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.