What’s the ‘everything is cake’ meme and why it’s disturbing some while delighting others

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A realistic cake made by Tuba Geckil. (PHOTO: Instagram/redrosecake_tubageckil)
A realistic cake made by Tuba Geckil. (PHOTO: Instagram/redrosecake_tubageckil)
  • Artist creates life-like cakes that resemble everyday objects.
  • Pictures have sent many social media users into a tizzy.


Life as we know it might just be a piece of cake!

Recently posts of extremely life-like cakes have sent many social media users into a frenzy, TIME reports.

In a montage video objects such as Crocs, a roll of toilet paper, a cup of coffee and a potted plant are cut into and turn out to be made of cake.  

The cakes are the work of Turkish food artist Tuba Geckil, who posts her pictures and videos on Instagram.

While these hyper-realistic cakes have fascinated many netizens, others have started to joke whether anything in the world is real or just an optical illusion make of cake.

The reason why these types of videos appeal to many is that they’re generic and aren’t necessarily created for a specific audience, says Don Caldwell, editor of Know Your Meme, according to the NY Times.

These kinds of videos and memes also evoke strong emotions such as horror, surprise and disgust.

“One big meme right now is two astronauts looking at Earth from space, and one says, ‘It’s all cake,’” Don explained. “The other says, ‘Always has been,’ looking at Earth being cut in two and revealing a cake.”

But with the pandemic, life under lockdown and lots of uncertainty in the world the cake memes have caused extra stress for some.

There’s been an increase in anxiety as a result of everything that’s occurred in 2020, according to Rebecca Rialon Berry, a clinical associate professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Health medical centre who specializes in anxiety disorders.

She describes it as “correlation stretch,” Oprah Mag reports.

“People are in great need of certainty during this time of heavy uncertainty. We’re going through some pretty significant societal and life changes,” she says.

“We need predictability and structure more than ever – and, I’m sorry, but there’s not much predictability about what’s coming next. It’s been hard to maintain structure, which can help us feel protected and steady.

“So when something defies that, it can be quite stark when we’re already feeling quite vulnerable with our emotions.”

The human brain is programmed to categorise information about objects in a particular manner and when this is defied by for example a toilet roll that turns out to be cake it can be quite startling.

“Oftentimes that can lead to an increase of the stress hormone cortisol in the brain,” she added.

But Sander van der Cruys, a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology at the University of Leuven in Belgium believes this strange dissonance can be satisfying, Inverse reports.

“When we discover we’ve made an error, the brain must adjust that generative model to allow for distortions,” Van der Cruys explained.

“That process of adjustment can actually be fun for the brain.”

Sources: Tuba Geckil, TIME, NYTimes, Know Your Meme, OprahMag, Inverse

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