Where do you go for your daily dose of self-loathing? If you're anything like me, you probably get it at Pinterest.
Most of us used to rely on lady mags, Martha Stewart, and judgmental friends to make us feel bad about our bodies, home decor, and parenting. Thankfully, we no longer have to wait until the beginning of the month, or even pay to look at pretty pictures of unattainable bodies, home decor and parenting!
I know, I know: Pinterest is a great way to catalogue all the bookmarks that would otherwise get buried under broken links for patterns-you-may-someday-sew and recipes-you'd-like-to-try-but-know-your-kids-will-never-eat (I'm looking at you, Quinoa and Kale Patties!). I try to only use it like that, avoiding others' boards and the "everything" button like I have a pair of virtual blinders on. But every now and then I get sucked down the rabbit hole of birthday party themes, fashion boards and crockpot recipes (and I don't even own a crockpot!). Then I get up, look around my messy, non-coordinated apartment, listen to my kid whine about having nothing to do, and go make mac and cheese for dinner again.
Writer Dana Norris for The Rumpus said it best, in her (satircal, obvs!) Pinterest FAQ. Here's an excerpt:
What is Pinterest?Pinterest is a million-page woman’s magazine written by everyone you’ve ever met and edited by no one. Want inspiration for an upcoming party? Want ideas for what to make for dinner tonight? Want to take on dozens of nifty projects that you have neither the resources nor the time or talent to accomplish? Want to worry that you don’t throw or attend enough parties? Want to feel that everything you’ve ever made for dinner was bullshit? Want to cultivate the creeping suspicion that everyone else has a beautiful, clean home full of repurposed mason jars and yours is the only home where all surfaces are covered in cat hair? Pinterest is the place.
What is a pin?A pin is a picture taken out of context with a short description that belittles your life choices. For example: a picture of an eight-layer cake with the description, “I got rid of my TV and now look what I do!”
Have you seen Pinterest Fail (Tagline: "Where good intentions come to die")? Or Epic Pinterest Fail? Or Pintrosity? Or Craft Fail? Each of these blogs catalogues the myriad ways in which Pinterest-users have failed to replicate the cool and creative things they've seen on Pinterest. Some things, like cake decorating, for example, are just not the easy for amateurs to emulate. (And some of those pins we've all seen are pure fiction, like the "fairies in a jar" project, which Mommy Needs a Martini tried, much to her child's horror.)
Peter of Male Pattern Boldness recently labeled my apartment as "pristine," though really I just get my husband to snap pics in the one clean corner, pushing all the toys, dirty clothes and assorted items that don't belong just out of the frame. To prove it, and to help counteract any negative effects you may be experiencing due to Pinterest-overload, here are some pics of my apartment juxtaposed with the very pins that make me want to burn this apartment block down and start from scratch:
Sewing "Room" (Mine is not a room, but a corner in my foyer)
Decorative Built-in Shelving (yes, those are my recyclables):
Toy storage solutions!
(I don't have a dishwasher, which pains me greatly thrice daily, but maybe if I had a cool, built-in rack...Damn it, Pinterest! You win again!)
Did I make you feel better about yourself just a little? That's my public service for today! Now back slowly away from the pin button, everyone!