I had a feeling that Pinterest was sort of Stepford Wives goes FFFound:
Pinterest is all pink, puppies and pretty ponies - Lisan Jutras via Macleans.ca
Remember how girls in high school would paper their lockers with pictures of heartthrobs, puppies in baskets, minidresses they wanted, red, fruity cocktails they’d like to get hammered on? Imagine looking in that locker, then being shoved in it and having the door slammed closed on you. That’s a visit to Pinterest.
And that’s why I find it so bleak. Here is a world devoid of science, of politics, of dark humour, of a social conscience. It’s a world where orgasms don’t exist but babies are everywhere. Where “you go, girl!” affirmations rub shoulders with Mountain Dew cupcakes. This domain is sort of like a girls-only clubhouse, but it’s not about expressing innermost desires, just surface desires—for hair, shoes, nail art, a boyfriend that exists in soft-focus black-and-white.
It’s not a subculture, either. It’s the same idea of femininity that the two biggest female entrepreneurs of the past decade—maybe ever—Martha and Oprah, made their fortune selling. And it infuriates me because it’s so damned archaic—Pinterest circa 1912 would be fundamentally the same.
It’s easy to say that my anger stems from being on the outside of this group, and I wouldn’t deny it. This easy how-to guide to being a woman, engineered by a bunch of other women, makes me not only feel like an outsider (sure, I love cute animals and cake but I also love The New Yorker, talking about bodily functions and looking at cross-sections of sea lampreys’ faces) but also like a jerk for being mean about them.
I can’t really justify wrapping this up with a big huff about how Pinterest oppresses me, because it doesn’t. I have many female friends who share my interests. There are lots of squalid places on the Internet for men and women alike to hang out. But what it says about how women see themselves is slightly depressing. Milan Kundera once famously wrote that, “kitsch is the absolute denial of shit.” He was talking about totalitarian regimes, which brook no dissent, no expression of anything authentic and challenging, because why would anyone want to change the status quo when it’s perfect?
Pinterest isn’t exactly a totalitarian regime, but it is kind of like the Army of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Dissent at your peril.
But there is real money to be made pandering to superficial interest in all that is shiny.