Our Bodies, Our Responsibility, and the Media

(Content warning: This post contains my thoughts and feelings around my body and pictures of me. There are no numbers, behaviors, or weights.)

In early 2017, Men’s Health reached out to me to feature me in a story about obstacle racing. As part of that, there would be a photo shoot. I internally cringed a bit. I’d had a tenuous relationship with photo shoots for years, but a different kind of guilt was emerging this time. I knew that I was in a rough patch with my eating disorder, and I was aware that I was not comfortable in my body at the moment. Namely, I thought I was too lean. While the story wasn’t about my body (it was about tackling your first OCR), I felt a sense of guilt that my image would be attached with the story – that I could be projecting an unhealthy ideal. 

I almost backed out of the shoot, but I tried to remind myself that the responsibility was on the magazine, not me, to vet its images. But is it? Where does the responsibility lie? 

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