enough with the “shoulds” already!

I subscribe to emails and alerts from Splendora, a “lifestyle” website whose tagline is, “Splendora is read by chic, eclectic people who like their style served with a slice of life.” I’m not actually sure what the hell that means, but I signed up because they often showcase cute clothes and fun things to do on the weekend. So, you know, rock on. However, I unsubscribed today because their latest alert is entitled “10 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat” and provides a link to a powerpoint that discusses the perils of non-organic apples, farmed salmon, and the like. Perhaps it just came to my inbox at the wrong time, perhaps I’m overreacting, perhaps I’m just sick of another list telling me what I “should” be doing. In any event, I tossed out an email to them that I’ve pasted below just because I’m proud of it.

I am writing to let you know that I will be unsubscribing from all alerts from Splendora because of the recent email titled “10 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat.” The powerpoint smacks of classism and ableism; it is not particularly easy (or feasible) for everyone to simply run to their nearest farmer’s market and procure organic apples and potatoes, then stop off at the local grocer to purchase grass-fed beef which no doubt costs quite a bit more than non-grass-fed beef. I am not denying that there may be “better” ways to eat (and I hesitate even using that word, as I firmly believe we shouldn’t be attaching moral values to our food), but your presentation carries with it an air of pretentiousness that does not sit well with me. We receive messages every single day about how we “should” look and what we “should” wear and are made to feel less than if we don’t subscribe to the rigid rules that have been set out for us; the world doesn’t need another list of shoulds.

Whew! And you know what? Of course there are benefits to not eating stuff that comes wrapped with pesticides with a side of toxic toxicity, but that’s not the point. It’s the shame-based messages that I’m just over. Also, I love me some grass-fed beef, let’s be clear.

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11 responses to “enough with the “shoulds” already!

  1. As someone that tries to eat healthy most of the time, that company is wrong to criticize healthy foods: apples, salmon, potatoes (I think the small potatoes have more flavor), etc. There is a recession going on and it’s better to eat conventional apples, than no apples. If you’re worried about pesticides, peal them.

    • I certainly understand their concern with pesticides, it’s the FOR SHAME attitude that I can’t stand. I aspire to purchase locally, but I fully recognize that that places me in a very different space than many other individuals who (a) don’t live near a farmers market or small, locally owned grocery store, (b) rely on (often times unreliable) buses or other public transportation to get around, (c) don’t have the funds to pay more for food, (d) have kids and therefore have very little time to cook the way they would like, (e) may have physical disabilities that prevent them from getting out, and on and on.

  2. Yeah, but…you also “shouldn’t” be too poor to afford an all-organic, grass-fed diet! Get a job! Geez!

    /sarcasm

  3. I love that letter you wrote to them! It is too bad other aren’t so eloquent or motivated to speak up. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. I guess all I have to say is, “snap.”

  5. you inspired me. i must be on a time delay from them, because i didn’t get it until the next day. i’m not sure i would have read it the same if i hadn’t already read your post on it? but it came across as soooooo snarky, privileged and like something we’d find on gwyneth paltrow’s blog. i unsubbed.

  6. Pingback: it’s about to get heavy | the taking up of space

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