I’ve been reading the controversy that has been raised by this Maire Claire article.
And I am afire with opinions. Well. Not literally but I am not surprised that quite a few people are up in arms about it. In a nutshell, for those who can’t be bothered to read the article, this journalist spent a few months with a number of so called Healthy Living bloggers and then pretty much accused them all of disordered eating and being obsessed with food. They believe that they are really healthy and eat excellently. They are also outraged that this woman was a friend and was so approving of them in person but then slandered them in this way.
I guess my opinions on this are a little on the edge.
1. Journalists have reputations for reasons and should always be treated carefully. It may not be the journalist who writes something you may not approve of or that is not strictly true but editors have their own agendas and know what articles sell magazines and sometimes articles are changed beyond what the journalist would have written.
2. Blogging gives you a very distorted view of people. As a general rule, bloggers are more exciting and well rounded than their blogs would necessarily portray. Blogs are usually only one facet of a bloggers life and are generally around a special interest. This can definitely portray the illusion that these women are only interested in exercise and depriving themselves of food.
3. Where does the line between bloggers only writing to a certain standard and people using their own common sense fall? That’s dreadful english but do bloggers have a duty of care to their readers to write sensibly and recommend sensible courses of actions? Or should it be up to the reader to determine what’s right and what actions they should take? I fall to the line about personal responsibility and believe it is up to the reader to decide what they should do. I wouldn’t blindly follow someone else’s diet recommendations without understanding how it’s applicable to me.
4. Even on the blogs which promote raw natural food, I still see a lot of strange looking things. Even things like Nakd and Trek and Eat Natural bars (all of which I do like) seem a little artificial to me. It’s processed food no matter how you look at it and I’m still not sure whether it’s good for you or not? It’s like the question over protein powder – I do have it sometimes, I like it and it really helps me stop with the continual HUNGER but the artificial flavours and sweeteners put me off massively.Is it better to have those if it’s helping you to lose weight and be healthier in other regards?
5. Are blogs there to be criticised? We have critics for books, films, websites and other media – should blogs be part of the critical mass? Perhaps it is slightly different to other media as blogs are a personal story and are more of an online journal than anything? The way that bloggers build up friendships with other bloggers also perhaps limits the critical exposure. Is the most criticism a falling stat counter?
I’ll be back. I have more.