I had planned on staying silent on the Marie Claire article. I thought that others expressed much more eloquently my thoughts on the subject and I tend to be a little snarky and reactionary. I’ve been impressed by the responses of people on both sides of the fence. Unfortunately, I’ve been much more perturbed by the response of many others.
As a weight loss blogger and part of the healthy living blog community, I believe that we absolutely have a responsibility to our readers. For some, their blogs are their livelihood. Because of that I understand why it felt like an attack, but also because of that I think they have even more of a responsibility.
Granted, there are some out there who really do write for themselves. For some, blogging is just a way to hold themselves accountable and a way into a community of support. On the other hand, if you are making any money from your blog or receiving free products, you have a responsibility to your readers.
Currently, I do not make money from my blog but I absolutely feel a responsibility toward every one of you who is reading this. I feel strongly about this and have written about it before.
Every profession has some sort of code of ethics and we cannot be an exception. Whether we like it or not, we become role models of healthy living and “experts” just because of our visibility.
I’m not saying that everything in the article was true. None of it was nice, but there is a lot we can take from it. We can take this as an opportunity to learn and reassess what we put out there. Nice or not, we just received an outsider’s point of view on us and it only stings so much because of truths laced through it.
Although I don’t post my meals because I think it’s boring, I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with doing so. It makes sense that we bond over sharing our plates. Every culture in the world has a food culture. Eating and drinking is a vital part of community bonding. We meet over meals, bond over meals, make commitments and contemplate life over meals.
Smell is the sense with the strongest memory associations. A simple smell can take you back to parts of your life perhaps forgotten. Paprika will always bring back the memory of making Thanksgiving dinners with my mom and fighting over where the eggs were set (I wanted them on a cart, she wanted them on the counter. I put them on the cart every time she wasn’t looking until they rolled off onto the floor. So paprika also reminds me that maybe I should listen to my mother, sometimes).
It’s not strange that we share our meals and bond over the food we eat. The problem is when behaviors remain unchecked even when eating and exercise habits are unhealthy. The “Big Six” (stupid name, btw) have so many avid followers that any comment against them is immediately shot down. Mob mentality is unfortunately rampant in the blog world.
Rather than intelligently disputing the article and learning from the valid points presented, too many responded with hot headed angry words and knee jerk insults. This only validated the portrait painted of us.
For some of the “Big Six” I lost any respect I may have had for them. Between passive-aggressive tweets and “I’m a victim” blog posts, I could only shake my head. For a few others, especially Jenna from Eat Live Run and Heather from Hangry Pants, their responses both impressed me and made me want to continue (or start) reading their blogs.
While I wish that the article had been written in a kinder manner, I think it exposed a lot of truths that we need to look at with a critical eye. If you were one of the reactionaries, please take a moment to step back and think about the source of your anger. If the article contained no truth we would laugh at the absurdity of it. Things only become personal when there’s truth in it.
I think that Rachel summed it up best, so please do join the conversation at Hollaback Health.