There's no other way to slice it: Breakups seriously suck. Regardless of how long you dated, parting ways with someone you care about is painful, and everyone has their own healing process. Graphic designer Isabella Giancarlo found a unique way to turn breakup words she had a hard time stomaching into something much sweeter to swallow.
"For me, a loss of appetite typically accompanies the end of a relationship. This is always particularly distressing, as I love to cook," Giancarlo told A Plus. "After a break-up last spring, seven words sat with me that I couldn't shake. I thought about ways to reclaim power from and process that phrase. How could I sweeten words that initially took my appetite away?"
The answer is her project "Eat Your Heart Out." Giancarlo transforms the terrible things people say during breakups into delightful desserts.
After baking her own breakup words, she reached out to her friends. "I asked friends for their heartbreak quotes and felt those familiar pangs," she said. "You didn't need to understand the intricacies of a relationship to feel the weight of those final words."
Those heavy phrases seem a lot lighter in the form of a confectionery treat.
The juxtaposition between ugly words and beautiful desserts makes for an eye-catching photo series, but why desserts exactly?
"I liked the fact that desserts suggested, 'Go ahead. Gorge.' Engage with the uncomfortable, sticky feelings of a broken heart that are so often dismissed as self-indulgent," she said. "Devour and reclaim the words that caused you pain."
Anyone going through a tough breakup can look at her photo series and realize they're not alone. Heartbreak is part of the human experience and it's important to take steps to move forward. One step may be realizing that so many people before you have been where you are and gotten through it. "I hope people feel a sense of camaraderie, as heartbreak is not limited by age, race, gender, or sexuality," Giancarlo said.
So far, it seems to be working. The project has received plenty of positive feedback. "It's been humbling to have people share their vulnerable parts and it has made the process feel even more intimate and collaborative," she said.
She launched the project just two weeks ago on Instagram and has over 5,000 followers to date.
Now, Giancarlo has moved away from just asking friends. She's taking submissions from anyone going through a tough time through a form on her website. "I pick my favorites which are typically concise, but pack an emotional punch. Some are familiar and cliché, while others peak your curiosity about the story behind the quote," she said.
Submit your own and maybe you'll see your breakup transformed into something delicious on her project's Instagram. Or, try channeling some of your pain into something creative of your own. You never know what beautiful thing you might make out of this ugly situation.