As we look forward to Thanksgiving (and I already am), don't be too intimidated by the Marthas of the world. This short piece in the New York Times ends with an admission by a foodie mag editor that those too-perfect-to-be-true birds are, in fact, too perfect to be true.
"I know it seems like, hey, what could be simpler than roasting a bird? But the perfect roast bird is a challenge," Ms. Cowin said. "Turkey, as a model, is very much like a fashion magazine with fashion models. There are plump turkeys, and, I'm not kidding you, there's skinny turkeys, there are chesty turkeys, breasty turkeys, there are flat-chested turkeys." With one previous year's model, "I was like, 'I just need the breast to get a little bit higher,' " she said, then paused."We have enhanced the breasts of turkeys," she admitted.
I assume this means Photoshop enhancement, but the article doesn't say. She could easily be talking about more physical alterations. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, I was a subscriber to Zillions, Consumer Reports' defunct magazine for kids, which I still mourn. (And not just nostalgically. We need more publications dedicated to introducing children to critical thinking, skepticism and the reality behind the advertainment that's targeted at them.) Zillions introduced 9-year-old me to advertising photo tricks like "ice cream" that's actually lard or vegetable shortening and fast-food hamburgers made to stand tall and proud with the help of cardboard inserts. I wish the Grey Lady had gone more into specifics like that here.