Don’t you just hate it when you’re all set to have a grumpy, humourless feminist moment and you happen to find the thing that was meant to annoy you vaguely amusing instead? That totally pisses me off – but not enough to put me in the grumpy, humourless feminist mood I was aiming for to begin with. Pah! (That is about the level of it – a wry smile, then a “pah!”. Where’s the Sturm und Drang in that?)

In case you’re wondering I’m referring to that new “viral” ad for KFC. In It doesn’t count if… a young woman runs through various situations in which eating “forbidden” foods is permitted, all of them ridiculous (it doesn’t count if you drink green tea afterwards, it doesn’t count if you’re wearing gym gear etc. etc.). Ha, thought I, yet another food company making a massively unfunny joke out of women’s shitty relationship with food. I will not find this amusing. But then I did, a bit. It actually is what some women – myself included – do, and as such it’s very well-observed. I suspect the only thing some viewers might miss is that when women say these things, they already know it’s a lie; this is their sad, wry joke, not KFC”s.

Nevertheless, I think there are some essential parts that have been missed out. Watch it and see if you spot them, too:

It’s not bad, is it? But here, in my opinion, are the additional ones they missed out:

  • It doesn’t count if it’s the night before your next diet, and you’re stuffing your stomach full of food you neither want nor need, racing against time before the dreaded stroke of midnight, when you’ll curl up in bed, bloated and aching, only to wake the next morning to discover that the new day with the new, controlled you has not in fact dawned
  • It doesn’t count if the minute you’ve finished eating, you pinch the rolls of flesh on your stomach and chant fat bitch, fat bitch, fat bitch again and again and again
  • It doesn’t count if you make yourself vomit or complete your feast with Ex-Lax petits fours
  • It doesn’t count if you’ve eaten nothing all day and will never, ever feel full again
  • It doesn’t count if you cut yourself as “punishment” afterwards
  • It doesn’t count if you dredge your food in salt in an effort to make it inedible, or even empty it in the bin, only to claw it out again when no one’s looking
  • It doesn’t count if fuck it, today’s ruined anyhow, I’ll have to start again tomorrow, why am I so fucking useless?
  • It doesn’t count if you are hyper and mindless on black coffee, cigarettes and Diet Coke and find yourself eating only to numb yourself back down again
  • It doesn’t count if you suck it then spit it out, even in public (to be fair, this one actually works)

In fact, it never, ever counts. Nothing you eat “counts”. Everything is accounted for, everything excused. But you’re still left with yourself and your body and your hate. And no, such things aren’t likely to make you want to nip out for a KFC “Mum’s Night Off” bucket.*

* Although you could always vomit in it afterwards (I haven’t actually done that. But it has crossed my mind).