December 6, 2011

A bone to pick

I really like pinterest. I think it is an awesome place to share ideas, quotes, and photos. I have tried a few recipes from pinterest, and they have been hit and miss. I made boot socks based on an idea from pinterest and I really love them. I don't typically spend a ton of time on it for whatever reason...I guess there are other social networks that appeal to me more.

That being said, I am becoming more and more deterred because of some of the "pins" that are becoming increasingly popular on the site. Obviously, this is not pinterest's fault. Pinterest presents a forum where people can pin as the please, and the things that get repinned over and over again are not a reflection of the institution of pinterest; rather, they are a reflection of the pinners and, I would argue, society.

I absolutely have NO tolerance for ridiculous pins that are outrageously didactic in warping perceptions of body image and physical fitness. Pictures of ridiculously skinny girls, or super ripped girls with 500 pack abs, in sports bras and underwear, or even less clothing than that, with words in the foreground that say things like:

"Looking at this picture won't make you any skinnier. 50 push-ups. Now."
You should know that the girl in this picture was a supermodel. Absolutely RAIL thin, with her ribs on full display. That is not what I want to look like, that is not what women should aspire to look like, and that is not healthy. I guarantee the girl in the picture cannot do 50 push-ups because her body is so deprived!

"A mile a day keeps the pounds away."
Seriously? Once again, a rail thin girl with a belly ring (ew) and her hipbones jutting out. As if running a mile will make you look like that. It probably won't. Some people would have to stop eating altogether and exercise for hours on end every day to look like that. AND some people can eat whatever they want all the time and not exercise and still be skinny. It's called genetics and metabolism, people.

"Would you rather have that cookie or a space between your thighs?"
I was born with my thighs touching and I will die with my thighs touching. Regardless of any diet or exercise regimen. That's the gospel truth, ya'll. And I'm going to eat the cookie.

This picture of a female body builder in a string bikini is only motivating me to punch the computer screen and scream.

"Greasy fries or skinny thighs?"
Like I said before, even if I swore off fries for the rest of my mortal life, I would not have skinny thighs. I don't have skinny thighs. I don't want skinny thighs. Since when have skinny thighs become synonymous with great/beautiful thighs? That's what I want to know. That is stupid. I would just like to refer you to Beyonce Knowles, the most beautiful woman on the planet.

I think one of the biggest problems we're facing here is that this is having a huge effect on young girls. They want to be skinnier. My friend Amanda told me that one day she saw her younger sister, who is ten, running around the yard. She asked her why she was running, and her little sister replied, "I ate a piece of cake." A perfectly healthy young girl ate one piece of cake and felt that she needed to run around her yard so she wouldn't get fat. When I was in Russia, I was at the park across the street from our house and I heard a little girl who was not fat by any means say to her friend that she wishes that she wasn't so fat. And she started going on and on about how fat she was and how she can pinch the fat on her belly. I wanted to walk over to her and shake her by the shoulders and say "You are pretty and you do not need to be skinnier!" Super upsetting, and it's only getting worse.

I will admit that I'm not the healthiest person ever. I could be doing better at a lot of things and there are some great ideas on pinterest about eating healthy and exercising often. Please don't get me wrong, I am all for fitness and being healthy. But when I was training for a half marathon, I will tell you that the greatest changes in my life were in my moods and my attitude, not in my weight or figure. When I was running, it made me so happy and energized. I felt great about myself, not because my thighs weren't touching and all that crap (they were still touching), but because I could do hard things and my body was capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. Yes, I was in better shape. My belly was smaller, my arms looked better, et cetera. But did I look like any of the girls in those pictures? Heavens, no. I actually felt a little ripped off. I couldn't understand why I wasn't getting super skinny, even after running 6-12 miles four times a week, because my whole life I have been led to believe that if you run enough, you'll look like a supermodel. For me, that turned out to not be true. Society and popular culture set up me up with certain expectations, and even through very very hard work, those expectations were not met. Fortunately I didn't become bulimic or anything like that, but that happens to a lot of people: when their expectations aren't met after taking action in a healthy way, they resort to more extreme measures. So instead of trying to tell people how they can look like someone else, why don't we promote self-confidence? Instead of trying to "fix" people with crazy diets and pills and what have you, why don't we encourage people to be their best selves and love it, regardless of how they measure up to others?

The point is, I think as a society we must start being more concerned with the space between a woman's ears than the space between her thighs. And I will now proceed to stuff myself with delicious free dinner and dessert at my ward Christmas party. Put that beat in your Nissan truck.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. I've been deterred from pinterest for that same reason. My favorite one: "Nothing tastes as good at skinny." Excuse me? Obviously you've never had a cheesecake.