The One Thing Hillary Clinton Won't Do on Camera Reveals an Outrageous Double Standard

April 11th 2016

Lucy Tiven

On Saturday, Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton revealed an unusual gender double standard at a Brooklyn photo op at Juniors—a restaurant famous for its cheesecake. According to a Wall Street Journal reporter, Clinton sadly resisted taking a bite over fear that the press would mock her. Wall Street Journal reporter Erica Orden first tweeted the image, which was subsequently tweeted by GQ editor Freddie Campion.

"I learned early on not to eat in front of all of you," Clinton said, according to Orden. “So, I'm sitting here just pining, pining for a bite with my friends here."

How candidates eat on the campaign trail.

While Clinton's worries about food-shaming might seem esoteric, photo ops of candidates enjoying local cuisines frequently pop up in campaign coverage, and are used to convey a larger sense of appreciation of a given region's culture and traditions. And male candidates seem distinctly less worried about getting caught stuffing their faces on camera. Instead, they have proudly declared their love of local treats.

On Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) stopped by Nathan’s on Coney Island and enjoyed one of the iconic establishment's hot dogs.

“This is a breaking story,” Sanders told The New York Times.

Last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich stopped by a Bronx deli and was videotaped eating a whopping "two helpings of spaghetti, part of a huge sandwich" before ordering a serving of pasta fagioli, Gawker reported.

Former Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for his part, has made no secret of his love of cheese.

"I love cheese and you can't go wrong. I've never had a bad cheese," Cruz told The Washington Post at a Wisconsin campaign stop.

He added, "I usually go to the store and pick out five or six and I like to mix it up and try all sorts of different kinds. To be honest, I like cheese on cheese. You can't go wrong with it."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has expressed his love for fast food, according to Vanity Fair. While some media outlets have mocked male candidates' eating habits and stated food preferences, they nonetheless continue to dig in. Clinton's hesitance may have something to do with the sexism she has encountered throughout her presidential run, as well as the way the media shames women's bodies and eating habits more generally.

Why Clinton won't eat cake.

Over the course of her primary campaign, Clinton has encountered many forms of sexism. After a series of March 15 primary wins, numerous political pundits tweeted criticizing Clinton's voice, expression and demeanor.

Clinton's critics have also spread sexist memes on social media throughout the campaign and made misogynistic jabs about her appearance.

Clinton isn't the only woman who has faced media sexism during the course of the Democratic and GOP primaries. Recently, the wives of Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Former Texas Sen. Ted Cruz encountered sexist backlash over their appearance. The incident mirrored what Clinton has faced throughout her run.

When an anti-Trump super PAC launched a pro-Cruz ad with a risque picture of Melania Trump, Trump fired back by retweeting a meme comparing an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz to a glamorous photograph of his own wife.

As ATTN: has pointed out, it is disturbing that accomplished, intelligent women in the political spotlight face such sexist backlash about their looks and mannerisms.

In this context, it isn't so unreasonable for Clinton to worry that an image of her chowing down might be relegated to an unflattering meme or low-blow about her table manners.

This story, first published April 11, was updated April 12 to correct that it was Wall Street Journal reporter Erica Orden, not GQ Editor Freddie Campion, who tweeted the initial photo, which was taken by Orden.

[H/T The Cut]