Running a beauty, health and wellness blog isn’t all testing smoothie recipes and trying out new nail polish. (That’s, like, 3% of the job description — sorry!) Editors and writers know that we are speaking to readers who rely on us for our reporting, opinions, and sometimes even expertise. Our voices have influence.
And that’s why it’s a big deal that Lauren Conrad — fashion designer, former star of “The Hills”‘/”Laguna Beach” and the force behind the lifestyle web site LaurenConrad.com — announced in her editor’s letter this month that her site is doing away with “body shaming terms.” Conrad wrote:
When we’ve talked about getting in shape in the past, words like “skinny,” “slim,” and “thin” have often come up. Starting this month, we’ll be banning any body shaming terms from the site, and replacing them with words like “fit” “toned,” and “healthy.” We try do to this for the most part anyway, but now we’re making it official! The word skinny will now be reserved for skinny jeans. My editorial team and I had a long talk about it, and we want to make sure that the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale. Every body is created differently—and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
I have so much respect for that decision, both as a woman and a fellow editor. The simple fact is this: language matters. Being thoughtful about how we speak to women (and men) about their bodies is a responsibility to be taken seriously. For my own part, since I came to YouBeauty six months ago, I’ve made a point to stop using language that implied “guilt” and “shame” when it comes to eating and gaining weight. Lauren Conrad’s message is a reminder to be conscientious of other words we are using as well.
(Interestingly, a separate issue seems to be arising in the comments of Conrad’s post where readers are calling her out for not offering everything in her various Kohl’s clothing lines in plus-sizes — so stay tuned for how she’ll address that one!)
Anyway, without further ado, click through for a few of my favorite product recommendations this week: