Apparently I’m a little late to the party but news broke last week that Marie-Claire was publishing an expose on the dangers effects of health/fitness bloggers and how bloggers of this nature are nothing short of anorexic-control freaks. You can find the original article here . I read the article(and the responses to said article) on Wednesday and have been thinking about it ever since. At first I wasn’t going to say anything about it; but the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed to speak out against it.
Now, none of the woman in the article have any clue who I am. They have never heard of me or this blog and maybe never will. That’s not the point. The point is I have some arguments against what was presented in the article and I think just as they were allowed to put their opinion out there; I should be given the same courtesy.
If you don’t want to read the whole article the jist is this: the author contacted 6 of the women behind some of the most popular blogs in the genre of health/fitness and said she wanted to interview them about blogging/making money from a blog. Things took a turn for the sketchy when she started insinuating that the authors had eating disorders/exercise disorders and/or could cause their readers to have the same.
I faithfully read one of the six blogs mentioned and peruse the others on a fairly regular basis. I have seen very little of what the author accuse these women of(obsession with NOT eating food, exercising too much, being self-absorbed).
The following are things that really stuck out to me in the article:
The author points to several *key* blog posts that “back up her point”. Such as the fact that one of the bloggers ran 22 miles and then was hungry….um….yup I think after 22 miles I’d be hungry too(heck I’m hungry after a 2 mile run!). Since when does being hungry mean you have an eating disorder?
The author seems to take issue with the fact that these six women derive some monetary income and perks of this job(such as free stuff given to them by companies looking for mention on the blog). Ummm…don’t we all do a job of one sort of another that a.)pays you some money and b.) gives you some sort of perk(s). I’m an eye doctor; I can get free contacts….My hubby works for Best Buy; he gets a great employee discount and can win free prizes(cameras, GPS, cd’s ect are just some examples of things we have won) through contests/incentives. Are you going to write an article about us now? Oh wait, you better include my sister in that article because she’s a teacher and she gets lots of discounts at local businesses.
The irony was not lost on me that a magazine consumed with images of anorexic models featuring articles on “how to lose 10 pounds fast” or “flat abs: we show you how…it’s easy!” would call foul on women presenting a healthy, whole food way of living.
Now beyond the article, I was rather disturbed in reading some of the comments left by other readers. Now a majority of the comments were in support of the food bloggers and reacted angrily to the article. There were a few that said the article did bring up some questions they had; which is fine; everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What disturbed me were the handful of commenters who seemed almost gleeful in the “bringing down” of these women as if they had a personal vendetta against healthy living blogs(and those six authors in general). One even went so far as to call those who read these blogs “minions”. I take offense to that. Just because I read a blog and enjoy it and feel the need to stand up for someone doesn’t mean I blindly worship them or agree with everything they do. That’s just absurd.
And finally I am blown away by the fact that some commenters logic is that because people are defending food blogs and these six women that that means that what the article says is gospel truth. Now I know that sometimes this is the case. When someone defends themselves over-zealously it can mean that they are feeling guilty or there is truth behind the argument. But not always and to claim that because I want to defend myself(hypothetically speaking) automatically means I’m guilty is plain wrong.
I don’t really read Marie-Claire….I find it so be vapid, self-serving and spoiled. This article just gives me MORE reason not to read it. Now if others feel the same way about health blogs; then so be it….guess what you don’t have to read them!
So I am off my soap-box now……back to the goofiness shortly!
“Who are you that lies when you stare at my face? Telling me that; I’m just a trace of the person I once was cause we’re not the same; you’re just a picture of me; you’re gone as soon as I leave; you’ve lived my life for me; And you’re no more than a piece of glass”….Caedmon’s Call