It seems like right after I posted a list of my favorite healthy living blogs, Marie Claire wrote a pretty scandalous "take down" that targeted several of the blogs I listed (among others). Basically, Marie Claire accused these bloggers of eating and exercising in a disordered way and being a bad influence on their readers.
As a long time reader of several of the blogs in the article, I was struck by many distortions and inaccuracies that were obvious to me. However, someone who doesn't read those blogs regularly probably would miss a lot of that because the article referenced posts that were written in December and January. Ultimately, my impression of the article is that it was written to be deliberately misleading.
I'm writing this post because I don't want anyone who reads me regularly to think that I would willfully suggest blogs that I believe promote a disordered lifestyle. Here are rebuttals from some of the bloggers who were profiled.
I hope I'm not the only person who immediately sees the irony of a magazine so enmeshed in the beauty industry accusing anyone else of promoting an unhealthy beauty ideal. The link between fashion magazines and poor body image in it's readers isn't exactly a secret. One of the first things I learned years ago in therapy that really changed my life for the better was that reading fashion and beauty magazines was incredibly bad for my self esteem. Now, when I read something I think about how it makes me feel. Reading those magazines does make me feel temporarily entertained but it also makes me feel like I'm not good enough. It makes me want to buy things I don't have and don't need. It makes me feel like I don't make enough money when I can't afford the things they're showcasing. It makes me hate my skin and my hair and my features because I know from experience that I will never look like the women I see in those pages (and neither can they!). But most of all, reading fashion magazines makes me feel fat. That's why I don't read them anymore.
I apply this litmus test to other forms of media I consume. I encourage everyone out there to do the same. I wouldn't read healthy living blogs if they made me feel bad about myself or made me feel like I should eat less. On the contrary, they make me feel like I should eat more- more healthy fats, more vegetables, more whole grains, more great foods that make me feel good and give me energy. Healthy living blogs have inspired me to revamp the way I eat and to become more athletic. This has improved my health and my self esteem.
However, I believe that every person has a responsibility to determine for themselves whether something is good for them.
There was definitely a time in my life when I was eating in a disordered fashion. At that time, I wasn't reading healthy living blogs. I was reading Marie Claire.