On one hand, it's refreshing that people have become less embarrassed to admit they've fallen upon hard times. Coming out of the closet to acknowledge financial struggles is the first step toward everyone realizing that financial plights are more universal than once thought. And once destigmatization is complete, maybe—just maybe—we might collectively work toward securing a more fair and prosperous future for the coming generations.
The downside of this cultural shift is that once doggedly-guarded secret shames have been mistakenly elevated to the status of achievements to be proud of. Take, for example, /r/shittyfoodporn and the other subreddits perpetually competing to out-disgust one another with food that falls just within the margins of palatability. These pages of culinary abominations use the same tactics as gory slasher films to shock and awe the audience with scenes only stomach-able from a safe distance.
Rather than add to this miserable pile, we decided to go in the opposite direction and asked our friends and acquaintances to share their worst bachelor(ette) meals with us so that photography collaboration, LAZY MOM (Josie Keefe and Phyllis Ma), could style their gross grub into works of art. Taking inspiration from atomic age homemaker cookbooks, LAZY MOM shows us that with a little TLC, even our darkest indulgences have the potential to be beautiful.
"Hot dog, boiled, wrapped in a flour tortilla and cheddar cheese. Mustard and Tapatillo. Taco Bell's got nothing on me." - John, 31
"Using Baked Lays to scoop up buttery mashed potatoes like it's a dip. I call it 'double potatoeing.'" - Mitchell, 25
Ground beef, baked beans, and Spaghetti-Os mixed together. Poured over toast if you have any loaf heels left. - Scott, 36
"Three slices of cold ham loaf smothered with a package of In-N-Out special sauce."- Drew, 32
"A slice of deli meat, ketchup, and mayo on top, rolled up like a taquito. I hate myself." - Michelle, 29
"Cheetos over Chef Boyardee ravioli." - Anh, 28
"Tortilla chips topped with cottage cheese, hot sauce, and almonds." - Rohini, 35
"Uncooked ramen. You know the ones that come in a bag. Just plain or maybe some Valentina on it. I'm disgusting. I know." - Cynthia, 28