Natalie Wynn has been called the “Oscar Wilde of YouTube” for the sexy, visually decadent, and wildly entertaining videos she makes for her channel, ContraPoints. In these videos, Wynn discusses a wide variety of hot-button topics including the alt-right, climate change, incels, and trans issues, but instead of feeling challenged, one often finds themselves seduced. It should be no surprise then, to find that this hedonistic sensibility bleeds into Wynn’s daily life, affecting how she lives and, of course, how she eats. Unafraid of controversy, Wynn was kind enough to share her opinions on McDonald’s breakfast, pineapple on pizza, and what makes a perfect bite of ice cream.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Current gig: YouTuber with a focus on sex, drugs, and social justice
Do you eat breakfast?
I suppose I do. My meals are sort of hard to categorise in accordance to traditional Western norms. I eat when I wake up so I guess that qualifies as breakfast.
What do you usually eat?
First, a disclaimer that anyone hoping to get any kind of ethical guidance from me when it comes to diet is going to be very disappointed, because it just alternates between chaos and evil over here. And the moment I could afford to stop cooking, I stopped. Most days I eat nothing except UberEats.
I also have a bad UberEats habit.
It’s about a twice a day thing for me. Today I’m being good! I’m having a smoothie. I’m trying to get better, but to be honest my mainstays are usually a bagel with lox and cream cheese, which I love. That’s actually my favourite breakfast. So I have that a lot from a local cafe, and I’m also not above a sausage egg and cheese McMuffin.
What’s in your smoothie, if you don’t mind me asking?
This one is a Greek yogurt smoothie from Smoothie King. It’s Chobani and blueberry, strawberry, some kind of protein enhancement. It has probiotics and fruit. It’s pretty good, especially if you’re used to the McMuffin route.
Do you drink coffee or tea?
Yes, both. Although lately, I’ve kind of been relying more on energy drinks out of fears about teeth. I just had my teeth whitened so I’m trying to keep that up. I’d much prefer to drink coffee than to drink, say, sugar-free Monster Energy drinks, but at least for the next couple of months I’m trying to avoid coffee for the teeth reasons.
How do you usually take your coffee?
With milk or cream, no sugar. I also like iced lattes and that kind of thing.
Do you drink them in the winter?
Yes, I totally do.
When you get the Egg McMuffin, do you usually get the hash browns?
Yes. I do. McDonald’s breakfast—it really is, in my opinion, the best thing at McDonald’s by far.
When they added the all-day breakfast, that was very “helpful.”
It changed my life. Well it didn’t change my life. It changed my relationship to McDonald’s. It made me a regular customer. God, they completely control me.
Between that and UberEats—I don’t have a car so I wasn’t eating any McDonald’s, and then all of a sudden I was eating way too much McDonald’s.
You could take a shower and get dressed—in my case—probably put on some makeup, leave the house, walk or drive somewhere, or you could just stay in bed. It’s a pretty difficult thing to turn down.
The choice is clear. Do you usually have lunch or snack throughout the day?
What do I do exactly? I have sort of three meals, I guess. There’s one when I wake up which is usually around—11:00 a.m. is pretty typical around here. Then I’ll have kind of a lunch-ish thing at like 3:00 p.m., and I’ll have dinner at 10 or 11.
Well that’s just European.
Yeah, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Can we see inside your fridge?
What do you usually eat for lunch, or is there a “usual”?
On a day where I just want nutrition inside my face as fast as possible, I will get Subway. I don’t really like Subway—it’s no McDonald’s—but it’s fast, and I get the whole-nine-grain-wheat bun and I feel good about myself, and it’s fine. But usually though, if I want to eat something good, I really love Indian food. There are a lot of good places in Baltimore. I will sometimes get that and then just split it between lunch and dinner, and have the same thing twice because I’m a savage.
No, I do that. Sometimes if I get Indian food the night before I’ll eat it cold for breakfast the next day.
And sometimes you don’t want to eat a giant thing of rice and tikka masala in one go.
Do you get naan?
Usually I don’t, actually. I don’t know why when it comes to that I’m suddenly like “carbs!” I don’t know why that’s the line. I just don’t usually feel the need for it. There’s already so much rice. I’ll order naan if I’m with someone else because everyone else likes naan.
It’s always garlic naan too.
And see, I like the Kashmiri naan, the one that has fruits and nuts in it. I like that one better. But I eat it as a little dessert or something.
Do you like spicy food?
Love it. Yeah. I can’t get people to make it spicy enough. So, here’s where I’m macho. [Laughs] My favourite is goat curry. In Baltimore there are a lot of Nepalese Indian places and they have this dish—khasi ko maasu. And it’s a goat curry, bone-in—like a traditional butchery kind of thing. I will order that and the order instructions will say “extra spicy please,” and interpretations of that vary. I’ve had it arrive with just a bunch of sliced up serrano peppers in it. I love that.
I do love a bone-in meat preparation.
Yeah. it’s very flavorful. I don’t know why goat is my favourite, but it just is. It’s not something that I grew up eating. But it’s apparently healthier for you in a lot of ways than other red meat. I think goats are not factory-farmed in America. Don’t tell me if I’m wrong.
I haven’t researched it so I can’t I comment, but that seems correct. Besides Indian food is there another spicy cuisine that you love?
Yes. So, Mexican, obviously. I like getting tacos and things and hot sauce on them. Sometime tacos for me are just a hot sauce carrier.
Do you have a favourite brand of hot sauce?
Let’s see. My favourite very spicy one that I’ve tried is the the Tabasco Scorpion Sauce. That’s really good. I like Tabasco a lot, actually. I like the Tabasco Chipotle Sauce. That one’s not that spicy, but it’s flavorful and interesting. What else do I like? I like Valentina Extra Hot. And I said I was macho—it’s not really that macho. Because I hate the culture around hot sauce, like “give me the maximum, spiciest thing.” I hate that. It’s pointless to me, and a lot of these really, really hot sauces—they don’t taste like anything. It’s just a chemical burn that you’re adding to your food. What I like about the Scorpion Sauce is that it has mango in it like a lot of habanero hot sauces, and that mango sweetness adds something besides just heat. Or the Chipotle Tabasco is very smoky and vinegary, and it adds that to the food.
I know this isn’t Mexican food, but I have to ask because I’m garbage. Do you ever eat at Taco Bell?
Actually, no. For some reason Taco Bell just doesn’t resonate with me. I just never got into it.
It’s because you’re a good person.
I guess. I’m clearly becoming not a good person, though. It’s just accidental virtue, you know.
How is the Mexican food in Baltimore?
There are some good places. When I go out, there’s a place called Clavel, which is really, really good. That’s the best place I know of in Baltimore. I think the Mexican food is not as good as a lot of other cities. I used to live in Chicago. The things I really miss about about Chicago are really good Mexican food and a really good pho. On the Argyle stop on the the red line, there is this Little Vietnam neighbourhood that has all these Vietnamese and pho places, and they’re really good.
Having lived in Chicago, do you have a pizza loyalty to them?
No, I don’t. I think I had deep dish there twice, and I like it, but it’s not really what I think of as pizza. It’s good, but I don’t know. To me, if I want pizza, usually what I would want is the more traditional, flat pizza.
Does Baltimore have a style of pizza?
Not that I’m aware of. I don’t think so.
I don’t think so either, but I didn’t know Connecticut had a pizza until I started dating a man from Connecticut.
I didn’t know Connecticut had an anything!
They have that clam pizza which I have never heard of, and he was so offended.
It’s a clam pizza?
Yeah. It’s like a white pie. I don’t think it has cheese on it.
Yeah, I don’t know about that. Might stick to New York on that one.
What toppings do you like on your pizza?
So, I realise I am again entering into very controversial territory, but Hawaiian pizza is good, actually. I especially love Hawaiian with jalapeños because of my spicy thing. So you have ham, pineapple, jalapeños— amazing.
I’m very pro pineapple on pizza.
Well, it’s objectively correct. Especially with a cured meat, like ham. The sweet and the saltiness—it’s good. It’s like wrapping slices of prosciutto around honeydew melon. I love that as a snack. The salty-sweet-savoury combination. Oh! It’s so good.
If you had to pick between salty snacks and sweet snacks, do you have a clear preference for one?
Definitely salty. But I tend not to snack all that much. I know it sounds like I have a super high-calorie diet. This is where I’m making up the difference. I’m not someone who really eats chips or anything throughout the day. Do I ever eat snacks? If I’m just living normally, I kind of don’t. I just don’t have them in the house.
Do you have a movie theatre snack?
My movie snack since I was eight is Raisinets. I don’t know why. No one else likes them.
I like them! It’s the only format in which I really like a raisin.
Raisins need some help, clearly.
Do you get a soda?
I drink Diet Coke a lot. I’d get that at a movie. I will steal little pieces of someone else’s popcorn but I don’t usually order my own popcorn.
It’s too big of a commitment.
It’s a huge commitment, yeah. I like the saltiness of it, but it’s just a lot of fibre. It’s like doing work. I don’t want to work while I’m at a movie.
And then if you get the butter, your hands are all greasy.
Yeah. It’s the same thing with Cheetos. I’m viscerally opposed to anything that leaves my hands covered in some kind of grease or powder.
I know people who eat Cheetos and popcorn with chopsticks for that reason. It’s a little extra.
Oh my God. Yeah, you have to be that person. Am I really gonna bring a couple of metal chopsticks into a movie theatre? I don’t know! I’ve been experimenting with this kind of thing. I’ve been using a parasol in the sun. I mean that’s on the same level.
Do you have a “shame meal” or a “sad meal”?
Sometimes I feel like it’s all shame meals because I have this strong sense that I really should be vegan, or at least not eat so much meat all the time. I tried and just can’t do it. I’ve tasted the blood and now my body wants blood. I don’t know what to say. I guess I also feel bad about not cooking because I feel like I ought to cook, and my brothers both cook, my mum’s an amazing cook.
Well, it’s all about how you want to spend your time.
Well exactly, and I’m very busy. But the shame meals are so frequent. I’d say McDonald’s is not a proud moment but it’s so regular around here that the shame just has no sting to it.
Just to give you an example of what I mean by “shame meal” and to alleviate your shame: I’ve been doing this thing where I’ll just put shredded cheese in a little bowl and just melt that and then eat that.
Do I have a thing like that?
It’s ok if you don’t.
I’m thinking. Do I? Yeah, not really. See? There’s some moderation here. Because even though I know that in a lot of the big, regular ways that I’m supposed to be controlling in my diet, I’m not. But in little ways it seems in control because I’m not doing stuff like that. But I love that for you.
Thank you so much. Are you a burger person?
Yeah. I like a good burger. It’s not my everyday thing but that’s a good hangover meal for me.
Do you have a strong cheese preference?
I’d say cheddar or pepper jack depending on what the burger is.
Do you like a thin burger or a thicker one?
Probably a thicker one, because I like it kind of medium rare. That doesn’t seem to happen with thin burgers.
What about french fries?
I love sweet potato. Those are the fries I like. They’re my fave.
Almost everyone says the fast food McDonald’s-style french fry. I appreciate the variety in answer.
Oh, really? I’m not exactly a fan of the McDonald’s fries. The hash browns are amazing, but the fries I could kind of take or leave.
Do you go to diners ever?
It’s kind of a historical part of Baltimore’s culture, actually. I like going to diners especially if it’s late at night or something.
Do you have a go-to diner order?
It depends on the time of day. I’ll get a burger if it’s late at night, but I love breakfast at diners. That’s my favourite. Pancakes, eggs, sausages, coffee. Yeah, that’s my favourite. You feel like you’re in a David Lynch movie or something, sitting in a diner drinking coffee. I just have some kind of like primordial American association.
Speaking of American food: Do you eat hot dogs or corn dogs?
The best hot dog is the Chicago-style hot dog. Which is—what do they call it?—“dragged through the garden” or some expression like that. And it’s a hot dog on a poppy seed bun, with sliced tomato, a pickle, mustard, no ketchup, these things called “ballpark peppers”—these are little green peppers. I think that’s really good. Corn dogs? I guess I do like them. It’s kind of a joke in my videos—there’s a video where I eat like 16 of them in a sitting. The only good way to get a corn dog is at carnival. I’ll buy the freezer ones as props for my videos, but I’m not satisfied by a microwaved corn dog. It’s not really my vibe.
They don’t get properly crunchy on the outside.
You want that freshly deep-fried batter. You’re eating a piece of over-processed meat dipped in funnel cake batter—that experience is what I want.
I do remember reading an article about this ballerina who ate microwaved corn dogs for breakfast.
I remember that too! And I actually started eating corn dogs because of that! Because what I saw was a video where she talked the jouranlist through her diet, and it started with her doing stretches in the morning, eating a corn dog and I was like “now that’s my breakfast.” It’s not actually, because I don’t like them that much, but it kind of awakened me to the idea of microwaved corn dogs. I think it was like “You can eat a corn dog for breakfast and look like that? I know this doesn’t make sense because I’m not a professional dancer but, I don’t know, it still had a visual impact.
Speaking of videos, and stuff that’s in your videos: Do you actually drink Champagne?
Yes. It’s my favourite thing to drink. That’s not a pretense for the videos. I drink it on a regular basis, not just as a celebratory thing. It’s still my favourite.
Do you have a favourite producer?
If we’re talking “Let’s drink because it’s Thursday”—my everyday is Freixenet Brut, which is a cava, not a Champagne. It’s like eleven dollars. It’s really good. And then my favourite “special occasion” one is Moët, just whatever the regular one is—the Imperial Brut. Because it’s like fifty five dollars a bottle I could never afford it until a few years ago when I played Pokémon on a livestream and made two hundred dollars. That’s the first thing I bought with my Pokémon money. It felt pretty good.
Have you tried Veuve Clicquot?
Yeah! I’ve tried that, and I do like that a lot. I know a lot of people like it more than Moët, but I don’t. I think because Moët is more buttery or something and Veuve is more citrusy. That’s just my amateur taste description.
I’m not a big wine person, so I’ll just get whatever my snobby wine friends get.
Oh yeah. I’m like that too with most wines. I do have snobby wine friends who I just defer to their opinion because they know more than me, but with sparkling wine—from pure habit of drinking it so much—I have opinions.
I forget which video it was where you said something about drinking Prosecco “like a peasant,” but I liked that.
Oh, that was “The Apocalypse” where I had this one character who’s just a lazy, horrible, climate change-denying person in the bath, drinking a bottle of Moët.
I related to that character a lot.
I related to her too. The only way I can think of to make a character that’s relatable is to find something in myself and put it there in isolation or exaggeration. I totally don’t understand the people who are just like “well the science is just wrong somehow,” but what I do understand is laziness, and hedonism. I can understand completely not wanting to do anything about climate change or factory farming or whatever. I completely understand that. And so that’s the only way I can think of to make this character have something sympathetic about her, because that person is totally a big part of me.
Are you a dessert person?
Sort of no, in that I eat dessert less than most people, I think. I usually won’t get it at restaurants. That said, I love anything chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate whatever—I just love chocolate.
Do you like a dark chocolate or a milk chocolate?
Dark chocolate is the best.
I’m really into like any kind of chocolate with salt in it.
I love that.
I’ll take a chocolate bar and I’ll take Maldon and just…
Put the salt on the chocolate…that’s such a good idea.
Or on ice cream. Salt on ice cream is actually really good.
Oh yeah. I tend to not eat that much ice cream because, again, that’s one of the few areas, for some reason, where I put my foot down and am like “Eh! Calories!” But I recently had all this facial surgery, and my jaw was operated on, so it was swollen and I couldn’t eat solid foods very well for two weeks. And getting enough calories was a problem, suddenly, so I was eating a bunch of ice cream and I got into an ice cream habit. It’s been hard to kick, now that I’ve gotten used to it.
Do you have a favourite flavour or brand?
Ben and Jerry’s is the best that you can get in most stores. God, the one that I just can’t stop it with is Phish Food because of the marshmallows—the marshmallows and little chocolates, and the caramel. If you get a spoonful that has the caramel and the marshmallow and the chocolate, it turns into this gooey—ugh, it’s so good. There’s so much variety of texture within a single flavour. I recently tried switching to a Halo Top, but I just don’t really see the point.
I haven’t tried that stuff. What does it taste like?
It doesn’t really taste like ice cream. It tastes like some kind of frozen, fibrous, air-puffed snack that’s sort of related to ice cream. I can see eating it if you’re like, “I really need to eat ice cream right now. My body is demanding it but I really don’t want to eat that many calories, so I guess I’ll settle for this.” And then you’re sort of going through the motions of eating ice cream without the sense of pleasure. It’s like smoking CBD oil when what you really want is weed.