Hi humans! Today I would like to address something that I have always been aware of, but lately I have been hyper-aware.
In the depths of my eating disorder I “loved” reading healthy articles, fit magazines, and basically anything that told me how I can be better and healthier than everyone else.
Ring a bell?
As most of you know, I’m on Bloglovin’ which I LOVE. I love following blogs of wonderful people and reading about their daily lives. It’s great. However, yesterday I had to ask myself why I was still following one particular blog: PopSugar.
PopSugar is a very popular diet and exercise website that is specifically targeted to young women. While it does have some notable posts, good recipes and ways to be happier–the majority of the content on this website is kind of a joke.
9 out of 10 headings on this website are essentially there to a) make you feel bad about yourself, so that b) you will click on the link to read the article, thus generating more hits to their website. Hits = $$$$$.
These articles are putting the thought in your mind that you’re not good enough. You need to eat less, exercise more, get rid of any and all imperfections on your body…essentially, do the impossible.
It may seem like I’m attacking this website, but I’m not. I think they have some good content, but the way they go about marketing that content is what irks me. It isn’t just PopSugar, either…there are countless websites, magazines, blogs, social media profiles that all do this, as well. Because making people think that they aren’t good enough sells, and as a money-driven society we don’t care that this is damaging to our psyche.
Throughout this post I have included headings from PopSugar’s website. I didn’t have to go searching for these shame-inducing headlines–I literally just took screenshots of the first ones that were listed.
( side note: I didn’t hyperlink PopSugar in this post because I don’t want you to meander over there. 🙂 )
I guess what I’m getting at with all of this word vomit is that if a link to an article makes you feel like you NEED to click on it because it makes you feel bad–don’t click it. As a journalist, I realize that headings are immensely important. It takes 2-3 seconds to make an impression on your reader, and if that heading doesn’t draw them in…well, they are not likely to click on the content.
But this power doesn’t have to be used for evil! The only way to get website views is NOT to make people feel inferior so that they continue reading the articles so that the cash can come rolling in. No, no, no.
Marc and Angel Hack Life is a great example of this. I adore this website. It is chock full of articles that genuinely can help one improve their health, wellbeing, happiness, and quality of life.
Nothing about the above heading says, “You suck, click me so you can not suck.”
“Click me to be happy. Happier than you are now–because being happy is HEALTHY.”
“You’re doing great. Do even better by doing this.”
“I want you to be happy. I want to help you.”
I just ask you all to be wary of what you click on. Most pieces like the PopSugar articles (again, just an example of all the crap that is out there–not attacking the site) are made to make you feel bad so that you read them. Don’t. Don’t read something because it makes you feel like you have to, or else….
Read something because it intrigues, uplifts and inspires you. Because you are good enough, and no “6 Minute Ab Workout to Lose Your Belly Bulge” can tell you otherwise.