Now, I realize despite Pinterest's total addictive quality to a certain type of woman that not everyone knows what it is. The Brooklyn Museum Shop is on there, and when I tried explaining to our shop manager what the site could do and why she should get on there too, it didn't go very well. "Strangers can discover a cake I made last July and 300 people read the post in one afternoon!" Now that is power.
But I read on Jezebel yesterday that not all the Pinterest power is being used for good. This is not surprising since I saw pro-anorexia videos on YouTube years ago. Maybe Instagram is next.
What is interesting is all the backlash on the site itself. Here are some good ones. And a story on Business Insider. Another story on Jezebel. A selection of some of the pins. And finally, Huffington Post. More of the anti-pins here.
My favorite was this one:
Now, you can't police the internet. I wrote about pressures to lose weight while I was planning my wedding. I also wrote about silly diets coworkers of mine go on. From my point of view, once in a while a book will change your life. For me, one of those books was Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney Martin. Go read that book. Eat the vegetables the doctor tells you to eat. Do something active every day. Avoid fried foods. Make honey chamomile cupcakes and invite your friends over. Think about how much you love your family and friends instead of just thinking about yourself all the time. Move on with your life.
I know one way of combating the "thinspiration" on Pinterest seems to be posting pictures of Christina Hendricks. Now, I think she is the hottest person in the world, hands down. But really, I have friends who are naturally thin and still beautiful and happy with who they are. Not everyone can rock those curves. The real way to combat all this is not to focus on it too much. One thing I really got from Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters is that if you are wasting all your energy thinking about how you look, even if you don't technically have an eating disorder, you could have been thinking about some constructive hobby, doing nice things for people, or something actually going on in the world. It is wasted energy, and it is a waste of Pinterest. Can I remind everyone what is so great about Pinterest and then we can just get back to that?
Yeah, jello with gummy fish in it that looks like an aquarium. Way more fun than trying to prove we are allowed to eat food to, I don't know, nourish ourselves and continue our existence on this planet.