(Congratulations!) You’ve been selected

Here’s a fun story: someone somewhere recently mentioned that Fitness magazine was doing one of those “best blog ever!” award things (you know the ones I mean, where they–or someone–nominate the same blogs over and over again and drive traffic to their website by getting people to vote on their favorites) that it seems like they’re constantly doing. Curious to see if, in fact, the same blogs had been nominated again, I navigated to the site via a link that had been posted in this forum I’d been reading. It turns out, the same blogs had been nominated again! And on top of that, you could nominate your own blog (or, you know, a deserving blog of your choice)! Figuring that getting my blog listed in one of these contests would, in my opinion anyway, count as a minor coup for the positive body image movement, I nominated myself and got an automated message telling me that they’d review my nomination, and let me know if my blog fit the criteria and that if it did it would be listed on the site, etc. As soon as I saw that they were regulating the nominations to some extent, I knew I wouldn’t get through the door.

But lo and behold, what did I receive a few days later? An email from Fitness magazine with the subject line “(Congratulations!) You’ve been selected”. Odd punctuation choices aside, I thought maybe this was the coup I’d been waiting for. HA! Upon opening the email, I quickly realized how naive I’d been. This is what I found:

A bikini body and a free gift? I must be the luckiest girl in the world! All sarcasm aside, I don’t know that Fitness could have made this email more offensive if they’d tried.

First, I didn’t register. Or at least I didn’t think I did–I thought I’d canceled before hitting the register button, but I guess this explains how I managed to get my nomination in without submitting my email address (I should have known it was too good to be true).

Second, don’t reference Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan in your lame attempts to get me to feel that my body is inadequate. Our country was at a very bleak point back then (I’ll make no comment about how where things stand now), and that was an effective rallying cry; a ray of sunshine in a pretty dark time. The state of my body is by no means comparable to the state of the union, thank you.

Third, let’s drop this bullshit about bikini bodies once and for all. As long as I have a body and can put a bikini on it, it’s a bikini body, regardless of what I weigh or how I look. And this whole thing about helping women get back into their bikinis? Is there an epidemic of women forgetting how to step into a pair of bikini bottoms? Or how to fasten a top? If so then it’s really a good thing we have the staff of Fitness to help with this horrible, unexplained decline in motor skills. If not, then they’re just talking nonsense and I’d like to invite them to shut up.

Don’t even get me started on the “holistic, balanced approach” that they claim to have. A quick glance at their homepage shows how balanced they are: the top headlines are “Dress ten pounds thinner”, “Erase pounds in 7 days”, “Eat more, Weigh less”, and “Drop 10 pounds in 4 weeks”. I’m not sure what their definition of balanced is, but it’s certainly different from mine. Strangely, I can’t figure out how to navigate back to the blog awards page.

Finally, $5.99 for a A FULL YEAR of Fitness? I’d still be paying too much. Fitness may think they’ve won this round by blocking my blog from this contest and firing back with a barrage of inane headlines and copy intended to shame me into subscribing to their magazine while eating a pint of ice cream and sobbing about how fat and disgusting I am and always will be, but in the end, I think I’m the winner. I’m keeping my $6 and my self-esteem which, as we all know, is priceless.

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12 comments

  1. Amen! And very well-stated! Their headlines and language are offensive, and the way the same blogs get recognized in these things time and again is sad. I briefly thought of putting mine in, but felt ridiculous at that. I know I was a finalist in Shape magazine’s blog awards, which came as a complete shock to me and my understanding is that I was selected by their editors. They sought me out, my relatively puny blog compared to the other finalists. That made me feel good and I got to share some of my body image message. But it didn’t drastically change my traffic, but I have seen a massive influx of email pitches for weight-loss products. That disappoints me, so perhaps be glad your not going to be harvested from these ‘awards’ for those types of messages.

  2. i find those “best blogs” lists to be quite deceiving. it’s easy to be voted the best when you are sending the traffic to vote…. makes it completely irrelevant to me. but what do i know, i’ve never been nominated 😉

    these kinds of magazines don’t appeal to me anymore because all of the articles month after month just say the same things. and let’s be real, the “workouts” they put in them aren’t going to make you look like the models they have posing for them.

  3. Bikini body – an impossible dream? I found this really funny. I mean do they think women all around the world have their heads in their hands over this ‘impossible dream’? Good response…those blog awards are just stupid. They mean nothing and are just a cheap way to add content to a magazine’s website.

  4. Love! Especially your third point! My body fits in my bikini just fine, thank you very much. And I’m even smart enough to know how to put it on…and what size/style actually fits my body. I must be a freaking genius!

  5. THANK YOU. Somehow I don’t understand how some of those bloggers get up there – there are so many smaller blogs that write about more than every morsel they put in their mouth (with pictures to show that they ARE IN FACT EATING) but traffic! traffic! traffic! Right?

    Your blog is amazing 🙂 So glad i found it 🙂 🙂

    1. Heidi, your comment made my day! In reference to the bloggers who document their every bite, I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      I’m glad you found it, too 🙂

      1. Those that document every bite they eat seem to get the traffic… I think it’s a form of disordered eating, and it feeds into our societies messed up ideas about food and how to approach eating.

      2. I agree, Jill. I mean, I’m not into armchair diagnosing, but I do think there’s something strange about photographic documentation (not to mention sharing) of everything you eat. Reading healthy living blogs that focused primarily on food was always very triggering for me, and often still is!

  6. The sad thing is that that ad most definitely sold copies of the magazine. People believe that. I remember when we did, when we were kids (teenagers)! Thanks for putting it into perspective!

  7. It’s sad to me how typical health and fitness media say the craziest bs in order to sell their products.

    “Dr. X shows you the miracle oil that will make you lose ten inches in four weeks!” And it’s always undoubtedly some plant in the Amazon that people “just found”, and it somehow magically defies the laws of biochemistry. Or you can always take your ephedra pill and hope that you lose your fat before you die of a heart attack. “A pill for every ill”, I suppose.

    Anyway, thanks for the level-headed response to ad gimmicks. Also, it’s still insane to me how the media has a certain body stereotype that every woman should fit into. From my own Exercise Science standpoint, as long as you have a healthy BMI and are able to do activities of daily living easily, you’re good to go. I guess it’s the concept of focusing on function/health rather than image.

    End rant. Ha. Nice post!

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