Okay, highhorse time again…
I am regularly contacted by people from companies who sell weight loss and cosmetic surgery ‘solutions’. I mean every few weeks.
The representatives want to buy advertising on my site. I guess they see the site is about women and body and that’s a close enough match for them – after all, all women want to lose weight, right?
Well apparently all women want to have cosmetic surgery too, if an email exchange I’ve just had is anything to go by.
This person – and I won’t name the website because I am surely not giving them a backlink – is on my mailing list, because the initial email I received was a reply to my newsletter. I opened it, thinking it was one my peeps asking a question. Tadah – I this lipsuction information site and I’d like you to post an article or two on your blog, please.
Very polite and all – but – really?
So I muttered about “clearly don’t know what the site’s about” and deleted it.
So a few days ago I get another reply to my newsletter, saying:
>>Haven’t received anything from you since my last email. Any problems?
At this point I vaguely remembered something about a request from someone – we’ve had all this flooding etc and as I’ve mentioned we weren’t directly affected, but we sure were distracted about it all – so I replied:
>>>Hi, which email are you referring to?
And got this:
>Thank you for your time.
>I sent an email askingif it will be possible to place links in
>howtoloveyourbody.com going to our site. Rest assured that the links
>are related to your site. It can be through your existing articles or
>if you want, I can send my own original article. If you have other
>options, please let me know. Quotations and/or more information will be helpful.
>Regards, [name removed]
So now we’re getting down to it. An oblique offer to advertise and if I want, to pay for it. Interesting. But notice, not a graphic ad – they’re after links in articles, and they’ll even provide the articles. This is something you must be aware of, as a reader of body image blogs, or blogs that appear to be body image blogs – sometimes the links out will be links to sites that you would not otherwise go to. You must admit it’s a clever strategy: slip the information in under your radar, so to speak.
So I replied:
>Oh yes I remember it. I wonder if you’ve even read any of the articles on my site? My site is about women learning to love and accept their bodies as they are, I would never, ever, encourage a women to undergo a violent procedure like liposuction for any reason, and if you’d read even one article on my site you would know that.
We are not actually promoting liposuction. We just want, not only women, but all to have as much information they need before even thinking about this procedure.
I have similar articles here which I hope you can publish on your site.
One is about the dangers of liposuction and why people should not undergo this procedure. It will have a link going to our site, but I assure it will not look like it’s promoting liposuction or any cosmetic procedure at all.
What do you think?
Okay – so that’s reasonable, really. Skewed, but reasonable. Could be my ‘everyone has a valid reason for what they do’ training as a therapist getting in the way here, so I took a deep breath and thought maybe I am being ridiculously biggoted here, after all plastic surgery does work miracles when people are born with life-messing problems or have traumas inflicted on their bodies. Maybe this site isn’t as bad as I’m assuming without looking at it.
>Ohhh Suzzane you’re really challenging me! Send me some links and I’ll have a look.
I had severe reservations based on the comment that the link they would send “will not look like it’s promoting liposuction”.
And so the links duly arrived, to other blogs where they’re perhaps a little more open to the possibility that women will spend many thousands of dollars on liposuction to make themselves “feel better”.
And they were genuine posts, explaining that there were issues with liposuction but gee it’s so much better than it used to be, it can used on small areas to sculpt etc etc. (yes because our bodies are only things to be renovated like the bricks-and-mortar house we live in, not part of ourselves at all).
I also finally visited the site, which says they are only trying to give a balanced view, but the header of every page offers consultations and a service to hook you up with a cosmetic surgeon.
So my final reply:
well I’ve had a look and agree the articles are well written. I visited your site as well and it clearly and strongly promotes liposuction, you offer consultations and hook people up with surgeons. That’s your business and I applaud anyone who has a successful business, I know what kind of hard and consistent work it takes.
And regardless, every one of the articles and your site is still promoting liposuction by saying ‘it’s much better than it used to be”. I cannot and will not ever promote in any way going under the knife to conform to an artificial and ever-moving beauty standard. I am not interested in presenting the other side of the coin, I am not interested in taking a moderate approach to an industry I consider exploits women. I think plastic surgery is a miracle in giving people their lives back after trauma, but cosmetic surgery is a whole different deal. That’s my take on it, I know you won’t agree. I refuse offers of paid advertising for weight loss junk on my site, why would I publicise something that I think damages women’s wellbeing? Please don’t keep contacting me, my answer will not change.
Look, I completely accept every woman has the right to do with her body as she chooses, always will uphold that right. AND my message is that nature doesn’t make mistakes, your body is unique and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Only a culture that values The Official Body type would condone and even start to normalise what is essentially a violent, optional, assault against the body – so violent that we have to made chemically unconscious to tolerate it, and then use painkillers for weeks to get through the extreme pain of the recovery period.
Yes it’s your body and your right to change it if you want to, and I will always ask do you really know why you want to change it?
Is it so you can look like someone else?
What’s that you say? A better version of yourself? (sorry, I think you’ll be the cosmetic surgeon’s version of you).
What’s wrong with the version you have?
Who says it’s wrong?
And why do they say it’s wrong?
Could it be that they want to [gasp] make money from your insecurity, so the way they see it, it’s in their interest to support you in your insecurity?
There’s always only one way out of any vulnerability you might have to this kind of message, and that’s educating yourself about what they’re really after, and weighing that up against who you really are. When you know that, they won’t be able to claw at your insecurities, you will be inoculated against them.
If you feel like you’re ready to start taking another look, my Body Bliss 101 program can be a big help. It’s free, no strings, because one person at a time, we can immunise ourselves from this damaging view of our female bodies and turn this tide from body hate to true self love.
Okay, I’ll get off my high horse now, after all this is my opinion only, no more valid than your own opinion… no riding off into the sunset for me, I’m here for the long haul, maybe you’ll join me?
What do you think, am I irrational about this? Please comment below…