An In-Depth Analysis Of Terry Richardson’s Food Fetish

Didn’t his mother tell him to never make models play with their popsicles? (Warning: NSFW nipples ahead.) posted on

An examination of the photographer provocateur’s oral fixation, handily categorized by food group.


Spoiler: he likes spaghetti best.

Proteins & Dairy


Models with meat in their mouths — the innuendo speaks (or mumbles, given said mouthful) for itself.

1.

Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, and that’s before you get to the “there’s a bone in your mouth” punchlines.
Why aren’t there any napkins? Because people are cruel.
Would a model ever eat this (much) in real life? No.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Yes. (Disclaimer: I don’t like wings anyway.)

2.

Is it phallic/sexual? No, just flat-out creepy.
Why? The nipple. Sure, it’s a shot for Roitfeld’s Vogue Paris which makes the pierced nip-slip just about a requirement, but still.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Yes. (Disclaimer: I don’t like shrimpy sushi anyway.)

3.

Is it phallic/sexual? Not really.
So is it okay to eat sushi half-dressed? Yes, even in the mornings, and (maybe, just once) even if the sushi’s been left out overnight.
But should you be photographed doing so? No.
Would a model ever eat this (much) in real life? A male model, sure — I mean look at those thunder thighs.

4.

Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, in a sort of giddy gang-bang way.
Why did this man agree to be photographed like this? Good question. It’s competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi (here he is eating 32 hardboiled eggs in a single minute) so technically he’s just showing off his craft.
How can he possibly retain a washboard stomach given all that crazed over-consumption? That’s the Devil’s handiwork, no doubt.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Yes. And, outside of Nathan’s competitions, who over the age of seven eats hot dogs without buns these days anyway?

5.

Is it phallic/sexual? A little bit.
Should we be worried that the hot dog is wilting a little? No. Rain can make a hot dog bun soggy — that’s just life.
Is the model styled to resemble a hot dog’s color scheme on purpose? Let’s hope so, while simultaneously hoping not.

6.

Is it phallic/sexual? Yes. We have comprehensively established there’s almost no way to be photographed eating a hot dog without it looking like you’re… well, yeah.
But does the fact that Terry’s taking the meat himself make the previous photos ok? Not really.
Is the ketchup going to stain his crisp white t-shirt? Yes.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? A thousand times yes.

7.

Is it phallic/sexual? No. This time it’s yonic.
What’s yonic? Well, says Wiktionary.com, “from Sanskrit, meaning in the shape, or representation, of a vulva or a vagina.”
So is this actually a high fashion take on Crystal Renn stabbing herself in the crotch? That’s a question for the ages.

8.

Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, duh.
How about a “cat got the cream” joke? See above.
And again with the nipples, huh? As before, it’s a Vogue Paris shoot.

9.

Is it phallic/sexual? Sure, if you mull it over a little.
So what happened to the model’s manners, then? Well, evidently when Terry says to spit, you spit. (Feel free to complete this joke yourself on the off chance you don’t feel like things are vulgar enough already.)

Carbs & Fast Food


Because Terry loves teasing his models with fries and bolognese.

10.

Wait, haven’t we seen a bunch of photos from this photoshoot already? Yes.
Isn’t it kind of weird for a fashion magazine to run an editorial glamorizing binge eating in an industry full of waif-ish calorie counters likely to faint at the mention of the phrase (unless it’ll knock off those pesky last few ounces worth of salted kale chips and allow them to squeeze into this season’s Celine)? Yes, but that’s irony for you.
Is it phallic/sexual? Well, yes, but (other than the carb-fearing folks just mentioned) who doesn’t get a face like that when presented with a bathtub’s worth of pasta?

11.

Is it phallic/sexual? No, but it’s dangerous. Good luck finding a dry cleaner prepared to get marinara sauce out of your Mugler.
That’s funny, because it kind of looks like a plastic bib all deconstructed. Yes, that’s true. More irony!
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Well, it’s funny you say that…

12.

Didn’t this shot just happen already? Pretty much.
So why the repeat concept? Terry owns a lot of stock in the whole wheat pasta business, it would seem.
How do you think Lindsey Wixson feels about spaghetti? That wide-eyed expression reads one part glee and four parts quiet revulsion.

13.
H&M / Via i.models.com

Still more spaghetti? We’re not done yet.
We’re really not finished with this trope yet? Well, the model here certainly is.
But Terry? Nope.

14.
Harper’s Bazaar / Via imagesgonerogue.com

Aren’t you feeling like you’ve eaten too much Italian food just by osmosis? Yes.
So do we even care if it’s phallic/sexual? Not really (and in this case, it’s not). The carbs are simply overwhelming at this point.
Should I cancel those reservations I made at the trattoria for tonight? Yes, let’s just go to the gym instead.
Do we have to? Yes.

15.

Why doesn’t Devon Aoki seem to be enjoying her noodles? Perhaps she, unlike the rest of us, actually wanted some spaghetti.
Also, isn’t she going to end up dipping her hair into the broth? Quite probably. And that is bothersome.
Is it phallic/sexual? Not at all actually, it’s a photo included solely because Devon is so pretty.

16.
British Vogue / Via i.models.com

And why doesn’t Karlie Kloss seem to be enjoying her French fries? The first time is always awkward, and often a bit too greasy.
Is it phallic/sexual? Well, the above joke, yes. The photo, not so much.
Are we really at the point where we’re making allusions to lube? Listen, it’s what Terry would want.

17.
Purple / Via imagesgonerogue.com

Lindsey Wixson again? Poor thing can’t say no — not to Terry or the menu at a late-night greasy spoon.
We’ve all been there, though. True.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Sorry, but nothing short of broccoli can make me hate on a milkshake.

18.

Doesn’t this look like takeout? Cheap takeout. And you know you’ve hit rock bottom when you can’t manage the walk to your local McDonalds drive thru.
Is it phallic/sexual? Considering the coquettish “come hither and lick ketchup from my collarbone” expression, very much so.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Yes, and furthermore it makes me feel all sorts of uncomfortable about condiments.

19.
TFS / Via uaimage.com

Is it phallic/sexual? It’s vaguely post-coital, perhaps.
Should you really eat dinner lying down? No, it’s considered bad for your digestion.
But didn’t the Romans do it that way? Yeah, and how many Romans are around these days?
Does it make you never want to eat this particular dish again? Well, in a literal sense nobody even could eat this particular dish again — Gaga’s mashed most of it to oblivion anyway.

20.

Is it phallic/sexual? What do you think?
Must we even discuss it? Ok, let’s not.
But wait, isn’t it kind of weird that all the Situation’s straight Shore friends are touching his schlong-representing-sandwich? Simmer down bro, it’s not gay if there’s a girl involved, okay?

21.

Is it phallic/sexual? No.
Ready for an obvious joke instead, then? It’s “pizzaface,” right?
Never mind.

Sweet Treats


And why stop at carbs when you can throw processed sugars into the mix? It’s clear the mere prospect of sucrose makes girls go wild. And by wild I mean they’ll tongue-bath a lollipop.

22.
GQ / Via gq.com

Isn’t this a bit obvious? Yes, considering it’s Kate Upton in a string bikini.
Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, and again, considering it’s Kate Upton in a string bikini how could it not be?
Also, won’t it make her teeth tingle? Yes.

23.

Oh, well isn’t this even more obvious? Indeed, it is.
It’s a bit much, really, isnt it? Definitely — when this Lee Jeans campaign came out down under (back in 2006), scandalized Aussies complained to the country’s advertising standards agency about some of the images. They approved them anyway.
Wait, that article also says Terry got paid $200,000 to shoot the photos. Isn’t that also a bit much? Definitely and then definitely some more.

24.
i-D / Via lelalondon.com

Is it sexual/phallic? All things (i.e. the tongue) considered, no it’s not.
Even so, hasn’t Lindsey suffered enough? You’d think that.
But? There’s more to come.
Will they all be as unfortunate as this? No.

25.
British Vogue / Via tumblr.com

This is better, right? Yes, much better.
Is it phallic/sexual? No, not at all! Ok, there’s always something a little bit perverse about Spongebob, but other than that this is a lovely, refined portrait.
So Terry can do classy? When he wants to, absolutely.

26.

How about on this occasion? Well, the tiara is classy.
And how about the rest of the photo? Less so, granted.
Is it phallic/sexual? Just enough to be chilling. (That’s a bad ice cream pun, yes.)
Does it make you never want to eat this particular food again Well, it is always frustrating when ice cream melts and drips down the cone onto your couture.
Tell me about it.

27.
GQ / Via gq.com

So is this creepily phallic/sexual? Well, considering what American Pie did for the otherwise wholesome apple pie, yes it sure is.
But wait, it’s Penn Badgley. Are we still going to critique the photo? No.
Good, let’s move on.

28.
Rolling Stone / Via imageupper.com

Wait, it’s those girls who starred with Penn Badgley in Gossip Girl. Are we still going to critique their photo? Well, yes.
Isn’t that a little bit misogynistic? Gosh, no! If Terry had taken photos of, say, Penn and Ed Westwick communally caressing soft-serve, the results would get the same criticism from me.
Really? Well, after some deep calming breaths, yes. Promise.
So what’s the criticism? That it’s phallic/sexual? Yes, and that, you know, it’s also cheap and lazy. And the ice cream looks like it’s strawberry-flavored.

29.
Harper’s Bazaar / Via fireflies-designs.fanfusion.org

Is it…? I know, I know, it’s tough to get past the nipples.
Must we even discuss it? Just briefly, because there are macarons.
So, is it…? Come on now. You can do it.
Is it… phallic/sexual? Yes and no. Gaga can blur boundaries like that.

30.

Is it phallic/sexual? No, it’s Kirsten Dunst eating a bowl of Froot Loops. Get your mind out of the gutter, honestly.
Should I feel shamed right now? A little bit, yes.

31.

Is it phallic/sexual? I suppose… but I thought everyone felt this way about cupcakes.
Didn’t you hear that “the [cupcake] market is crashing”? Stop it. You’re scaring me!

32.

Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, with an emphasis on the sexual. Terry’s not quite an equal opportunity shutterbug in the sexy/gross food photographer stakes, but when he lenses a guy in this oeuvre, he does it “well.”
So male model Marlon Teixeira is enjoying his cake then? So much so he’s licking the shit out of that fork.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular food again? In a sense: I want cake only so I can give it to Marlon and watch him eat it instead.

33.

Hahahahahahaha. Wait, that’s not a question.
I know, but still. I just needed to get that out. Ok, so is this sexual/phallic? Well, it’s the Gaga CAKE experience. She may have been shooting for a “filthy, objectified sex” vibe, but this is more “gluttonous, campy try-hard.”
Does it make you never want to eat this particular food again? I want to roll around in Gaga’s leftovers. Don’t hate me for admitting it.

Fruits, Veg & Fruity Drinks


Terry makes sure to think about shooting models posed with provocative vegetables at least five times a day.

34.
Harper’s Bazaar / Via imagesgonerogue.com

Is this phallic/sexual? The sunny side up eggs look a little like boobs.
That’s all you’ve got? It’s a sad-looking fried breakfast, what more do you want?
Is there anything left to say about the fact that it’s Lindsey Wixson again? No.

35.

Do I even need to ask? No.
But does it make you want to buy Sisley brand clothes? No.

36.

And again with the bananas, huh? Yes, this time — Terry Richardson’s 2010 Pirelli calendar shoot — they’re a bit stubby, though.
So we don’t need to discuss the whole “phallic/sexual” deal, then? Not as far as bananas are concerned. The fruit-of-choice for sex ed teachers, you know what’s going to happen when you’re shot giddily chowing down on one.
Does it make you never want to eat this particular food ever again? Well, we all need the potassium, but let’s agree to only enjoy bananas in private from now on.

37.

Is it phallic/sexual? Another sadly redundant question. This is the worst.
But doesn’t everyone feel this way grocery shopping? Well, I know that sometimes we all want to lie down in the baked goods section because it’s just too much and how on Earth do you choose between all the muffins, but getting saucy with a cucumber is not quite the same.
What would other shoppers say? Clean up in aisle seven!

38.

Is it phallic/sexual? Well, it is from a gold digger-themed editorial, which is unfortunate. But this photo alone is just about acceptable.
Just about? Look at the expression. She’s not only excited about those strawberries…
So does it make you never want to eat this particular food again? I only like strawberries with cream anyway. Wait, that sounds awful in this context.
Too late.

39.
Harper’s Bazaar / Via imagesgonerogue.com

Oh dear, cherries? Yes, we’ve reached the section featuring sexy women playing with cherries. You might call it the lowest common denominator, but you’d be wrong.
Is it phallic/sexual? Mostly it’s just sad and played out. It’s the Lucite heels of Terry’s work, particularly with celebs.
Really? Oh yes. Case(s) in point to follow…

43.

Oh look, something new! Are we done with cherries now? Thankfully yes. Think of this photo of Stefano Gabbana pouring champagne on Domenico Dolce as a bubbly palate cleanser.
How nice. Well, I wouldn’t go quite as far as to call this photo nice. Domenico’s jawline looks sharp, but then he also looks like he’s close to choking.
Is it phallic/sexual? Yes — just because it pales in comparison to all the previous “fruit in mouth” photos doesn’t mean it’s not also weirdly inappropriate.

44.

Is it phallic/sexual? Not really, but the old lady leching on Anja Rubik’s legs here looks like Peter Parker’s aunt from Spiderman. (The Tobey Maguire series, that is. She clearly doesn’t look like Sally Field.)
Anything else? No, but it is time for a coffee break. The last batch of photos coming up will be tough to deal with sans caffeine.

Not Actually Food, But Still

45.

Is it phallic/sexual? Who cares! Giant, gold-plated Beckhams are taking over the world and making lunchmeat of our national monuments. Run for the hills!
Couldn’t this just be Terry playing with scale in the photo? ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE THAT CHANCE? Sucks to be French right now, that’s for sure.

46.

Is this a real jewelry campaign? Why yes, it is. Advertising these days gets zany like that.
Is it phallic/sexual? Yes, and the stretchy plastic Terry doll isn’t wearing any pants. Not that you were planning on giving it to a child to play with anyway.

47.

Why would anyone agree to do this? Because Terry said so. Or because Tyra said so — like that one Top Model episode when the contestants had to pose with spiders. Good times.
Is is phallic/sexual? No, and really this tarantula is not even in the model’s mouth. But I needed to share the horror I felt upon finding this photo, so there.

48.

Why would anyone agree to do this? Almost as puzzling a quandary as to why Vogue Paris would print the results.
So Crystal Renn is actually swallowing a dirty dishrag? Perhaps. Though apparently it’s an octopus, I think it looks much more like a gym sock.
Who does this sort of thing appeal to? The people who buy used workout gear on eBay. But that’s all.

49.

Is it phallic/sexual? Well, it’s Terry removing some anonymous model’s panties with his teeth. Sounds pretty sexual, even if the image couldn’t be less sexy.
Is this more lewd than all the food photos? Yes, yes it is.
Does it make you never want to “eat” this particular brand of G-string again? I don’t even want to floss anymore.

50.
i-D / Via postimg.org

Is it phallic/sexual? Olivier Zahm’s presence renders any situation so.
How so? Because he’s Olivier Zahm.
In fact, can you believe it took 50 photos for him to pop up and indulge in some moderate toe sucking? The most surprising thing to come out of this list, by far.

51.

I can’t. Me neither.

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