Surviving Pinterest while Female

How to survive targeted online advertising… complete with eye rolls.

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Clearly, empowerment is something that’s become more important to me with age. It’s as if, when I hit 30, I got smacked on the head with a fierce-ass club that woke me up to a lot of not-okay messaging we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Maybe it’s because I find myself more frequently daydreaming about a world for my kids (note: my only current child is a really cute Lab/Dalmation mix) than being concerned about myself – a nice and welcomed shift, albeit fantasy.

From an interview with Gloria Steinem:

“Chances are [by that age] you haven’t been discriminated against that much in the labour force. Maybe you don’t yet have children and you haven’t experienced how unequal and difficult that is. It’s why, in a general way, women get more radical with age. And men get more conservative. People look at younger women and think if they’re not radical there’s something wrong with them. No – they just haven’t experienced the problems yet.”

“I would try to identify things they’re really experiencing. Do you feel as safe in the street as a man would? Probably not. Do you feel your body is OK in the same way a man would without alteration? Probably not. We can raise each other’s consciousness by addressing what is going on, without expecting someone to have the same knowledge they will have later on.”

On that note, I’d like a throw up two big old middle fingers towards my Pinterest feed this week for serving up these gems (I kid you not):

 

*pause for exaggerated eye roll*

COME. ON. I won’t divulge too much into the content, but I will add that the first tip on “How to Fix Your Stressed Out Man” is to, and I quote, “Do more.”

 

My Pinterest feed is a comprised of a complex algorithm to serve up content that is related to what I’m interested in and have previously pinned. Where in this crazy tangled web of my Small Business Owner and Branding Strategy pins did this translate into “7 Styles That Make You Look Older and Fatter”?

Let’s start with “How to Fix Your Stressed Out Man”. Last time I checked, a man is not a thing to be fixed. He’s a real person (and probably a fantastic, complex one if you chose him) – to be loved and heard. And maybe he doesn’t want your “fixing” anyway. I know I don’t. Does this read like some serious Stepford Wives robot propaganda to anyone else?

Between “Are you Actually Girlfriend Material?” and “30 Days to a Better Wife” – can you understand why marriage rates are at an all-time low amongst millennials? Nice little reminders that you might not be good enough at life to be someone’s significant other or that you’re not sacrificing enough to be a great wife make us feel like failures before we even get started. It makes me stressed just looking at it.

If you’re interested in declining marriage rates – check out this article on Japan’s birth crisis. It’s gotten so bad that the government is funding speed dating.

Am I blaming a few pins for Japan’s birth crisis? Nope. There is nothing wrong (and everything right) with striving to be a better partner – girlfriend, Father, wife, husband, friend, dog-owner, whatever it is. I just wonder if men are receiving the same sort of messaging – and genuinely hope the answer is yes. As my wise Mother told me, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

To whoever reads this… female, male, cyborg – you’re doing a great job. Your clothes don’t make you look old and fat – you look DAMN GOOD. You’re doing exactly enough (but please take care of yourself too). Breathe, soften, and maybe go outside and off of Pinterest. I guarantee the trees will never tell you those pants make you look old.

Feel better? Me too. What helps you stay even despite swayed messaging?

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