healthy living blogs under attack
all was abuzz around the blogosphere yesterday when marie claire published an article called “the hunger diaries“, a sharp and one-sided critique of the healthy living summit and the popular bloggers who put it together.
i tried to read it objectively. but perhaps as someone who has attended two summits and feels like she has spent enough time with some of the ‘big six’ bloggers to truly like and respect them as people (not just media symbols), i had trouble. i found myself incredulous at claims that blogs such as kath‘s were showcases for disordered eating patterns and habits.
one might argue that there is a blurry line between “health-consciousness” and “disorder”, and i suppose that is part of the problem. what is truly normal and what is not these days? is it even possible to remain healthy these days without some conscious thought to one’s eating and exercise habits? in this skinny bitch-reading, reality-TV watching society, are there really any females under 40 left who eat 100% intuitively and without a thought (and is that even really ideal, from a health standpoint?).
■ is caring about what your body looks like — to an extent that it might affect food choices, but within a completely healthy range — disordered?
■ is itching to run after several days off disordered?
■ is wanting to be active most days disordered?
■ is long-distance running, in itself, disordered?
■ is wishing that you didn’t eat yourself into mild GI distress at a restaurant disordered?
the article certainly suggested so. i realize that i am biased in my position regarding the answers to these questions, but i do not agree.
without going into details, i feel that i have a good idea of what an eating disorder truly looks like: utterly destructive of multiple aspects of health and life. in my opinion, the writers of blogs like these do not lie within this realm.
triggers, blogging, and responsibility
there is one aspect of the article that i do agree with, and that is regarding triggering and the influences that these sites may have on already disordered individuals. there is no question that women (and young girls) with eating disorders — preoccupied with food and ready to dissect every aspect of eating, or lack thereof — flock to these sites.
and i have no doubt that these sites add fuel to the fire for many of these readers. but i also am convinced that if they didn’t exist, those same readers would find other places to be just as triggered (true pro-ana sites, forums, or within the pages of a magazine . . . you know, like marie claire, for example). and i may be against the majority in saying this, but i actually don’t believe that these bloggers have a huge amount of personal responsibility to these individuals, or even to their readerships at large. they are writers — and for several of them, posting daily is their job. people will vote with their web browsers. and as long as they are not publishing slanderous or untruthful content, i think that freedom of expression should apply.
here are a few of the ‘rebuttal’ posts written by several of the summit bloggers:
and a thought provoking counter to my ‘freedom of expression’ argument: hollaback health.
one up-side to the marie claire article is that i do think it brought up a lot of interesting and useful dialogue. if you have thoughts or opinions, feel free to share.
back to regularly scheduled programming (including my “work” post, requested by my one and only father) tomorrow!
workout: 45 minutes elliptical + 20 minutes weights
real simple cooking challenge: the steak edition i skipped ahead one recipe and made steak with roasted carrots & onions last night because i wanted to use the meat that i had bought during its peak freshness.
their version . . .
josh raved about this meal, and i really enjoyed it as well — a picture of simplicity made with quality ingredients. the tarragon-mustard sauce that i made was less photogenic, but still delicious, and i snuck a random eggplant into the roasted vegetables which worked very well.
the only thing this dinner was missing was CARBS! pre-dinner crackers and a post-dinner cookie remedied this. i think some roasted potatoes would have gone nicely.
board prep: i’m behind, but back at it! whew. i can’t wait for the exam to be over . . .