Full disclosure: I’m not on Pinterest. I like the IDEA of Pinterest. I think it’s an excellent way to get inspiration for delish meals, adorable DIYs and, most importantly for me, outfits. And I can fully admit that it’s probably a better, more organized version of my system, which is to stick Post-its into my copies of Elle and bookmark pages of The Satorialist and then promptly forget they exist.
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So, I get it — and yet, I find myself saying NO THANKS NOT PINTERESTED (I don’t say that). Mostly because I think Pinterest might be ruining our lives, one mason jar DIY at a time.
I don’t think Pinterest is ruining feminism, per se, like this Buzzfeed piece suggests — although I do agree that the amount of dieting pages masked as HEALTHY LIVING are alarming. And I also don’t happen to agree that “planning a wedding without being in love isn’t as much delusional as it is sad,” as this recent (and, at times, way harsh) Jezebel post contends. (Hypothetically plan away, ladies. A hobby is a hobby is a hobby. Sure, this one is inherently more culturally problematic than, say, stamp collecting, but you do you.)
I do think that Pinterest has the power to be yet another tool that makes ladies feel bad about themselves. “But!” protests Pinterest Polly (just go with it), “Pinterest doesn’t create its content — WE do!” Yeah, OK. But look at the most popular pages popping up on Pinterest (put THAT on your alliteration page!): Designer home decor. Perfectly curated wardrobes. Those lavish hypothetical weddings. Expertly prepared meals. Mason jars. EXPERTLY PREPARED MEALS IN MASON JARS. Isn’t this the same kind of aspirational stuff that the lady mags have been selling us for years?
Pinterest is a great tool if you’re using it to generate ideas that may make your life better and/or prettier — like, I don’t know, a clever DIY involving all those spare Allen keys from IKEA — but I can see how it can also be an overwhelming time suck that fuels the whole LIFE IS A COMPETITION idea that the Internet seems to have cultivated (thanks, Facebook). I can see how ladies who never get around to perfecting a sock bun (I GIVE UP IT DOESN’T WORK) or make that quilt out of old concert T-shirts (seriously, I need to get on that) or have the perfect fairytale wedding might start feeling inferior. Defeated, even. Like their lives will never be as awesome as they are on Pinterest. Because, real talk, 95% of Pinterest pages should just be called Shit I’ll Never Do Ever or LOL, OK.
So you never got around to reupholstering that chair from Goodwill or wearing a couture gown down an aisle. Big deal. You are not a bad person. Now turn off your computer and, I don’t know, go outside or something.
Jen Zoratti is a Spectator Tribune columnist and freelance music scribe. She’s still not Pinterested. Follow her on Twitter @JenZoratti.
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