Amy Schumer's "Silent Chips" Sketch Shows The Shame Women Often Face For Eating, Well, Anything
After recently taking on body shamers in an amazing way, this week's Inside Amy Schumer "silent chips" sketch addressed another important issue — the shame women are expected to feel about eating. The sketch is a faux-commercial for Shhhh-Nacks, a brand of chips that feature "patented silencing technology" that was previously unavailable to the public. The chips allow women to sneak off and eat a snack without anyone hearing them, because we're not just supposed to be ashamed of a body that doesn't conform to narrow standards of beauty — eating anything more caloric than a salad is often viewed as an embarrassment as well.
The commercial kicks off with a voiceover: "You spend all day being the perfect boss, perfect mom, and perfect wife. Sometimes, you've just gotta be a little bad." These words are basically identical to what we've heard in countless commercials for some sort of reduced-fat or reduced-calorie snack — and, unsurprisingly, these ads are always aimed at women rather than men. It shows a woman sneaking away from her family to snack in privacy and, when her husband asks her if she's eating, she quickly responds that she's doing work reports. When she's "caught in the act," her husband immediately covers their daughter's eyes.
The sketch proceeds to show a woman sneaking into the bathroom at work so she can eat her silent chips in privacy, while another hides behind a casket at a funeral to eat. The chips serve a very important, specific purpose — they're for when you're "trying to hide a hunger you can't let anyone know about, because you're humiliated by basic human desires." And, this statement is basically the subtext of so many commercials for diet foods — we don't deserve to indulge and we should be ashamed when we do.
Unfortunately, the idea of eating our favorite foods in private probably hits close to home for plenty of women. Many of us often feel painfully self-conscious that we'll be judged for eating a large meal or a dessert — most likely because the media and society constantly send the message that we should feel self-conscious and ashamed about it. But, the bright side is that I've found this is an area where women can help other women. I've been in social and professional environments where women actively work to not promote this type of thinking and it makes a huge difference. After all, good meals are even better when you enjoy them with some friends or family members, so let's be glad that Shhhh-Nacks don't really exist and crunch on our favorite snacks proudly and, more importantly, together.