I’m sure everyone follows at least one food-focused Instagram feed—your favorite restaurant perhaps, a feed dedicated to doughnuts, or a person who manages to make breakfast an occasion every single day. As someone who enjoys food and follows all of those accounts and more, I consider myself a #foodstagram anthropologist of sorts, always searching for a feed for whatever food-porn mood I’m in.
But sometimes, I just can’t handle photo after photo of trendy foods of moments—the endless parade of well-lit matcha lattes, slices of avocado toast, and mason jars full of layered chia-seed pudding, all carefully placed on a fabulous tiled table amongst chic sunglasses and a very adorable succulent plant.
In these moments, I want something more ‘of the people’ to pursue as an antidote to an unattainable, well-filtered lifestyle I can’t reproduce. I want an alternative to the #whole30 health trendlets I can’t commit to. I want to enter the world of the #foodbetch.
To understand the food betch, think about that scene in Mean Girls where Regina George is eating the Kalteen Bars, except replace that with the sprinkle-filled birthday cake cream cheese on a Tompkins Square Bagel. Food-betch accounts are devoid of well-curated general lifestyles à la Kinfolk, and full of fatty, fried, cheesy, carb-y, cookie-in-a-cookie stuffed foods. These feeds are the adult version of a kids’ meal on repeat.
The photos give a possibly unintentional middle finger to that hot New York Times-reviewed restaurant by sticking to the classics.
For a lack of better words, it’s the Basic Bitch phenomenon transposed onto Instagram, and I’m obsessed with it. Why? It’s based solely on (borderline) untrendy comfort food. The people behind these feeds don’t care about it looking good because they know it speaks for itself. And it’s almost always girls behinds these accounts. The photos give a possibly unintentional middle finger to that hot New York Times-reviewed restaurant by sticking to the classics.
They don’t care for a second if their food taste is well, kind of basic, because it’s unanimously and absolutely delicious.
What makes for a fine #foodbetch photo?
(Besides the hashtag)
1) No faces.
The only sign of humanity in these photos are the thumbs and manicures (sometimes chipped) of the photogs.
Taste the rainbow #hungryhungrybetches A photo posted by @hungryhungry_betches on
2) Slightly ill-lit photos
These are snap and post photos of food—maybe a little brightening up within the app, but no VSCO filters here.
red velvet cheesecake #hungrychicks A photo posted by @hungrychicks on
…either of a classic bacon-egg-cheese variety, or the rainbow delight birthday-cake cream cheese bagel.
YAY TO 50K!!!!! Only way to celebrate is with a Nutella, white chocolate, peanut butter, dark chocolate, whipped cream and sprinkle bagel 😝 #thenaughtyfork #PHAAT A photo posted by ғood poѕтѕ oғ мιaмι (@thenaughtyfork) on
4) Elaborate cookies
…that are stuffed with cookies, or cookies stuffed in cupcakes, or the insides of a gooey Levain cookie.
The real reason I came to NYC #thenaughtyfork #PHAAT A photo posted by ғood poѕтѕ oғ мιaмι (@thenaughtyfork) on
5) Stacked froyo cups
Froyo for breakfast because I do what I want 😈😋🍦 #smallgirlbigbites A photo posted by I ❤️ Big Bites & I Cannot Lie (@smallgirlbigbites) on
6) Penne alla vodka
Never mind, I’ll find salmon like yooou🍱 A photo posted by 🍴full plates, full hearts🍴 (@nomcitybetch) on
8) An aggressive, pro-carbohydrate and anti-almond milk lifestyle
One that is best embodied with the ‘betcheslovethis mantra': #eatingfortheinstas
CHEESY AF 💥👅😋 (pc: @foodhub305 ) #thelatestindulge #follow #like4like #TFLers #liker #likes #l4l #likes4likes #instagood #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #EEEEEATS #foodporndaily1 #newforkcity #foodilysm #fooodieee #betcheswhoeat #hungrybetches #delish #foods #delicious #tasty #eat #eating #hungry #foodpics #NOM #eastcoastfeastcoast
9) Did I mention cheese is a thing?
Because cheesy is definitely a thing.
The breakfast of champions! #TheCheesious A photo posted by #TheCheesious (@thecheesious) on
To find out more about the girls (and as I found, boyfriends) behind these Instagrams, I reached out to two of my favorites—Eat Now, Play Later and The Latest Indulge—to find out more about their aesthetic, taste, and whether or not they’re eating what they’re posting.
Two best friends are the stomachs behind The Latest Indulge, and they gravitate towards sharing photos of mouthwatering dishes they’ve eaten—even if the food is extremely simple. Colorful, cheesy foods are natural picks because they’re mesmerizing to a mass audience. Eat Now, Play Later, which is the brainchild of a food-obsessed couple, shares this sentiment—they aim to post food that caters to anyone’s food preferences, whether that is salty or sweet, cheesy, or chocolatey. As I said, this is for the people.
I also asked them why—unlike many popular Instagram power-users—they keep their accounts largely anonymous. The Latest Indulge says this is intentional: “We feel that it’s more about sharing our love for food with other people than sharing our lives with other people.” The fact is, the food they’re eating and snapping is the protagonist, not the people eating it.
If you’re wondering if everything published is eaten: All the brains behind these accounts proudly declare yes, all of it is consumed, but not everyday. But they do like to indulge whenever they can. And at the end of the day, so do I, to a fault—and if scrolling through these accounts somewhat curbs my urge for a gooey Levain cookie, I’ll gladly double-tap it.