Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bloggers Meet Print (and it's not pretty)

By now I'm sure that at least some of you have read THIS article and possibly some of the rebuttals like this one and this one. I heard about the Marie Claire article on Twitter and was instantly amazed by how blatantly one sided it is. In a way, it attacks hundreds (if not thousands) of bloggers and readers.

I read three of the blogs featured in this article, and while I don't follow them constantly like some of their followers, I have definitely learned some great tips and tricks. I posted recently about how I worry that some people may take some blogs too literally and try to pattern their lives around what they read on blogs - following food habits and exercise patterns - while every person is different and need to pick and choose wisely. While blogs are great outlets for people to share their experiences, learn from others and meet new people with common interests, just like any kind of media (including magazines) there is always a chance for them to be used in unintended ways.

The journalist criticized one blogger for following a 10 mile run with a black-bean brownie, another for going for a 22 mile run (the article said she ate light the rest of the day and went to bed 'hungry' but the original blog post is quite different than this account), and a third for running a 5k, 15k and half marathon in one weekend (the Gasparilla Michelob Ultra Challenge, which means she wasn't alone in this quest). I think that many of us runners wouldn't think any of these things are very extreme. 

I find it sad that this journalist decided to go to the Healthy Living Summit and then criticize these bloggers and take many of their words out of context. While I can see how some people may think some health/foodie bloggers obsessively document their every bite (not just these 6 women, but many others follow this format), I also see how this can inspire others to try new foods and recipes, like I did here. There are definitely blogs that do explore unhealthy, harmful and even hateful topics, and though I've never met any of the bloggers in this piece, I feel that they do encourage healthy and balanced lifestyles. I must point out that the 'relted links' listed below the article on the MC website include: "The Whole Body Detox" and "Your New Year Rx for Eating, Thinking, and Living Strong," while another link on the page will teach you "20 Easy Fat Burning Exercises." A little hypocritical, don't you think?

I don't know if this is all coming out how I'd like it to. I guess in the end I'm just saying what I said last week, that we all need to be responsible for our selves and our own well being. We need to learn from others and share with others. That's how the world goes around and what makes us better people. I wish this journalist had not decided to attack these bloggers and many other bloggers by extension. I can't even guess how few times I've purchased a copy of Marie Claire, but I can say that for me, I will choose not to purchase the magazine in the future, since I don't agree with their journalistic approach and I will continue to support health and fitness bloggers!

What do you think about the Marie Claire/fitness blogger controversy? Do you even think it's a controversy?
today's workout -
10.5mile bike
50 reverse crunches
stretching and ankle strengthening exercises


Molly said...

I agreed with what you wrote last week, that you need to be responsible for yourself. I think that if you blog, it's like an online journal, and you should write what you want. A health blog is like any other blog, say a political blog...the posts are out there for people to read, and you can agree, or disagree and move on.

Teamarcia said...

Wow IMO that Marie Claire reporter was way off base. I never formed opinions anywhere close to hers after reading those blogs. One must wonder what her motives are.

Morgan said...

While I think there are quite a few "healthy" bloggers out there that are anything but, the bloggers referenced in the article are about as responsible of healthy living bloggers as I've seen. It's definitely going to be interesting to see what MC has to say now that all their readers have reacted to the article. Honestly, stuff like this is the very reason I'm always way to nervous to ever post about my own nutrition and when asked specifically about it I answer always referencing nutrition websites and what not because I'm so scared what works for me might not work for someone else.

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

I was so upset when I read Caitlin's post about this. As a journalist, it sucks that there are people in my profession who would do this. At least be up front about the angle of your story!