(This post doesn’t have an image attached to it because the search for “thinspiration” to demonstrate what I am getting at turned up some fucking horrific images and I don’t want to contribute to that.)
Despite being a late adopter to Instagram (as per usual; I only downloaded snapchat this week) it is easily my favourite social network for procrastination. As well as engaging with the people I follow multiple times a day, I also frequently make use of their ‘discover’ feed and randomly like/comment on other people’s photos. It’s actually a good way to find new people with similar interests (which I guess is the whole point).
Unfortunately, because I use Instagram as a half-hearted fitness log, and as such follow other fitness folk, my insta discovery feed is absolutely rammed with weight loss posts and “transformations”: picture after picture after picture of women — always women — before their “magical transformation” and after. The before pictures usually feature someone obese or significantly overweight, and the after can be anything up to and including skeletal women (that quite possibly have an eating disorder).
Sometimes the women are even the same person & it’s hilarious how bad some of the fakes are, but that’s another post for another day…
And people LOVE it. They lap it up. Thousands of likes and comments applauding the desire to shrink, to be smaller, to better fit into society’s normal. “Thinspiration!” they cry. Lots of supportive comments, but as is the norm on the Internet, a whole fuckton of fat shaming too.
Why? Why do we — women — strive to take up less space in a world that tries so hard to keep us small and meek and fearful? And I don’t mean the act of weight loss in itself: I am happy to support anyone that wants to lose weight if they so desire, whatever their motivation for doing so. I have obviously pursued my own weight loss goals to better fit the way I feel most comfortable and confident… but chasing “tiny” just for the sake of being tiny?
In a world that has us fighting to exist on an equal footing for pay, for health care, and in some countries for access to basic human rights; in a world that is led by men who brag openly about sexual assault so that we know our place? Deliberately shrinking ourselves seems so counter-productive.
Where are my insta-fitness shots of growth: growing muscles? Growing more confident? Growing competence in a discipline that pleases you? Growing more secure, or growing capacity for fitness? Growing the distance you run or the friends you make through a mutual enjoyment of a sport?
Fuck, grow your plate of cookies for all I care – just demand more. Be MORE. Not less. Never less.
I say one year on… it’s actually 15 months on, but it’s taken me so long to finish writing this post (as with all posts) that my original draft and actual life timeline are way out of sync. Anyway, so: the essure procedure. The last time I wrote about it was 3 months post-procedure and… read full entry »
I have spent a large part of the past few weeks jumping from one ‘chaos moment’ to another (as per usual) and I was sat on the toilet recently wondering… is this it? Is this what adulting is about? Just about hanging on while you ride the waves of life? I’m being melodramatic — I’m… read full entry »
I recently supported a short instagram campaign by the UK Fitness Bloggers highlighting the dangers of so called ‘detox teas’ and their call to use “teas for biccies, not weight loss”. Here I am post-run and covered in sweat, enjoying my ‘biccie’ (admittedly I had a cup of coffee, not tea, but the sentiment stands):… read full entry »
A recent(ish) meeting with some of my BFFs necessitated the creation of a cake, and there’s no cake like a cheesecake, but I could not for the life of me find a cheesecake recipe I liked the look of. I wanted a baked cheesecake for flavour, but something super tangy to offset a sweet lemon… read full entry »
What a month. WHAT A MONTH. Is it just me, or is May easily the busiest month of the year? (It probably is just me.) The end of April (that’s basically May, right?) saw this blog – well, domain – reach 15. FIFTEEN years of dodgy web design, blogging about everything from poop to programming,… read full entry »
It’s now been about 5 weeks since I decided to stop drinking for good. I am sleeping better. Aside from a couple of weeks of intense drinking-frenzy dreams where I got completely smashed off my face (in the dream, that is) I have slept solidly every night since I stopped drinking. My sleep cycles have… read full entry »
I started writing this post a couple of months ago, but decided not to finish it because it came off too ‘special snowflake’ or a dig on other types of anxiety (which it definitely isn’t) but my good friend Aisling posted recently about atypical depression and how it differs from typical depression, and I realised… read full entry »
Yesterday lunch time I went out with Gaz’s team from work for an unexpected light lunch. It’s the kind of situation where I’d usually indulge in a “cheeky” glass of wine or a cocktail (or two) because a) unexpected social interaction mid-PMDD-monster-times and b) who doesn’t love to break up the day with alcohol? Except… read full entry »
Things have been a bit shit in the jemjabella zoo/household recently. Firstly, we had to make the decision to re-home Pixel, the aggressive stray whom I’d hoped to integrate and ‘tame’. Ultimately she was not getting on with Fudge, and as low level dislike turned to full on fur-flying fighting and her cowering under the… read full entry »
I was recently invited to pop along to see the travelling animal-free circus “Circus Funtasia” as they’re in Madeley, in nearby Telford, for the weekend. Circus Funtasia have visited Madeley on several occasions, and each time we drive past the signs the kids will pester and badger about going along, I’ll promise we can go… read full entry »
I was having a conversation with Gaz in bed the other day. You know the type: snuggled up in bed, pillow talk, vulnerabilities exposed, all that shit. And this deep, meaningful conversation — the sort of conversation I can only truthfully have with my fucking wonderful husband — made me suddenly realise that over the… read full entry »