For those of you who don’t know, I’m the Social Media Manager for CampusRiot. I mostly focus on StumbleUpon and Pinterest. Now StumbleUpon is great, and it’s arguably the best time-waster on the internet, but today I want to talk about Pinterest.
Some of you might be kind enough to be following my Twitter feed, and you may have noticed that I have been rather irritated lately because of Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I love the platform and the Humor section is a treasure chest of happiness, but there are a lot of pins that I disagree with.
I’m talking about you, you “get thin now” and “get ripped now” pins.
Don’t get me wrong; inspiration for fitness, healthy eating, playing sports, and generally living a healthy lifestyle is a great thing. I see these all the time and sometimes I consider going to the gym, but then I laugh at my own foolishness. See, I don’t work out, play sports, or watch my eating too closely. I’m not a size 0. But contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean that I have low self-esteem. I’m not really sure when being thin became synonymous with loving yourself, but it’s not, and it shouldn’t be.
I think I’m rather alright despite the fact that I don’t lead the healthiest lifestyle. And looking at pin after pin of incredibly thin girls in cute workout gear, or light-reflecting, ripped guys in muscle tees, and seeing captions like “LOSE 30 POUNDS IN 3 DAYS,” or “GAIN 10 POUNDS OF MUSCLE IN JUST 1 WEEK,” makes me cringe. Now I don’t think that you can physically lose that much weight or gain that much muscle in such a short amount of time. Even if you could, it wouldn’t be very healthy. Images and messages like these convey the idea that there are two ways to look good: one for women, and one for men. It pushes the idea that if you don’t fit a particular image, there is something wrong with you, and you should try to become that image.
I hate that my feed is full of these pins telling me that I need to “get thin to get that date,” or “get skinny or stay sad.” I hate all of these pins labeled “The Skinny Girl Rule: Never eat carbs.” They’re just not true. All of these make me want to punch my laptop and scream, “I have a date! I’m not that skinny but I’m also rather happy! I like carbs! Carbs are a frickin’ important part of a healthy frickin’ diet!”
What on earth happened to “work out, feel better,” or “work hard, play hard”? You know, positive messages that conveyed the idea that we should work out and eat healthy because it’s good for you and not because you need to look a certain way. Those messages rock! Man, we should get more of those (or just bring them back.)
Love yourself yet? Tell us how you feel in the comments!
Image courtesy of LauraLewis23 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).