Yesterday’s trip to the gym proved how embarrassingly weak my core’s become. I can do the captain’s chair leg lifts, but I can’t even hover my outstretched legs above the floor when I’m sitting. Brilliant. Much work to be done before dragon boat season or I’m going to injure myself fiercely.
Also, I’m exhausted this morning (only a little sore, though) and slept in until 8:30. Very bad.
A friend emailed me yesterday about yesterday’s entry because I was unclear about my issues with Livestrong and similar (and made it sounds a bit like I was annoyed that they didn’t give their money to cancer research). Here is a large excerpt from my reply:
My issue is almost entirely about the organization being so PR and marketing-driven (more about the brand than the charity), that the message of what they are actually doing is lost in the shuffle. It’s also terribly confusing, because there is a commercial (for-profit) bit of ‘Livestrong’ (the fitness website, for example) alongside the non-profit organization. His name, and the word ‘Livestrong’, overshadows the work. And I have a huge problem with that. The good work they do should be at the forefront, not the celebrity. I’m always wary of charities named after their founders, particularly when they take so much credit (or the PR machine makes it look that way). (Again, I mentioned Oprah in my post because she is the QUEEN of making herself looking like a saviour through her philanthropy, which is disingenuous and egotistical, and, in the case of her African school, oddly neo-colonial and ethnocentric. Paul Newman may have put his face on spaghetti sauce jars, but that was to raise money for his charities, not to raise his profile. He was generally quite humble and his charities raised hundreds of millions of dollars.)
Mr Gifford has a more extreme notion, that this PR is to restore Lance Armstrong’s image in light of the steroid allegations. I can’t comment on that part of it at all, because who the hell knows for sure what happened there? Dude with the enormous heart (physiologically and generosity-wise) is good at cycling and fundraising, and that’s great, but, in the end, it’s not just about one guy, a lot of merchandise, and some heavily branded events, but about the people the organization helps, and the people who help the organization.
This comes from a lifetime of cynicism about celebrity endorsements, of course, and celebrity egos in general, so I prefer my money goes to practical, grassroots organizations and/or stalwarts with good financial reports. But I wouldn’t begrudge Livestrong supporters even a little bit because they are doing good things.
Okay, that’s almost the whole email. If I had had more time/motivation, I might have adapted it a bit more thoroughly, with, like, research and citations and stuff, instead of just cutting-and-pasting. (I said ‘might have’, not ‘definitely would have’.)
Speaking of lazy non-writing, I also encourage you to read this thing someone else wrote because I am short on time and as yet uncaffeinated. It’s about why fat-shaming is bad. I’ve talked about this very amateurishly (as I do on all topics I bring up in this space – I have never taken a psych class, nor a women’s studies class, and have only studied introductory sociology) about it in my rant about Strong4Life. Lesley Kinzel knows a bit more than I do.
Speaking of body image, my naturally slim friend (who is a badass yoga teacher) gets a lot of flak for her size too, and people make comments about her healthy appetite (because she frickin’ teaches yoga and needs fuel), suggesting that maybe she, I dunno, has an eating disorder? Is sooooooo lucky she can eat whatever she wants which makes her a fucking bitch?
I will admit to making comments like ‘Oh, man, she’d look great if she’d eat a sandwich’ (about celebrities, not friends, not that that makes it much/at all better), and a lot of that is based on years of worrying about being a big girl and, I won’t lie, envy. Anyway, here’s another article to read about body image and skinny-bashing. We are all naturally different sizes and should learn to deal with it. Healthy attitude, healthy life, etc.
On that note, I’m off to the cash and carry to buy hundreds of dollars of chocolate and sugar.