulvaney said that, while there should be coverage for diseases like cancer, coverage does not need to include “ordinary health care.” According to the Washington Examiner,  Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget chief, , diabetics have only themselves to blame for their illness:

“That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes.” said Mulvaney. “Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel’s kid? I don’t think that it is.”

It’s shocking to me that anyone, let alone, a government official would make such an absurd and offensive comment. I’m not living under a rock. I know many people still blame people with diabetes for their health but I just didn’t expect to hear in this forum.

For the past 12 years, I’ve been fighting the shame and blame associated with a diabetes diagnosis the best way I know how; with a feather boa!

My diabetes nonprofit organization, Divabetic promotes a glamorous approach to managing diabetes to encourage someone at risk, affected by and living with diabetes ‘to keep their house’ a home and prevent a diabetes health-related complication from occurring. I saw how destructive mismanaged diabetes can be when I found my former boss, Luther Vandross on the floor of his 5th Avenue apartment after suffering a stroke related to type 2 diabetes. These memories still haunt me to this day and motivate me to keep fighting!

I really like artist Chloe Wise and her ‘Bread Bags’ artwork.  I thinks she’s helping us change conversations around food, food consumption and the shame and blame associated with it. She’s pointing out the subversive ways the food industry operates and how they like to play with our minds to get us to consume more and more food. Several of her works focus on the subliminal sexual connotations of phrases like “luscious cream sauce” and dripping, oozing and naughty images used in chain restaurant advertisements. When you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty gross. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people with diabetes don’t get the opportunity to think about these types of things because they’re too busy beating themselves up about their food choices and/or lack of ‘willpower.’

I say, ‘Don’t get down, get DIVA’. The best way to fight back is to embrace yourself, and your diabetes health. Once you truly accept your diagnosis you can strive to learn more, do more and live more!

Divabetic’s Diabetes Plate Poetry “What’ s on Your Plate?” video describes the emotional experience of living with diabetes.  An important component of diabetes self-management, but often unaddressed, is the topic of emotional well being.

Are you afraid of eating Carbohydrates?

“Every day, people with diabetes are bombarded with messages to limit, restrict, avoid, and feel guilty for eating carbohydrates. Not surprisingly, my clients with diabetes often tell me they are afraid of eating carbs.” says Megrette Fletcher, M. Ed, RD, CDE.

So how does someone with diabetes stop being afraid of eating carbohydrates?

Restriction breeds fear and fear breeds restriction

If you are trying to be “good,” it’s a red flag that you may be stuck in a restrictive mindset. The idea of being “good” often start as an intention to make more informed choices, but when the reason you’re trying to “be good” is out of fear, something shifts. Fear can make any choice not good enough because fear moves the goal of eating a balanced meal to a meal that is better. “Better” of course means eating fewer and fewer carbohydrates until you have nearly eliminated carbohydrates from your diet, hoping that the fear of eating would end. But it doesn’t, does it?

Pause and ask yourself, “Do I think all foods can fit in your diet when you have diabetes?” Fear and being afraid, makes it hard to think, read a label, consider your options, or make a decision. In Megrette’s book Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, she tackle how to resolve some of these difficult thoughts about food and eating. READ MORE

CLICK to LISTEN NOW: The State of Women’s Health on the Diabetes Late  Nite. We’re talking about the state of women’s equality and diabetes and sexual health post-election. Guests include: Dr. Andrea Chisholm OBGYN, Peak 10 Skincare founder and Domestic Violence Advocate Connie Elder, Poet Lorraine Brooks, Mary Ann Hodorowicz RD, CDE, Asha Brown, and the President of Women in Government Relations, Kathryn Schubert.

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