Using a transnational and comparative cultural studies approach, this essay investigates how yogurt, perceived as a strange and foreign food in the early to mid-twentieth-century United States, became localized through intersectional processes of feminization and de-exoticization. In the transition from the 1970s to the 1980s, the dairy industry adopted a postfeminist ethos, which co-opted the hippie and feminist self-care movements that had made yogurt a staple health food outside the purview of the medical-industrial complex and on the margins of the market economy. Increasingly, yogurt was marketed to the prototypical (white middle class) dieting female, expected to discipline her body by consuming pre-proportioned approximations of dessert. The rising popularity of “Greek yogurt” in the early twenty-first century has modified this cultural neutralization by foregrounding a nonthreatening “white” ethnicity—while furthering the feminization of yogurt consumption and obscuring connections to the food cultures of the Middle East.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.