I first introduced this concept here:
But I feel the need to elaborate. .
I’m fairly confident you know what a catfish is. If you don’t, welcome out from under the rock in which you’ve been living, it is currently 2020 and the world is on fire. A catfish is an individual who poses as a different individual online. For example, a 40-year-old man posing as 20-year-old girl to lure out unsuspecting individuals.
Recently, particularly on TikTok I have been witnessing gross misuse of the word “catfish”. Beautiful girls post videos in which they straighten their hair and do their makeup and put on a cute outfit. Other users claim that they are acting as catfish, which I vehemently disagree with. Catfishing is pretending to be someone else. I would like to introduce a secondary, and better term, for what I feel we are trying to get at:
In a Big Mac ad, the Big Mac always looks fucking incredible. The bun is all shiny and the sesames seeds are perfectly placed. The patties are centered, and the cheese is melted. The lettuce pokes out the sides without falling all over the place. The Big Mac looks like it was assembled by tiny burger angels. However, you order the Big Mac and it is…disheveled. It always leans to one side and the lettuce is all over the place. It’s never quite as tall as it looked in the picture and there are always more pickles on one side of the burger than there are the other. Don’t be mistaken, the Big Mac still tastes incredible, but what was given to you is not the same as what was presented in the advertising.
Of course not! A team of advertisers put that Big Mac photo together. There was photoshop and lighting and all the fake-ness associated with food photography. Obviously, the minimum-wage-paid-15-year-old didn’t not assemble my patty with the intricacy that I had hoped. First and foremost, I don’t live in an advertisement, and secondly, I’m about to down this burger in a parked car outside a McDonald’s drive thru, this isn’t quite Michelin star material.
There is no difference in content between the Big Mac at the drive thru and the Big Mac in the photo, it’s the same. However, the Big Mac in the photo received more love and attention, and better lighting. Similarly, you are the same person you presented as. If your dating profile is funny, you’re probably funny. If your Instagram features political activism, that likely still remains a part of your values. It is possible that the way you appear in your photos requires a tiny bit more effort, but that’s okay! Because that person is still you! You are still the same Big Mac, just with a bit more time and better lighting.
You are not a catfish! Catfish should be reserved for complete misrepresentation. To Big Mac, however, is totally okay! What do I look like right now? I have no makeup on, old sweatpants pulled up way too high, a ratty sweatshirt and wet hair wrapped in one of those “plop” things from Tik Tok. I’m not going to post a photo of me looking like this. I’m not cute right now. I am the same person I am when I’m glammed out to do a photoshoot, however, this look is not my finest.
Lying to people about who you are: not cool. But to advertise yourself is fine! Everyone does it, on resumes, on social media, on dating profiles, on dates. You are not a catfish. You’re simply a Big Mac.
Fuck…now I’m hungry.
From me, with love, to you,