Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Ranty Type Blog

So, I've been doing yoga everyday for about the last two months and today YouTube suggested I watch a video from a vlogger called BananaBlondie108. Mostly out of boredom, I clicked on it and trolled around her page a while. It didn't take long for me to glean her perspective: military veganism, high and mighty yoga, anti-everything that contrasts with that. I consider myself a very open person and refuse to believe that the choices I make with my life supersede and are more righteous than another person's. Similarly, I believe that the choices other people make are valid, but I expect that they garner the same respect I give to them. If you choose to be a vegan, that's great for you. If you choose to binge drink every Thursday, fine. If you collect firearms, please be responsible. It doesn't mean that I am under any obligation to do any of these things.

BananaBlondie108's videos - at least the ones I watched (and I didn't watch any in full because she annoyed me profoundly) - serve to enforce her cause. And this is her right as a person: she is permitted to have a belief (or many beliefs) that she validates. Just as I am, and just as you are. Where I believe she misses the mark by an astonishingly wide margin is in her blatant attack on anyone who does not follow her chosen lifestyle and in her propagation of the idea that only certain bodies can be healthy.

On her channel she disses Oprah, Weight Watchers, meat eaters, dairy eaters, people who don't do yoga, and in one tremendously offensive video, she uses her children to help her insult her overweight pediatrician. You can watch the video here, but I don't recommend it. In this video, made in the car probably on the way home from the pediatrician's office, both mom and children are on a rant about how they could possibly follow the advice of their overweight pediatrician. Everyone in the car agrees that the advice is sound, scientific, and based in medicine, but everyone in the car also agrees that the doctor doesn't follow the advice.

And just how do they know that? I hear you ask, as I did. Well, because isn't thin. In fact, in BB108's words, "Her (the doctor's) message would be much better received if she were an example of the advice that she's giving."

Now, of course, I wonder, did BB108 ask the doctor if she followed her own advice? Did BB108 ask the doctor what she normally eats in a day (not that it's any of her business)? No. She went out on a limb that reaches so far past the realms of science that it hits parallel universes in the head and just assumed - and continues to assume as referenced in a video recorded the next day - that the doctor couldn't be eating and living healthily because her body failed to look a certain way.

She did issue an apology video because she was "mortified" and because her "goal is never to offend people." Now, congratulations or whatever on apologizing, but I feel like she's gotten it wrong for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I continue to hear her say that she isn't "politically correct" and "abrasive," hinting that the only reason she's apologizing is because she called the doctor fat. Secondly, in her apology she continues to propagate the idea that, because the doctor carried visceral weight (weight around the midsection), she couldn't possibly be following the advice she gives, which BB108 classifies as the "truth of the matter."

One of the biggest issues I hold with both her initial video and her "apology" is the fact that she can't own up to the fact that her children hold the views they do because she has taught them as such. Several times in both video she alludes to the fact that even her children noticed as some sort of justification and validation of her assumption about this doctor's health. News flash: Your children learn what you teach them. So, for instance, when she refers to the doctor's "gunt" with her children in the car, you can bet that that's a word that's now in their vocabularies for the next fat child they encounter.

As a fat person, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to have doctors believe what you tell them. I also know how difficult it is to have people believe what you tell them about health. Because, obviously, fashion and the conflation of health and beauty are more valid than science and personal experience. Most people see me and assume they know about my health without knowing anything about me. I have to work harder to be validated and often am not. Once, I went to the doctor and I told him my workout schedule, which, at the time was 5-6 days a week, weightlifting, cardio (running and Zumba), and pilates. When I left the room, I looked at the chart and he wrote "3 days a week, low to moderate exercise."

I feel like I'm circumventing the point and maybe there isn't a real point aside from the fact that I'm annoyed by this video and the continuation of bad science in health related fields. If you're frustrated, too, misery loves company, so leave me some comments.


  1. I've been reading political stuff of late and see many are quick to assume so much about a person's entire life from a few simple, nonthreatening words. Maybe the lack of face to face interactions on the internet play a role and perhaps because its politics but I also see it with the most benign postings i.e. like just now, someone's idea on how to clean a mattress garners many comments along the line of what kind of idiot doesn't just use a mattress cover? There are real people on the receiving end of these comments but I think on the internet its easy to forget and maybe in the moment being snarky feels clever. When I remember not to make assumptions about others, being kind comes easy and it feels good too. Heres to more kindness on the planet.

    1. Yes, I would agree and am certainly guilty in my blog of fighting fire with fire in my own bastardization of the byronic hero. But yes to more kindness and thinking of whether what we say on the Internet we would say in a regular interaction.