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Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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gender in relation to sweets is a complex and multilayered subject, at least in Western societies. The English language adage “girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice” encapsulates a widespread perception, reinforced by advertising and popular culture, that pairs women with sweetness and desserts. Countless Hollywood films present women gorging on ice cream and other sweets when abandoned by a lover or otherwise sad. This kind of response is rarely depicted with males, unless they are weak and overweight characters marked as “losers.” In contemporary U.S. popular culture, whose global impact and marketing penetration are difficult to deny, women are presented as closely connected with and attracted to chocolate. In particular, bonbons and bite-sized delights reflect ideals of moderation while simultaneously expressing acceptable forms of eroticism and indulgence that can be enjoyed in solitary rapture. See bonbons.