Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Hunger Diaries Debate

So, there is quite a buzz in mommy-blogger land, about an article that recently appeared in Marie Claire magazine. The author, Katie Drummond, attended a Healthy Living Summit, that is hosted by six female, premier health, diet, and fitness bloggers. It seems, rather than showcasing these women's drive to spreading the message of health and wellness, Katie went down the opposite road, writing a rather scathing article on the flipside of this type of blogging.


http://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/news/articles/health-blogger-controversy

Quick to want to back bloggers, I had my mind already made up and was ready to boycott Marie Claire forever (not that I am or have ever been a subscriber, but, you know...), as I sat down to read the article. What I discovered was that some intriquing ideas were presented about the images we bloggers present to our followers...to any of our readers, actually. I agree with several comments and follow-up articles and the responses of several of the six bloggers that were targeted, in that we bloggers are just sharing our views and our experiences...very few of us claim to be experts at all. But, although we may not intend to, are some of us inadvertently sending messages that could be easily misconstrued by our readers? Like, by writing about what we eat or sharing intense workout schedules, as nothing more than just a part of our day, because we're trying to lose weight or are training for a race or whatever, do we need to pause and consider that we are also adding pressure to our readers to be thin not healthy? Hmmm....

What that doesn't excuse, as one of the bloggers mentioned in her response letter, is the "bullying" from Marie Claire...to have been invited into the world of these bloggers, to sit among them, then to rip them to shreds without offering an open forum for discussion seems irresponsible. A community discussion forum on BlogHer noted that the cattiness of the article really is reflective of a growing, underlying fear among publications of the growing popularity and influence of the blogging community, slowly eroding the hold that written publications have on the public. Then, there is the obvious fact of a magainze, filled with articles and ads for diet tricks, trying to take any higher ground in the debate about extreme eating. Hmmmm....

What do you think?

3 comments:

  1. I found your post on Bloggy Moms. This is an interesting article. I do agree that the cattiness of major news publications about bloggers is rampant. (sidenote: I'm a new stay at home mom who podcasts and did a short episode called "In Defense of Mommy Bloggers" found at http://overthinkingmom.com. However, there is also something particularly unsavory about blogs obsessing with food and weight loss. I can see how this can lead to the normalizing of a dangerous and unhealthy relationship with one's body. But you bring up a great point about Marie Claire being a forerunner of the very same type of unhealthy obsessions. An interesting web of confusion results.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I happen to be a huge fan of health and fitness blogs, and I came into the article knowing that I wasn't going to like it. The reason I even knew about the article was because of all the health and fitness and mommy bloggers that I know who were already expressing their ideas about it.

    I enjoy reading health and fitness blogs because I am interested in health and fitness. I also enjoy blogging and have been known to write a health and fitness post of my own, including articles on nutrition in my Food Truth series.

    I think that my biggest issue is that the reporter seemed to expect that someone who is blogging is responsible for the reactions of his or her readers - the bent that someone could read these blogs and be triggered into an eating disorder is the blogger's fault. It's really not. People are free to read or not read, and when one blogger did write encouragement for those with eating disorders to seek professional help, the reporter zinged her for that too.

    Are we, as bloggers, responsible for what our readers think and do after reading one of our posts? I think not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I appreciate both of you taking the time to share your thoughts on this!

    ReplyDelete