Thursday, March 12, 2015:

All is NOT so Well & Good- Mean Girl Workout Shaming

Did you guys catch this article on Well & Good?

If not, here is the snapshot- W&G judges fitness motivations. Period. End of sentence.

Since WHEN have we become such a competitive culture that we criticize the motivation behind someone's decision to take care of their bodies*?!  So many thoughts about this article and since it is late (by my standards) and it was a long day (by any standards), let me just list them below.

  1. Call me sensitive but does that first paragraph reek of sarcasm and judgmental stereotyping?  Why yes...yes it does.  Maybe it's because I live in a very dense Lulu Lemon population with an Athleta store smack-dab in the middle of town, but I can't help but think this article started out by insulting my friends.
  2. Ok, personal question....How exactly are we defining "work-out obsessed"- seriously curious on this one because sometimes (like during weeks with consecutive snow days) I have A LOT of running away to do and I tend to stick with the tread mill (since my kids are in gym childcare and I can't actually, you know, run away).
  3. I thought the author was going to offer something redeeming with this line, but no, they just continued to undermine the personal measurements of success for these women.  And I have a huge, HUGE problem with people comparing challenges:  A finish line, of any kind, is a motivating thing. It’s like the shiny, spray-tanned version of the marathon running boom. Except, of course, for the fact that success in a marathon is dependent on personal ability and preparedness, whereas success in a bikini competition is subject to a stranger’s judgment of a body’s aesthetic value.
  4. Ok, and then the real human in me thinks...LET'S BE REAL!  Whether we are standing in front of official judges or if we, ourselves are judging our own bodies, society, humanity judges.  And while I personally work out for mental balance, I'd be lying if I said I didn't benefit from the aesthetic value of a good run!  
  5. Ok, and since WHEN is aesthetic value a bad thing.  We go so far to tell women to accept themselves as they are that we ALMOST criticize primal beauty and go against our own biology (not glammy photo shopped beauty, but strong, natural, healthy beauty).  
  6. And if I may, my personal opinion is that we shouldn't just love our bodies, we should love our bodies enough to take care of them.  And if strutting your stuff in a bikini is your motivation to work hard and feel good, then so be it! 
  7. And furthermore, how in the heck did the reporter approach this interview?  It seems sort of, oh, I don't know...mean.  "Hi, I'm here to learn about your new 'Bikini' work out, but really I'm going to leverage your quotes and insights against you and your passions so that my little 'Well & Good' clique can get a good pretensions snicker."  That's a shame.  And just downright mean, really.

Some folks mentioned that this new trend might just offer up another platform for women to compete against one another and to be based solely on physique.  Sure.  Fair point.  But if we look at it through the lens of athletic competition, is it any different then competing on the field?

Listen, it's not my cup of tea (did you happen to catch my post on the mono-kinis), but sometimes I get just a little frustrated when people criticize people.  We all preach empowerment and I can't go a single day without reading some inspirational quote about strong women supporting strong women.  And maybe that's what really turned me off about this article- the smuggary (it's a word, trust me).  And finally- why on earth take up valuable "W&G" real estate to bully a group of women- seems a tad hypocritical, me thinks!

This whole thing sort of reminds me of the complex mommy wars.  We all want healthy and happy children but we criticize each other by our means at achieving that goal.

*Just so we are clear, I don't know all of the means that these women go to in order to get their bikini bodies.  But if it really is just healthy diets, hard work and dedication, then high fives.

UPDATE:  I have to admit that I don't normally read Well & Good so before I promoted this post, I thought I should take a few minutes to click through the site.  In the three seconds that I sat to watch the dynamic leads promoting other stories, I read these headlines:

  • Your Healthy Tool Kit for Dealing with Haters (Bikini workout goers, take note!)
  • Why Your Sex Life is Going to Keep Getting Better (Go on...)
  • Three Skin-Firming Techniques That Actually Work (not the least bit superficial)

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