A lot of pressure is put on girls and women and people, in general, to deny themselves pleasure for the sake of appearances. But do we have to sacrifice all the good stuff in order to be good people? What if we learned to decadently indulge ourselves in moderation? What if, instead of binging on factory-made chocolate bars after depriving ourselves sweets for a week, we took an afternoon to bake ourselves a cake?

In her novel Chocolat, Joanne Harris captures the self-indulgence that can be found in the kitchen:

…it is partly the transience of it that delights me; so much loving preparation, so much art and experience, put into a pleasure that can last only a moment, and which only a few will ever fully appreciate.

While I consider self-indulgence to be reason enough to bake yourself a cake, being able to nurture yourself is also critical to being a liberated person. If you have to rely entirely on pre-packaged pleasures to nourish yourself, you’re dependent on a system that doesn’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. That’s not to say a girl can’t enjoy a Twinkie in its cake-stained plastic wrapper when it’s what she wants, but knowing your way around the kitchen equips you to get exactly what you want rather than a product you’re willing to settle for.