One of my morning routines this last couple of years has been to check out decor blogs while having my tea or coffee. It's relaxing, doesn't take much thought, and has given me great ideas for my own house. Then Pinterest started up. Thousands of ideas and photos from decor and design blogs all over the internet, that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. I love it. But lately, unless I specifically go to the "Home Decor" section, I've been seeing a lot of these:
Uh, sorry, but no. "That cookie" is definitely not something I'm going to regret. It's something I will make a conscious decision to eat or not eat. "That mile" is more likely to be something I regret, especially if it's more than I'm adapted to and gives me shin splints or tweaks my ankle and keeps me from working out for the next few weeks. And putting "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" over a photo of Kate Moss? Seriously? Yes, that is something she said, but skinny does not equal healthy, and from her drinking and drug habits, is she really someone to look to for inspiration?
Here are some more images I constantly see posted:
I'm not shocked at seeing these images. They're all over the place and definitely all over the internet. I've happened upon enough anorexia- and bulemia-friendly sites and communities to know that for people in a certain mindset, the above images are motivating. But to me they're sad. They're a reminder of the hatred most women have for their bodies. These images are meant to guilt women out of enjoying food and enjoying life and into spending hours running or on the elliptical with the promise that once they're "skinny enough" (an unachievable goal), they can enjoy life and it will be so much better than the life they have now. It's disgusting.
I don't have a perfect body, and I never will. No one will. It's not a real thing. Perfection is unattainable and a different idea to each and every person. Do I still make attempts to eat well and work out? Of course. I don't think I know any girl or woman who doesn't. I'm completely aware of the unhealthy and illogical thoughts and pressures behind my desires to be fit. I don't only work out and eat well to be healthy and have a long life. I also do it to look good. But being aware of unhealthy thoughts and pressures to live your life a certain way is the first step to stepping away from unhealthy habits. Now, I was never anorexic, orthorexic, or bulemic, and I don't claim to know the extent of mind-fuckery that people with those diseases have to deal with. But when I see images like these, I can't help but shake my head and wish I could find the girls and women who posted or made them and shake them by the shoulders and tell them to stop making their life about chasing a Kate Moss physique or worse, that of Karen Carpenter. But the sort of thinking that led to the prevalence of these images is something that's been forced into girls' minds since childhood.
And it's not something that will go away by me shaking them and telling them to stop. It's not something that will go away until we as a global community change our attitudes about beauty and about what's "good enough." Because that's at the heart of these images. The desire to be good enough.
For my own amusement (and hopefully yours):