Frying high
Frying high

The last defenders of excess: Brace yourself for a large portion of Instagram sanctimony

The next four weeks are a firework display of #NewYearNewMe self-regard

Samuel Muston
Tuesday 05 January 2016 18:16
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There are many sins to tempt a person at this time of the year. Some of them we should be glad of, I suppose. They do help the dreariest month along a bit. January, after all, needs all the leg-ups it can get. Others are wholly benign, the sort of thing St Peter might dismiss with an airy wave of the hand as you float through the pearly gates. Others still are grave. And the gravest is the sin of sanctimony.

For most of the year, food and sanctimony go together about as well as Bobby and Whitney (or for those born after 1992, Peter Andre and Katie Price). It is hard to really care about food and drink and be terribly self-righteous. People who really care about food generally eat lots of it and eating lots of food often leads to things like egg in beards, stains on shirts and falling over after passing the statutory three-gin-martini limit. The two concepts are largely mutually exclusive, as the social scientists like to say.

Not so at this time of year. The next four weeks are a firework display of #NewYearNewMe self-regard. That in itself is fine. Who can condemn the over-indulger who has pledged to cut down on the booze for the month of January? We may not particularly want to join them, but we can at least admire their resolve from the safety of the saloon bar.

Similarly the convert to the joys of sweat and exertion should, without fear of censure, be able to post that picture of themselves in their new belly-straining lycra.

For these are public declarations of a desire to be better, to feel better and to shift the fat on your arse. With those fat-shifters, I have no beef.

I can even put up with the people clogging up my Instagram and Twitter feed with endless pictures of the soon-to-be-eviscerated contents of their morning juice. But what really irritates like a chilli flake in the eye is that subsection of the population whose members have taken it upon themselves to be the last defenders of excess, and so post pictures of themselves eating enormous fry-ups. These are always the same type of people: thin and probably famous.

It may be unfair on him, but I couldn't help thinking this when I saw Tom Daley cooking a trucker's fry up in his compartmentalised pan.

It is a trope well known to anyone who misguidedly follows a model of either sex on Instagram – the head-sized burger juxtaposed against a wiry frame with the caption: #IJustDontCarryWeight or #NewYearDontCare. You just know – mainly because of their own Instagram photographs – that these are the people for whom gyms open on Boxing Day.

And it is all the more boring because it is clearly rubbish. If there is a person in the world who can eat a cream cake for breakfast and a burger as a snack and not put on weight, then good luck to them and I would like some of their genes. Alas, such a person is yet to be born.

Perhaps in this month of asceticism and pinching self-denial we can do something for the good of humanity and resolve, this year, to consign sanctimony to the compost bin.

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