Marie Claire vs. the “Big Six”

Over the past couple of days, the blogosphere has been buzzing about Marie Claire’s recent article “The Hunger Diaries”. The piece discussed several popular food and health bloggers (referred to as the “Big Six”) who the author claimed had an “unhealthy obsession with food, exercise, and weight.”

Here are the “Big Six:”

Kath Younger – katheats.com

Tina Haupert – carrotsncake.com

Meghann Anderson graduatemeghann.com

Caitlin Boyle healthytippingpoint.com

Heather Pare hangrypants.com

Jenna Weber – eatliverun.com

Let’s just say that many did not take well to the article.

It turns out, the article’s author may not have gotten all of her information right; in fact, according to the bloggers she interviewed, she neglected to include a lot of important facts. See one bloggers’ response here. And whether or not they brought up some valid points, it’s clear that the article was intentionally one-sided.

I have a lot of respect for my fellow bloggers; these women aren’t blogging to make money; they’re not doing it for fame or for circulation numbers; they do it because they love it. No matter the topic of their choice – food, health, fashion, whatever – it’s a way to share what they love and as a by-product, a lot of people gain enjoyment out of their writing.

From what I understand, none of these women have positioned themselves as experts; they simply share information that they find useful. On the other hand, there may indeed be information in their writing that’s not recommended for a healthy lifestyle; I can’t really can’t comment either way because I haven’t read enough of their writing to know.

I do however think it takes a lot of gumption from Marie Claire to claim that these bloggers are fielding a current obsession with food, exercise and weight. This is particularly stunning to me coming from a fashion magazine that inevitably caters to the impossibly difficult standards of beauty that today’s current society forces onto women. Let’s be honest here, as much as I love fashion, the industry isn’t exactly known for its healthy lifestyle choices.

Marie Claire has yet to address this issue publicly and their PR department has yet to comment. Take one look at their Facebook page though and you’ll see that they’re going to need to make a comment eventually.

A recent Gallup poll suggests that the public’s trust in media is rapidly declining…perhaps this is why.

What do you think…was Marie Claire in the wrong here?  Or were they just exercising their Freedom of Speech?

Sincerely,

Subtle

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2 thoughts on “Marie Claire vs. the “Big Six”

  1. Not So Glamorous...Yet! says:

    I really found this interesting! I hadn’t heard about the article or these blogs but they seem like really great blogs! What an awful thing for this Marie Claire author to do. HOWEVER, I think that she was well within her right to write the article from her own perspective, as long as it does not cross the line into liable. Once you cross that line, your first amendment rights are blended with the rights of others and the right to say what you are saying becomes hampered depending on who you are writing about and how public a figure they are.

    • sincerelysubtle says:

      Thanks for your comments, Not So Glam! Technically, as a journalist, the Marie Claire author was in her right to write about her perspective on this – even if people disagree. However, I also believe that as a journalist, you’re supposed to exhibit a certain level of integrity and that means reporting on both sides of the story. So I can’t fault her for her opinions, but I can fault her for the job she did. And the libel issue is a tricky one too because it’s her word against the bloggers (and some of the bloggers do believe that it was libel).

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