Friday, 16 August 2013

# 84 (2013) Emotional Blackmail on the Internet (Or Why I Hate Memes)

I have a love hate relationship with Memes.

There are 'Somecards' which used to (but don't always now) make me smile. And there is emotional drivel like this which makes me want to punch my computer screen.

Only one person can have the best brother in the world. And 758 people thought they were them.
And then there are things like this which make no damn sense at all.

Yes you are. Books are books. People are people. They are not an adequate replacement. Get out of the fantasy. 

On top of that there are those ridiculous messages which tell you to share, like or retweet if you're their 'fweind'. For gods sake, it's like the chain mail letters that said you would die if you didn't forward it on to 10 friends by midnight. NOBODY ACTUALLY CARES!!!!!!!

Annoying but probably true
The occasional meme with a dozen cute kittens or a vulgar insult on it (combined into grumpy cat) I can handle. But why are we so addicted to this tripe and why do we think it enriches our lives?

Now I do post the occasional meme. I am not innocent of this by any means but I am making an effort to stop. And they have to be really good or incredibly relevant for me to forward them on.

Maybe posters get a buzz from seeing the number of likes and shares that result from flagging up something as mundane as this.Maybe they are bored or need reminding that not everyone has forgotten them. Whatever it is, I just wish they'd stop it. Because my Facebook feed is rapidly turning into a graveyard of pointlessness and annoyance.

There are crimes of fashion, but fashion has never been a crime. Get over it. 

Pointless. Utterly pointless.
It's an old phone. And? Do you like showing off how old you are?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

# 83 (2013) Why Womens Magazines Are Trash

I have never seen the value of buying womens magazines. If I want to be shamed about the way I look or how I spend my money or the social life I have I only have to follow the media or watch TV. What I don't need is it sitting on my coffee table as well.

Even my Facebook newsfeed is full of constant reminders I should be dieting, buying pointless beauty products and following some new celebrity fad. And where did the sudden influx of dieting adverts on Facebook come from anyway?

I leafed through someone else's copy of 'Closer' the other day. A more depressing and self absorbing rag you could not wish to read. It's why I stopped buying fashion magazines for research, because, apart from the ridiculous cover prices, they just made me hate myself.

Apparently they agreed to this comparison
Life's hard enough without comparing yourself to something that doesn't exist and if you're in the fashion industry it's always going to be a problem.

So reading about how someone has put on weight post baby or after a ridiculous amount of crash dieting and become a shockingly normal UK12 (which I hasten to add is below the UK national average) does nothing to make you feel positive about yourself, whether you are struggling with your weight or not.

One of the over all vibes I got from this magazine was that going from a size 8/10 to a 12 was BAD and deemed to be a failure. It's that constant pressure that being an average size just isn't enough.

Which is astounding when you walk around any town and see the level of obesity that's taking over our lives. Are these people ex-readers of magazines, failed dieters or what?

The competition to lose the baby weight fast. Let's not forget this is normal.
The intrusive nature of these articles with holiday snaps that celebs clearly did not pose for is at some level also quite hostile. Who has the right to debate on someone's weight regardless of how over or under they are? And if you're on holiday why should you have to see images of your 'bikini body' a week later in the pages of trashy magazines like this?

Note the before and after makeovers to convince you they are happier now than before
The 'miracle' stories of weight loss that you read in the likes of 'Closer' are just that. Miracles. And the sloppy use of photoshop to trim down already triumphant dieters only serves to remind us that it's still not good enough.

These are not adult magazines, they can be bought by anyone. And time and again we hear about how girls as young as 8 are going on diets to lose pounds with no idea of the damage they are doing to their developing bodies. It's setting people up for a lifetime of failure. Diets do not work as a long term solution and it staggers me that magazines are still allowed to produce these kinds of articles with noone to answer to.

Horrifically photoshopped hips.

Even the advertising is fake. Check here for the background story on how shockingly bad this image is. (source).

Thursday, 8 August 2013

# 82 (2013) The Problem with Diets

I watched the first episode of 'The Men Who Made Us Thin' tonight, a documentary on BBC 2 about the highly profitable diet industry and how, despite the failure rate, people keep on trying and failing at them.

The problem with diets is that they are only meant to be a weight loss programme. Often people who diet presume that once it is over they can go back to the way they were or they soon slip back into the bad habits that caused the weight problems in the first place.

Diets give you a starting point. After that, maintenance and moderation are the key. And if there is one thing we lack in our modern society it's moderation.

The problem with obesity the world over is that the food industry is huge. Its advertising is key to making us buy their products. It's a money spinning industry which has turned food from a necessary requirement for survival to a luxury, entertainment, a past time and ultimately to an addiction.

People eat for fun not to live and that is why the diet industry is so huge because people just can't stop eating and they think that a quick fix miracle is going to undo the problem.

If you want to lose a lot of weight, by all means try a diet, but think of it as a new lifestyle choice and combine it with other lifestyle choices that are going to benefit you. And don't assume that once you have hit your goal weight that you can just start eating again as before. You will probably spend the rest of your life watching what you eat, checking that everything is taken in moderation and avoiding certain foods.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most of the food we eat is not necessary. Detaching the euphoria from the food you eat works for me. If you treat food as something you need to do to be healthy and alive you can start to moderate everything. But make sure you have fun in your life. If you use food as an escapism or a kick you need to address the rest of your life. Look at your fitness levels, your routine and address your life. Because that could be part of your key to success.

Tempted? (source)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

# 81 (2013) The Most Boring Version Of Yourself

Do you ever worry that you've become the most boring version of yourself? That all the exciting things you used to do are just stories you tell other people and that the things you still have to achieve are just pipe dreams. Maybe there are exciting things bubbling away in the background of your life but you just can't be bothered to tell anyone, or you have forgotten just how remarkable those things actually are to other people.

I have a wide range of interests, things that would get me out and a whole host of things I want to achieve but I have not the finances to indulge in them. Having a limited lifestyle has a severe knock on effect to everything else and damages your confidence and your abilities.

Recent conversations remind me there are people who have only ever known the poor version of me. So all they see is someone who doesn't go out, doesn't go on holiday. Never wants to see a film or go out to dinner or that drinks night out.  And I'd almost forgotten that I am a very different person to one I was 5 or 6 years ago. Current circumstances (those I've been putting up with for four years now) mean I don't do very much with my life anymore. And the less I do, the less I want to do. And then the more cynical and angry I get and then I just beat myself up about it.

It also means when I'm doubting people and situations and worried about things which ordinarily don't get to me or I could at least rationalise. They become magnified because real life isn't there to put things into perspective.

One or two recent events have made me feel very badly about myself. My confidence has been zapped and that in turn reflects on all the other flaws in my life.  If nothing else it makes me want to fight back, to do something about it. To remind me I don't have to be dragged down by situations that aren't in my control. But temporarily I feel stranded and that makes me frustrated and angry (again).

It won't take much to get me back on track and I am on the precipice of starting something new and big which will change my life for the better. But I feel like I've been waiting forever and letting my life slip away. And that makes me angry (yes it's that word again) at myself. And that feeling never seems to go away.