Monday Rant – Crap That Annoyed Me Last Week

Runners thinkIdo

Every now and then I start a ‘rant’ post, but never seem to truly get there. It seems that the act of THINKING about ranting is theraputic enough for me. Apparently not this time … if you are reading this, put on your fire-proof gear and get ready for as much of a rant as you’ll ever read here.

1. Why Do We Continue to Support Sexist, Misogynist TV Shows?

So I really had no intention of posting this until Michele had a great post mostly about running and nutrition, but a little about The Bachelorette at the end. Again, the main focus is on running and nutrition, but she talked about her husband having developed a ritual for watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, and her hating them. The reasons she gave were mostly around the predictable and formulaic nature of the shows, but I had some different thoughts: these shows are racist, sexist, misogynist and show warped and unhealthy views of relationships that no one should emulate.

Here is my full comment:

As for Bachelor/Bachelorette … one of the big reasons I hate these shows is that they project an incredibly unrealistic view of people and relationships. This is NOT love, it is ratings manipulation tied into people’s lives … people who get addicted to the money and recognition. Worse yet, the shows at their core are incredibly racist and sexist … finding ‘comfort’ in that? Ugh … that bothers me quite a bit.

But ultimately what bugs me is it trivializes relationships (of course, in our disposible society it is FAR from alone) and continues to push the mantra that a woman is only as valuable as her looks and sexuality, and a man can escape such scrutiny with enough money … again, ugh. I guess I should just leave it alone.

And to those who would call it mindless and harmless … how is THIS different than the other unhealthy images we push on young women?

OK, let me make sure I am clear – I am calling THE SHOW “racist, sexist, and misogynist” … I am NOT saying that people who watch it are those things.

Some pretty strong stuff though? I mean, sure this isn’t the greatest show, but isn’t calling it “racist, sexist, misogynist” a bit extreme? Actually no. Hopefully the sexist angle and pooor relationship angle are pretty obvious … but if not take a look at what some people are talking about here. Pretty illuminating stuff … and sad.

As for racism, this is a bit tougher, but just look at the numbers: across 18 seasons of Bachelor, 9 seasons of Bachelorette, 27 main stars and more than 700 contestants … and 14 (fourteen) non-whites have been on-screen, and none have made it into the later stages. As one site put it, those who weren’t tossed in the first cut were gone soon after. The message is clear – what is attractive is white men with money, and women with fake boobs, fake smiles, and white skin with a fake tan.

And really, the unhealthy relationship angle DOES matter. We can start by how two people who have not had a single day of ‘exclusive’ dating are supposed to suddenly be in a place of getting married? Or that ANY of this stuff represents a healthy relationship cycle? I really don’t think we would want any of our kids to be in the ‘herd’ portion of the ‘contest’, nor really as the main star.

Finally, as I said before, just watching the shows doesn’t make you guilt of sexism, misogyny, racism and so on … let’s do some quick math: shows get funded based on making money; money is made by a combination of low costs and high viewership (or at least a reasonable profit margin). And since we have already agreed to the well demonstrated fact that young men and women are influenced by media images … having shows that get millions of viewers means having a voice in millions of homes. And that voice is saying certain things. So again, it isn’t a definitive statement about people, but it should be a reminder that by watching you are helping spread the messages about body image, relative relationship power, and self esteem that the show puts across.

2. “The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop”

The reality that young women are impacted by images in the media is neither new nor surprising at this point. But what has struck me is how ‘sexified’ the average fitness magazine has become. I get a ton of free subscriptions because of my work magazine subscriptions, and one was ‘Fitness’ … and honestly it is not a magazine I feel comfortable with in terms of content. The articles are pretty light and fluffy – but the bad part is they are interspersed with photoshopped images of young women posed not to show off their fitness level but rather how ‘hot’ they are. And really, many of the articles are more focused on ‘getting hot’ than ‘getting fit’.

I wrote about the thing earlier this year with a woman named Brooke and Shape magazine (if you haven’t read the resolution, check it out) … and in reality I feel that the outcome was more about Shape deftly handling the potential PR nightmare and throwing a freelancer under the bus, than it was a reflection of reality.

All of these things contribute to the ongoing body image crisis with young women. When body-builders and fitness-models in contests wear heels rather than shoes they might actually use in their workouts …

But I mean, none of this is NEW – here is a 2011 article about fitness magazine defining health in unhealthy ways:

With consistent content focusing on fast weight loss and the easiest way to get looking sexy, Shape and Self are challenging what “fitness” really means. Beyond objectification of bodies and the perpetuation of beauty ideals, these magazines are creating a new definition of health for women. I argue these magazines have re-packaged health and fitness in terms of thinness and sex appeal.

This week there was an article at the Huffington Post called “The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop”, in which the author laments the images portrayed to women, saying:

The worry is that what women see in fitness magazines teaches them that what they are seeing is possible for them too. Women are desperate to be published in fitness publications, to be glorified into eternity through a photo. Women will do anything to get there. They will starve themselves to get lean enough to be able to see all muscular definition, they will experiment with recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, they will prostitute themselves to judges and more, just to make it.

She concludes with what we SHOULD be doing and the images we SHOULD be sharing:

Being fit in a functional rather than sexual way means you are entirely capable of being powerful no matter what your height, bust size, shoe size or hair color. You are empowered from the depths of your DNA because you did the work, you earned your place and you walk confidently because of it. A functionally fit You welcomes all sizes, shapes and colors, your boobs and butt are incidental. What we really need to build in the gym is a sense of self and what we are capable of. Believe it!

This summer I have seen more runners and walkers and bikers out and about than ever before – the cooler weather definitely has helped – and they have been in all shapes and sizes. A neighbor out walking last night told me to ‘get in a couple of miles for them’ – but they were doing great themselves. We are all out there trying to do healthy things, and SURE we want to look our best … I mean, who doesn’t want their exercise to translate into positive body changes. But that is secondary – and we certainly shouldn’t be judged entirely on whether we look like a swimsuit model!

3. Can We Just Stop Saying Stupid Things Already?

This is where I got started with my rant … because there seem to be SO MANY stupid and insensitive things begin said lately. From real life comments to overheard conversations to Facebook and more, it seems to be open season on saying stupid things … here are just a few:

– One person from outside the company hears another has been married about a year, and asks “when are you and your husband planning to have children?” The reply was very tactful “we haven’t decided if we will have children, but have looked at international adoption, and my spouse is a woman.” Considering the question was none of her business and presumptuous, and carried a tone as if some magical baby generator was available … I thought she did great … I was steamed inside of myself, but you already know that.

– Laura at Fit Fresh and Funny posted a heart-wrenching story, and she has talked before about how

– I have several real-life friends who are battling cancer, and also someone at work I know who is starting treatment again … and one of them shared this link about how to talk to someone with cancer. I thought it was great, but almost as if on cue, at work I overheard someone say about the person getting treated ‘are they STILL sick’. Ugh … when it comes to cancer, it is never REALLY gone.

There are more, but I am stopping here … because it is a theme: just stop and think before you talk. If you have no idea what to say, THAT is not a bad thing to say! Let people know you care, don’t be presumptuous about what you think someone else should think or feel, and never belittle someone’s feelings or life experience. M’kay?

4. Here’s a Shock – E-Cigs are Poisonous Crap Too!

I think I made it clear that I am not a big fan of smoking. It has been ‘interesting’ watching through my life as the tobacco companies have twisted and turned through the years, getting caught marketing specifically to minorities, then children, and then pushing hard into other countries that don’t have strict regulations.

As an interesting aside, as we are 50 years from the first surgeon general report on smoking, a NPR report reflects back on how smoking managed to stay so popular and widespread for so long after the report. Here is a comment from a woman who started smoking in the mid-70s (putting her close to my age):

“Because everybody was smoking. Mother and Father were smoking. Doctors were smoking. You were able to smoke in the movie theater, food shopping with Mom. Really, back then nobody knew what we know today.”

In large part that’s because the tobacco industry maintained for years that experts still disagreed about the evidence, Brandt says.

One of the most recent pushes has been in e-cigarettes, or vaporizers. Proponents claim there is no risk – because it is not smoke. I have always found that to be a silly argument – whenever you have a chemical reaction going on with transfer of material at the cellular level … there is risk.

Now we learn that e-cigs are NOT so safe after all … to the surprise of no one who ever really thought about it. Here is a quote:

while using an e-liquid with both solvents produced almost as much formaldehyde as a traditional cigarette. While the human body produces formaldehyde as a byproduct of normal metabolic activity in the cells, it is suspected of being carcinogenic when inhaled.

So yeah, take that e-cig out of public, away from others, and sure as heck away from babies and pregnant women. Because this isn’t the first report we’ve gotten … and it won’t be the last.

5. Time To Think About What Comes Out of Our Faces!

I grew up in a diverse area in suburban Boston and as a result I knew people of all different types and backgrounds and religions and so on … and even though things weren’t so ‘politically correct’ in the 70s, there were terms and phrases that WERE used (like calling me a Polack for my Polish background) and those that were NOT used (yeah, like the obvious ones). There were terms used as synonyms for other words (‘wicked queeah’ for weird, and ‘wicked retahded’ for stupid), but at the time most of the people saying things had no idea of the alternate meanings.

But through the years most of those terms have come and gone … thankfully. Being inclusive means not making others feel victimized for whatever my describe them in terms of race, physical situation, religion, cultural background, or anything else.

I remember being taken aback many years ago when we were doing wedding planning, being told that when having discussions with places we should ‘Jew them down’ … my initial reaction was a genuine ‘what?!?’ and after repeating I was just flabbergasted, and it is a moment that sticks with me to this day. It was an expression I’d never heard, and growing up with so many Jewish friends I was really taken aback. But there was never any offense intended – it was just a figure of speech from a different time.

Yet there are plenty of things that we STILL see all around, things like:

– Medical conditions: OCD / ADD / Bipolar / Depressed / Retarded and so on …
– Sexual orientation as a put down: ‘That’s so Gay’

There are lists here, here and here … but suffice to say that just like you would never see a couple of hairs in your shower and say ‘ugh, I’m a total cancer patient’ (I hope!), you should also remove all of the ‘I’m so OCD’ things from your litany of sayings.

So while I hate to use one of my fave bloggers as an example, but Suz used the expression ‘Indian-giver’ in a recent post, which is another expression I thought had been lost in the 70s … but apparently has stayed around without any regard for the origin of the expression (apparently the Kardashian klan makes a habit of native offenses). But here is a snippet of the meaning:

“Indian-giver” is a derogatory term for someone who gives something away and then asks for it back. It was coined during the struggle for land when settlers came to the new world. Many tried to “buy” land with trinkets from various tribes of American Indians, who at the time “had no concept of land ownership,” according to Waters. “[American Indians], in their conversations with settlers, did not understand that they were signing over the land.”

Now Suz made the great move to annotate the saying with a note and apology for possible offense – which is honestly much better than deleting it! And anyone who knows her knows offending anyone is about the LAST thing she’d want to do. So I mention it more as a reminder that sometimes we need to think about the things we are saying – this isn’t about ‘being PC’, but about showing our intelligence and respect for others by substituting out these lazy and offensive expressions.

To end this, there is an interesting article about sexism over at Medium, that says:

When you are a member of an oppressed group, it is difficult to recognize that you share some of your oppressor’s beliefs. But that’s why oppression works. These opinions become ours before we learn how to make our own.

That’s why we need to stop thinking about prejudices in terms of us and them. We are all sexist. We are all racist. Some more so than others, but still.

We are ALL guilty of saying things that offend others that we have no clue are offensive generalizations, or of passing judgments on other people, or otherwise doing or saying things that when brought to attention are not things we would choose to repeat. I can remember things from when I was a kid, I’m sure we all can. The trick is instead of getting defensive and complaining about the ‘PC police’, to just take a second and make a note to change a little saying or habit to make ourselves a better global citizen.

Bonus: Yeah, Enough Driving into Runner/Bikers/etc already

I have talked about this a lot, how we as drivers need to do our best to pay attention, and as people in general need to try to make the roads safe for everyone to share through whatever means possible. Because there was another case last week, this one local enough to me that members of one of the local running clubs were attending the funeral.

State police recently revealed that 33-year old Jason Townsend, of Nichols, N.Y. was arrested on Saturday as the suspect in a hit and run accident that occurred at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. According to initial police reports, Daniel and Karen Manwaring were jogging along West Whitcomb Hill Road in the Town of Tioga when a blue Nissan XTerra hit them.

So what has been annoying YOU!?!

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36 thoughts on “Monday Rant – Crap That Annoyed Me Last Week

  1. first off, i used to watch bachelor/ette until I started noticing the weird “white” trend that was going on. that made things superficial, unrealistic and made me feel bad for watching such a discriminating show (and like you said, my viewership was supporting it). It also totally gave me an unrealistic view of my own relationship. I wanted adventure, romance and to be completely swept off my feet. Granted those things were happening, just not on a tv reality show level which is just as bad as wishing to be a princess looking for the perfect prince charming. It’s disgusting.

    Another thing you said that stood out to me were the fitness magazines. It does make me upset how they tend to use models (but not necessarily fitness models) to do their covers & inner photos. That’s why i read the Athleta catalog haha. There’s some fitness inspiration instead of lanky thin models. Those girls workout!!

    • Thanks for the comments, Cori – I think we all (men included) want to be swept off our feel in some way or other, at least metaphorically speaking. But there is a difference between a realistic view of romance and this fairy-tale expectation – especially once you get into the real-world day to day living.

      And I totally agree – I love when REAL athletes are used, and when the celebration is on accomplishment rather than appearance. Like this weekend 10k with Shalane getting edged by Steel by less than 0.1 seconds … loved that the discussion was about the race, not their hairstyles 🙂

  2. OK, I kind of like your rant posts :). I honestly can’t believe the Bachelor / Bachelorette has been so successful. The idea of getting to know / dating / sleeping with 25 people at once and then picking “the one” under pressure is crazy to me, so unnatural, and sets up such bad expectations for every single person watching! My mom and sister are both obsessed with it, and it drives me crazy – they know not to talk to me about it. I admit that I get Fitness magazine and like it – but I like it because they often cite some studies that I can look into (they’re very sensationalized, and usually have about 1/2 a sentence of the results, but then I can find them online, and it shows me what people are caring about now). I agree about the pictures there – too much hotness, not enough real fitness! And thinking before speaking … just YES!

    • Thanks Megan … I don’t think I rant as well as some, but I try 🙂

      And I totally get you on at least browsing the fitness mags – I still get Men’s Fitness, and it is total beefcake pics, but there are a few nuggets of useful stuff in each issue.

  3. I’m ashamed to be a Bachelor fan (and yes, Megan expressed her horror when I told her about how I was watching the finale recently), but honestly, I swear I wouldn’t watch if it weren’t for the international travel. I love seeing the places they go! But I wonder about the stats you shared. Juan Pablo (American born to Venezuelan family) was the Bachelor recently, and spoke plenty of Spanish during the show. And Ali chose Roberto in the end, also Hispanic. Do they not count for some reason? Juan Pablo was fair-skinned, sure, but not Anglo. True, no Africans or African Americans making it to the final 4, which is a shame. I get your point, but um, the next Bachelor is from rural Iowa and bound to get hurt, but I can’t look away… !

    I like your point about people not thinking. I was skimming blogs this morning and unfortunately (or fortunately) I can’t remember which one it was, but the author was making fun of someone for wearing bright leggings and having punk colored hair. It didn’t show the person’s face, but it made me sad, wondering what if the person was unhappy and thought bright patterned leggings would boost her spirits that day, and what if the person had lost his or her hair because of cancer or alopecia or male pattern baldness or whatever and decided a red and blue colored wig would be a fun way of thumbing her nose at it. All the judging and making fun of others bums me out, though I know I’ve done it too. Just insensitive sometimes.

    • I am not sure about the exactness of the stats … but I think we can easily agree that as a general rule the basic premise is true. And my cynical side says that they inserted a couple of token light-skinned ethnic people to allow for exactly this type of dismissal of the claims of racism. I really don’t know either way …

      And I know exactly what blog & picture you are referring to … and I did comment, and totally loved the outfit! But hey, I’m a late 40s guy out there in bright colored everything! So perhaps I misinterpreted that one, because I saw a celebration of the amazing variety of people – but I also agree there is a fine line in people watching when it comes between enjoying the diversity of life … and laughing at people.

      Hmmm … something to think about.

      • I’m glad you saw it positively. I just realized where I saw it and came back to see if I could delete my comment b/c I didn’t want to single anyone out. But now reading your response, it’s clear that it wasn’t intended to poke fun and it was perhaps overly sensitive of me to see it as such, I felt sad for the person photographed, but dressing like that likely indicates a good sense of humor and a positive person who possibly loves the attention, making people smile and laugh, etc.

      • I can’t speak for anyone else … only for my own context and interpretation. As I said to Caitlin, I have been very wrong in the past. 🙂

        I just look at my kids – especially my younger son and his friends – and how they will dress up in all sorts of styles to celebrate all manner of cool stuff, and they do it with joy and spirit and with full commitment to their characters. And I know it can’t always be easy – my son makes a perfect Dr Who (I’ve shared pictures) – but not everyone is …well, nice.

  4. I am nodding my head with all of these rant posts. Seriously it’s awesome. Honestly, I can 100% agree with the pornificiation of fitness. Woman with their breasts hanging out with their abs. It’s so upsetting.

  5. Ugh I could not agree more with all of this, especially the watching what we say. As someone who has struggled with mental illness and has watched many loved ones struggle, too, nothing makes me more upset than to hear people use those terms inappropriately, and my education in special education makes me loathe the other inappropriate terms still used to describe people with special needs and those without. And I refuse to read fitness magazines for the reasons you stated. I don’t want to spend money on something that isn’t informative and only serves to keep putting forth the idea being ridiculously skinny is healthy when that is rarely the case.

    • Thanks Caitlin – I think for me so much is about the willingness and openness to learn as we go along. We all make mistakes – but if someone says something to us to help us realize the impact of our words, it is on us to adapt. We don’t NEED to say those things, and it speaks volumes about us how we adapt to situations like this.

      And thanks also for the thoughts on magazines – having all of those unhealthy ‘looking like THIS = happy & sexy’ reminders cannot be easy for people who struggle with body image and health issues!

      • That’s definitely a fair point, Mike. As long as someone (myself included) is willing to learn from having said something offensive (whether it was intentional or not), I think that’s ok. It’s when people me who know my history still use that stuff that i get the most upset, since I know we’ve talked about it ha.

      • So true! I tend to be forgiving (oh they couldn’t have meant THAT) .. sometimes too much so. Some people try to be offensive, others either have no idea or didn’t think it was offensive, but wouldn’t normally do anything like that. Repeat offensers on key issues … yeah, not so easy to let THOSE slide! 🙂

  6. Well, I am still not sure how I feel about being one of your rants, but I thank you for also including the fact that I apologized. It goes to show a) that we aren’t perfect (even though I might like to think otherwise! NOT), b) that we should go with our gut sometimes–I had a slight reservation as I was typing it that maybe I should go with something else, and I didn’t. Totally my fault, I assume full responsibility. c) that we should stand by our mistakes. This is not to toot my own horn, believe me, I would rather have not said it at all! But I think that it is important to use as an example of things to look out for. While “Indian Giver” may not necessarily be a derogatory term in my generation/where/how I was brought up, it obviously still is for others. And I totally respect that. There are terms that I bristle at hearing, IMMEDIATELY, but for others they are no problem. Just like some people are vegan out of respect for the animal, while others eat the animals–I have no problem with any of it, as long as we show respect for each other’s beliefs. Mistakes happen–it is how you recover, and how you push on, that is important.
    Speaking of pushing on. I cannot watch the Bachelor. Never have, never will. Rock of Love was funny, but that was the extent of those shows that I watched. I do watch Bravo, but I don’t live and die by it. I also haven’t read fitness magazines in years, now (purchasing them, I mean–I will flip through them in doctors offices) or Glamour etc. I used to still occasionally get Vogue or Elle because they honestly DID have good articles in there! But even Cooking Light has gotten ridiculous now. Same old, same old.

  7. I love your rant posts! I’m going to speak to the magazines since a lot of people addressed the Bachelor/ette but let me just say that how can people take it seriously when only like 2 couples or something ridiculous have ever made it to the alter. I mean, come on…

    Anyways, as far as magazines, I agree with you. For me personally, I want to see strong, fit women…now, fit does come in all sizes and some of them of very thin and some not so “thin”. What I personally find motivating isn’t wether someone has a 6 pack or the perfect model face, but wether they are pushing themselves to be the best version of themselves. That they are accomplishing the goals they have set out for themselves and doing it with grace and humility. I used to subscribe to tons of magazines and now I am down to just a handful, the “sports” related ones are Runner’s World and Running Times, the rest are food/home magazines because I was tired of the articles about how “you can get skinny in 3 weeks by doing these 4 amazing moves.” It’s such BS. Do I want to have a body that looks good? Of course. However, my bigger purpose is to be healthy so that I can chase after Ashton and see him grow up.

    • Great comment Sara – it is all about setting goals for ourselves to attain … and understanding WHY we are setting those particular goals! And I agree on the models – I have no issue with people being on the cover or on the pages of a magazine … I mean, I have read music magazines for decades and they have ALWAYS used non-musicians (who coincidentally happen to always be scantily clad women) to sell gear – and there were always complaints about the tactic. But there it is easy to separate product (music equipment) from tactic (sex sells to mostly male audience). In a fitness magazine targeting women … is it the same?

  8. Yes on all of these! I’ve never been into the Bachelor / Bachelorette. I missed out on many a watercooler conversations because of it, but I just couldn’t watch it. And I really can’t believe it’s still on. As for 3 & 5, I know I’ve been guilty of “foot in mouth” disease before – the best way to recover is to just own it and apologize. I used to subscribe to Shape & Fitness at some point or another, but not in years. I do read the occasional women’s magazine while at the pool or on a plane, but those women are not real. Even some of those “motivational quotes” you see in Pinterest have some woman half naked with a barbel in hand. Who goes to the gym like that? No one I’ve ever seen works out in underwear. I want to tell them – if you are going to be doing some high impact work – you’re going to need a bigger bra. 🙂

    • OK, Sara – you had me laughing out loud at a lot of that! 🙂

      And I think we ALL have stuck our feet in our mouths from time to time … it is part of living.

  9. Good points on the Bachelor once again! And my husband has definitely noticed the racist aspect of it as well as the sexism, however they don’t deter him from watching it. I’m sick to death of the show as you know!

    The pornographication of fitness really hit home to me. I completely gave up reading all womens magazine, fitness or otherwise, maybe 5 years ago due to the realization that no matter what articles I read I just feel like general shit after looking through them. It’s not worth it at all, and I would never want my girls to see me reading them or looking at the models as actual role models of health. It makes me sick that “fit” and “sexy” have to go together. Blech.

    I love reading rant posts! I often can’t collect my thoughts well enough to write a good one but I’m always cheering you on when I read yours!

    • Thanks Michele … and it is funny, I know I do plenty of issue-related posts, but I guess I never thought of them as rants … haha!

      “It makes me sick that “fit” and “sexy” have to go together”

      Perfect! I see ‘the pursuit of fitness’ and ‘beautiful’ as going together … since ‘fit’ is a journey and not a destination … and as to why we need to draw ‘sexy’ into it is beyond me!

  10. To the point of watching what comes out of our faces…I actually ran into an issue with this a month or so ago on my Facebook page. Someone left a comment and used a word that offends me very deeply (sexual orientation related), but it is probably just part of that person’s regular vocab. I had no idea how the heck I was supposed to handle it. Like I was so beside myself that I emailed Helly and asked her what the heck I should do about it. I didn’t know if I should confront the person or what. I hate deleting comments because I feel like that’s censorship. It was all just very awkward.

    • That is just crazy Lauren! I know I would tend to confront (ok, that is easy since I HAVE done so) … but it is stunning what people will say under some guise of ‘it wasn’t meant to be offensive’ or just not caring!

  11. This is what really bothers me: “Women are desperate to be published in fitness publications, to be glorified into eternity through a photo. Women will do anything to get there. They will starve themselves to get lean enough to be able to see all muscular definition, they will experiment with recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, they will prostitute themselves to judges and more, just to make it.”
    What, are we stupid dolt sheep who just jump off the bridge because Annie (sorry to anyone named Annie) did? We just want to be in magazines and will do anything to get there? Seriously? I think not. As I’ve said before, I’d prefer to be strong over skinny any day and I wish the magazines would share that. I don’t like most magazines at all, even so-called fitness and running editions. They just don’t seem to portray what real people are and do.
    Same goes for most non-HGTV reality shows. It doesn’t make sense and it seriously bothers me that THIS is reality to so many people. I’ve actually had the TV on some show, maybe Dr. Phil or something as I have it on when I clean, and told my boys, don’t marry a girl who’s into drama like that. Then YOU’LL be the drama some day. Hopefully that doesn’t offend anyone, but it’s true.
    It’s scary to see what’s going on in Tv and that it could reflect the country itself.
    I could continue my rant, but I won’t. Thanks for yours, it actually got my heart rate up a little reading it! I’m with ya!

    • Totally agree – and thanks for the pile-on rant! I thought it was awesome!

      I definitely have a problem with so many TV shows, where the ‘reality’ is all competition and drama now. I used to love shows on many networks, but over time I like fewer and fewer because of the messages being sent. And I am glad that none of this interests my kids. 🙂

  12. Rants rock! Glad to be a part of it. 🙂 I used to get fitness, shape, all the magazines-I was kind of obsessed. But I started realizing that none of the “tips” were very realistic, and the magazines all seemed to say the same thing each month with minimal variations. I suddenly started receiving some other magazines at home around New Years-and some I’ll read, some I’ll recycle, but it’s all in the vein of a mental palate cleanser, without any real thought that whatever story about how someone “lost weight and found themselves” is any more real than watching the Walking Dead.

    • It is funny – I started getting ‘wine spectator’ as another freebie, which is a magazine I loved years ago. But now looking at it … there is just not much ‘there’ anymore. I know there is a push to get subscriptions and get advertising to pay for things, but as a result where there used to be loads of great content, now it is thin and a ‘mental palate cleanser’ as you say. Disappointing. And that is a ‘non-sexualized’ magazine …

  13. The part about “Indian giver” (I had never heard of that term before) and saying things without realizing they are offensive reminded me of something Matt’s mom said that really threw me for a loop. She is one-fourth Native American (her grandpa was 100% Native) and is a member of a federally recognized tribe. In her family, they refer to Native Americans as Indians, which obviously is an acceptable term. I even remember being told in elementary school that they prefer to be called Indians because that is the name they were given by white settlers. Matt’s brother just went to “Indian camp,” for example.

    This makes things a little confusing when I have a lot of Indian friends–i.e. friends from or whose parents are from India. I once tried to clarify a friend’s country of origin to Matt by saying she was “Indian-American,” but he got confused at first because he thought I was screwing up “American Indian,” which of course means Native American. Point is, it’s confusing.

    One day, I was having dinner with Matt’s family and some of his extended family on his mom’s side. His mom said something about someone she knew, and she stated this person’s ethnicity as “dot Indian,” pointing to her forehead. She meant this person was Indian (not Native American). I have known MANY Indians in my life, and none of them wear the stereotypical red dot to which she was referring. I feel this is akin to calling Native Americans “headdress Indians.” Equal highly-likely potential for offense. I was especially surprised because his mom is a high school counselor, so I would think she would be better-versed in diversity, but I don’t know what the demographic of her school is like.

    Maybe I’m just too sensitive?

    • It probably wouldn’t have gone over well had you asked ‘you mean as opposed to headdress Indians?’ haha I don’t think it is you being too sensitive, but instead feeling the effects of walking the line between two groups that share a name in our country to an extent … though at this point if I hear Indian I think of people from the country, not Native Americans. Interesting … and thanks for sharing!

  14. I don’t watch any of the Bachelor type shows. I find them the antithesis of romantic and you strip that away and it just seems gross to me.

    I have a couple teenaged nieces, one of whom is being used for her dance school’s advertising and I was floored by how sexual the images were for a 15 year old girl. If I were her mother, they would not have been taken, nevermind splashed all over the internet. But my sister has very different ideas on what is appropriate or not — when her daughters was in first grade, my sister bragged about how my niece had a boyfriend at that age and that having boys like them was sooooo good for their self-esteem.

    My jaw is still on the ground for that one.

    So, I agree with you that all the sexualization of fitness can just go away.

    • The ‘boys = self esteem’ one just made my head spin Exorcist style! WHAT?!? That is the LAST message young girls need!

      The advertising one is more difficult … Lisa and I talk about how very different things would be with girls, because the world is different for girls than boys. So I try not to judge because all it takes is one trip to the Halloween aisle to see the difference – boys can be Darth Vader or a pirate and so on … girls can be a princess, or a sexy stormtrooper or a sexy pirate and so on ..

      And totally agree on the ‘antithesis of romance’ statement 🙂

      • I’m still upset about the self-esteem=boys thing. I thank my parents for that. They pretty much made my sister a neurotic drama queen who always picked lousy boyfriends. She was the pretty one who wasn’t as smart as her siblings and they made sure she knew it. It was a mess. As much as I am not great with my self-esteem and all the alcoholism crap I feel like I ended up better off than she did. Now her daughters are perpetuating it.

        The dance school ads were pretty frankly sexual, with my niece in a bandage top holding her leg up in a standing split looking out from behind her leg in a come hither look. Another picture is very bondage looking. It’s frightening to me. So it’s beyond sexy in my mind and barely looks like it is dance related other than the ability to contort into poses. And I’m no prude. I showed it to my husband, and he thought it was awful too.

      • Wow … that is really a sad story with your sister. Lisa and I definitely have our share of ‘baggage’, but nothing quite to that extent. Ugh … and I hate when you see negative things like that passed on to kids.

        As for the dance thing … I’m really a bit freaked out about that whole situation now … raises questions that shouldn’t even be thoughts about that whole scenario.

  15. Hello there, randomly found your blog through previous comments you made on another runners blog and thought I’d stop on over and check your blog out! I really enjoy this rant…it reads like we are sitting across from one another at lunch and I could totally comment on all your ponts made. I especially enjoy points 2, 3, and 5 sometimes I think we all need a national public announcement to remind us to stop being so ignorant. Its fresh to read a running blog that also offers insights to other topics 🙂

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