Across all three books in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Anastasia Steel is ordered to eat by Christian Grey. In fact, she’s exhorted to eat as often than she’s exhorted to have sex. In an age of almost pathological body consciousness – a 2009 Glamour Magazine survey of 1000 women, 71% of women felt they were too fat [1. Dreisbach, Shaun. “Exclusive Body-Image Survey: 16,000 Women Tell Their Body Confidence Secrets.” Glamour. 23 2009: n. page. Web. 3 Nov. 2012. http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2009/03/women-tell-their-body-confidence-secrets?printable=true ], it seems readers not only responded to the kinky sex, but also to the more transgressive fantasy of being forced to eat.
For this twenty-two year old, virgin heroine, it seems neither sex nor eating has ever held much appeal for Anastasia, until she meets the handsome, super-rich Mr. Grey who symbolizes every sort of deviant indulgence: spending millions on trifles, kinky sex, and eating.
Although at first glance, the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy looks like a contemporary version of Beauty and the Beast, and indeed it might be. But it also hints at a darker narrative: the story of Hansel and Gretel, in which children are lured with superficial eye-candy, before being kidnapped and fattened up by a cannibal granny.
Perhaps this is not a story of Beauty taming the Beast, but of working class innocence eaten alive by the rapacious banality of the 1%. Perhaps it’s a story of Beauty Fattened up and Devoured?