Culture

Bacon Isn’t Even That Good 

(Rick Wilking/Illustration/Reuters)
The weird little bacon fetish that our culture has developed over the past decade has gotten out of control.

So Dunkin’ Donuts has started selling sacks of bacon — and honestly, I’m slightly furious that there is now yet another reason for people to annoy me with stupid, bacon-related posts on social media.

Make no mistake: The weird little bacon fetish that our culture has developed over the past decade has gotten out of control. Don’t believe me? As The Takeout notes, we already have bacon-flavored lube, cologne, and envelope glueand the envelope glue is sold out. 

I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no reason why bacon envelope glue should exist, let alone be so popular that it’s sold out.

(Speaking of things that shouldn’t exist, by the way, I’m going to go ahead and add bacon soda, bacon-flavored toothpaste, and bacon pillowcases to that list.)

Let’s all be honest here for a second, okay — bacon? Not even that good. Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad. I like bacon-wrapped dates, and I’ve also been known to enjoy a BLT a couple of times a year. What I’m saying is, bacon is fine, but it is objectively not so good that we need bacon-scented sunscreen.

To me, it seems obvious that bacon-mania actually has nothing to do with how bacon tastes or smells. Rather, people like bacon (and insist on shouting from the social-media rooftops how much they like bacon) because they are trying to prove something about themselves. This occurred to me a while ago, and it’s the reason that just seeing bacon can sometimes bum me out. (You’d think I’d get bummed out about the pig that had to die, but honestly? The people I see who seem to believe “I like bacon” counts as a personality is, to me, far more tragic than any slaughterhouse could ever be.)

See, in our increasingly lame culture, “Liking Bacon” is something that many people have somehow decided makes them look cool and hip and maybe a little naughty. They brag about how much they love it or how much they eat it, and the subtext is: Check me out! I’m eating bacon! That’s right, not a salad, but bacon! Holy heck, it’s just a matter of time before I fall off of this edge that I am living on! Bacon forever! Haha! 

Please do not confuse simply liking bacon with Liking Bacon. I’m not talking about people who eat it, enjoy it, and move on with their lives; I’m talking about people who post photos and memes about how they like it because they think it’s badass, cute, or funny to do so.

Liking Bacon is, unfortunately, quite common, and it can present itself in a whole host of ways. There is, for example, the Rough and Tough Bacon Macho I Love America Gun Guy. This is the guy who has a field day whenever a new study comes out about bacon not being good for you, especially if that study came from a government agency. Those are the best days of this guy’s life; he gets to fire up his phone and post a photo on Facebook of himself (complete with his signature unkempt Duck Dynasty beard, American-flag durag, and shirt with an eagle on it) holding bacon and use a caption along the lines of, “Just try and take my bacon, CDC! I love bacon and I love freedom! #MolonLabe.”

Then there is, of course, Isn’t It Cute How Much I Love Bacon I Work Out and Have Eyelash Extensions Girl. This is the girl with more than 10,000 (but definitely fewer than 100,000) Instagram followers. She’s often named something like Kylie or Madison, and she likes to break up her feed of heavily edited bikini photos showcasing her 14-pack abs to post a picture of herself at brunch, adorably posing with a single slice of bacon clutched delicately in between two of her perfectly manicured fingers — her mouth open adorably (and only slightly suggestively) with the bacon touching her lower lip. Her hair and makeup will be absolutely perfect, and she will be wearing an athleisure outfit that costs no less than $300. Her caption will read something like “Sorry — the only kind of crunches I’m doing today are the crunches this bacon is going to make in my mouth!” followed by a series of emojis and hashtags. (I regret to inform you, by the way, that this little crunches-pun actually was part of a caption that I’ve seen on a bacon-related post.) The idea here is, Isn’t It Cute How Much I Love Bacon Girl wants you to know that she isn’t just unreasonably hot and fit and perfect-looking at all times, she is also super cool and chill and relatable, too! I mean, how could she not be? She eats bacon!

There’s also, of course, Don’t Let My Perfect Life Make You Think I’m Not a Mess Just Look At How Much I Love Bacon Girl (closely related to the previous example, just more career-oriented than fitness-oriented) who posts bacon-related memes and jokes every chance she gets to make sure you know that her $895K-per-year salary doesn’t mean that she isn’t actually a total mess because, OMG, she can’t stop eating cured pork. There’s also Complicated Hipster Bacon Guy, who has decided to deal with the trauma of his failing graphic-design career by posting heavily filtered photos of $17 Bloody Mary cocktails with strips of bacon in them from brunch spots throughout Brooklyn every weekend, just so you know that he’s living it up. There’s also I’m Supposed To Be on a Diet but Bacon Mom, who posts photos of bacon with her namesake as the caption, usually followed by hashtags like “#Whoops” or “#HadTo.”

For some reason, it seems that bacon is the only food that people do this with, and it absolutely cannot be because of how delicious it is. Yes, it’s all right, but there’s no way it holds a candle to, say, bread and butter — and yet, we don’t see any bread-and-butter-themed merch at Urban Outfitters, now do we?

I expect to get at least some outrage from this piece, and if you’re tempted to be one of those people, I want you to know that all you’d be doing is proving my point. No one, and I mean no one, gets personally offended by someone saying a food that they like is just okay — as if I had just attacked one of their character traits — unless “character trait” is exactly what they consider liking that food to be.

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