Last weekend, I settled down to enjoy myself a bright red, moist velvet cake (yes I know that sounds very wrong). As I simultaneously devoured two pieces of cake while downing a gallon of 2% milk, Anderson Cooper warned me about the perils of carbs and sweets (unfortunately on his CNN show, not personally). Mid-swallow, a realization crashed on me. So profound a connection, I immediately screamed, “THIS IS LIKE SCARLET LETTER!!!!!” (I forgot there was still food in my mouth so I had to clean the floor after.)

So how is this like the Scarlet Letter? Besides the obvious parallels in color (thus the title, HAHA), the emotions a beautiful, delicious, and splendidly tasty cake evokes in me is a desire I would think comes quite close to the attraction that led to Hester & Dimmesdale’s adultery. AND YET, our equivalent of a Puritan society, the media, raises very judgmental eyebrows to the consumption of carbs and sweets (like my gorgeous cake.) Utilizing the strength in mass, and human proclivity towards bandwagoning, the media lures audiences to be victim to the impression that weight is a direct parallel to eating carbs and sweets. WRONG. There are correlations, but there are good and bad carbs, and WHO LIVES WITHOUT DELICIOUSNESS? Similarly, the Puritans established their moral pillars around their *perception* of sin, and as these ideals proliferate, the citizens of that society slowly ingratiate that perception as a sort of tactic law- just as the media entices its audiences. Is adultery truly a sin? It is so objective an argument that to set such stringent consequences to an undefined act is irrational- just as how warning people that eating sweets would lead to weight gain is unspecific and often erroneous. Not only that, my velvet cake is so brightly red, I can’t hide it in my jacket pocket and eat it like a kiss chocolate- just like how Hester’s scarlet A is not a symbol to be disguised!

Today I ate another red velvet cupcake, and oh the pride I felt as I stuffed it into my mouth in plain sight. It was my personal rebellion just as Hester’s dignified stand on the scaffold was; refusing to allow the power of others to influence your own desires. Conquering society one red velvet at a time.


Celine 🙂