Quite recently, foods, particularly snacks, are being hyped for more than their nutritional value. It’s gotten to a point where teenagers and young adults, particularly female, wear clothing with images of snack foods printed on it; snack and fast food meals that are commonly consumed especially at times of studying, hanging out with friends, indulging by yourself. It is explained that ‘snackwave’ is an aesthetic that has ‘trickled up from tumblr dashboards’ and is now a part of mainstream culture. It is defined by extremism and exaggeration, opposite of the health food culture. Snackwave embraces the choice women have to enjoy foods that are considered off-limits that are suggested to link to the mindset of wanting to be ‘thin and traditionally attractive.’ (I) Most prominently the foods that are seen printed on clothing more and more lately include pizza, burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, McDonald’s, candy, cereal, and many more. It embraces more than consumption as food, but also the role food plays in one’s life has a personal impact. It becomes symbolic as an accompaniment at times of enjoyment and comfort.
There’s actually a lot more to it, it’s a voice. The concept is observed, dissected and explained in a very intelligent way by New York writers and snackwave queens, Hazel Cills and Gabrielle Noone, who have coined the term themselves, as both of them are part of the scene. The cleverly written Comprehensive Guide fully discusses the various aspects (fashion is just one of them) in which snackwave has developed and the article can be found here. They include references to key women in TV shows, movies, music and on the Internet who have contributed to the rising occurrence of food culture in this generation.
Snackwave has found its way in High and Low fashion. Pieces that resemble chocolate bar wrappers, burgers and pizza appear in Jeremy Scott’s F/W 06 collection; a label that is notorious for its kitsch apparel and appropriating mainstream and food culture. (I) The London-based fashion label, Lazy Oaf, creates collections that include references of food such as cereal, among their ‘colourful, cartoon-focused pieces with an element of weirdness’. Their vision often references street wear and youth nostalgia. (ii)
The idea has also inspired the DIY community to design and create their own apparel with snack prints. Even celebrities such as Beyonce, Katy Perry and Cara Delevigne have each been seen publicly in a pizza-printed outfit. (I)
Fashion companies and even fast food restaurants have gradually found this idea to be a way to connect with their younger consumers through social media. (i) As noted before, there are a lot of aspects that have contributed to snackwave that are mentioned in the article above, which is worth checking out. It’s a phenomenon that’s quite interesting to learn about and observe how it will continue to evolve. In the words of Cills and Noone, “get ready to ride the snackwave.”
(I) Cills, H. & Noone, G., 2014, Snackwave: a Comprehensive Guide to the Internet’s Saltiest Meme, accessed 16 September 2014, http://thehairpin.com/2014/09/snackwave-a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-internets-saltiest-meme/