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Not every gospel doctrine class shows five minute clips from the Matrix, but some do. Well, at least one did. It may appear that these people are actually doing these things. It may be exciting and stimulating and entertaining, but it is not real. It is not a realistic portrayal of combat and heroism.
In this way, it is like…pornography. Any male in the LDS Church can tell you that this point about pornography Matrix analogy excluded has been made countless times in both youth and adult lessons for the past who knows how many years. It is a distilled, concentrated, hyper-sexualized fantasy created for the sole purpose of ensnaring those that behold it.
It can become addictive and set unrealistic expectations for intimacy in marriage, which can lead to feelings of disappointment, inadequacy and betrayal. One with family, the other with fantasy…Pornography draws a husband away from his family and entices him to connect with things that are not real.
Look, I agree with all of these points. No pro-porn argument here. What I want to do is draw a parallel to a different phenomenon that is as equally prevalent in the Church and Utah culture as porn is, but I feel goes largely uncriticized.
It is an epidemic that hangs over the Wasatch Front like a totally super cute inversion. I begin the parallel with a story. Rest assured, however, that this is a true story and one that probably repeats itself more often than any of us know.
One last thing to do. Braxlynn called down her nanny to momentarily deposit her young daughter in the kitchen. Braxlynn briefly overcame her fear of using her hands to do anything but work the zipper on a Louis Vuitton bag and took a moment to stand next to her daughter and pose for a treat-making photo in media res.
You see, Braxlynn is a very successful blogger, regularly posting pictures of herself in designer clothes doing designer things, like standing in the middle of public streets with one knee slightly bent and one hand lightly touching her hair or the brim of her chic hat.
No mention of Sarah, no mention of the nanny, no mention of reality. But you know what? What I want to talk about is the effect that these blogs have on the millions of people who subscribe to them. It is a vain illusion pedaled to millions of women around the world for attention, praise, validation and wealth. These women see the palatial houses, fit millionaire hipster husbands with square rimmed glasses, immaculate crafts with kids, unspoiled kitchens with artisan foods, whimsical birthday parties, endless designer clothes, and think that this is all possible.
You can see the effect it has on people by the comments on Instagram. If they can but touch the hem of the garment of perfection then they can be cured of their life of mediocrity, budgets and Pay Less shoes. They are addicted to the prospect that this is a picture of life lived to perfection.
It is the ultimate Mormon ideal. Screw waiting until the afterlife for your mansions on high, there are people living it now, baby! In fact, as soon as they finish building one mansion, they start building a different one, because…well…they can. Any variant of perfection you can fantasize is currently being lived and blogged about by some Utah version of the Kardashians. But I would say this. Watching all of this is addictive and it sets unrealistic expectations for marriage and life that can lead to feelings of disappointment and inadequacy.
What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a sweeping epidemic of Lifestyle Porn. What does it hurt to look at these Utah socialites and their designer clothes and designer lives. In the very least I get good fashion inspiration.
Who does it hurt? I can promise you that however insecure a wife may be about her body or how she stacks up in the intimacy department against the distorted expectation that porn breeds, any self-respecting husband is equally insecure about his paycheck and how he stacks up in the provider department against the distorted expectation that lifestyle porn breeds.
Not every husband can pull off male skinny jeans, ok?! Are these women actually living this life? Yes they are, but not in the way we imagine it. They live a staged life, one self-imposed photoshoot after another. There have even been disillusioned fashionista bloggers that have attested to this fact link.
Every moment we see blogged is lighted and posed and portrayed for maximum allure and effectiveness. We see the perfect snapshots in time and our fantasizing does the rest. We construct the narrative that fills in the gaps between these idyllic moments with an equally idyllic life.
We see these pictures and convince ourselves that we are some fly on the wall, observing their opulent life as it is naturally unfolding. It is staged, it is amped up, it is targeted all for maximum addictiveness. But I digress, and that rant is for another blog post. So why do I relate all of this specifically to Mormondom? There are surely scores of fashionista bloggers and socialites that are doing the same thing all over the world. There are, but it is no secret that Mormons dominate the blogging world.
For Mormons, this period of life is usually characterized by having 3 kids in diapers, a go-getter returned missionary husband in college, grad school, med school, law school, or selling Vivint security systems.
A disproportionate number of smart, driven, talented women are invested in being stay at home moms and not climbing some corporate ladder. Between breast feeds and diaper changes, many find release and relief in either creating or consuming social media and blogs. There are numerous mommy blogs that are awesome. But there is another edge to that blogger blade. And this idea of reaching and striving for said perfection is distinctly Mormon.
We work within different boundaries perhaps, but the principles play out just the same. Celebrating, fantasizing and idolizing about the stupidly wealthy and fashionable is about as un-Mormon of an ideal as I can think of, regardless if the fashion has appropriately lengthed sleeves, and yet here we are leading the charge. Mormon culture, stemming from an attempt to follow Mormon doctrine, ends up being completely at odds with other Mormon doctrine.
An angel basically told Nephi 2, years ago to not look at lifestyle porn. We need to raise our game. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the Joneses who I actually see on a weekly basis, why do we need the fabricated ones online?
Lifestyle porn stars feed off of and are sustained by our attention like the river of slime in Ghostbusters II feeds off of negative emotion. Put your phone down, turn to your spouse and look them in the unfiltered eyes. Deepen a connection with someone who might look a little rough around the edges, but actually cares about you. Your lifestyle porn stars can do without your attention for the evening. And one final thought.
If you do a mommy blog and you have a nanny, then there should at least be an asterisk next to your blog name. If you like what you read, please subscribe. During the early years I tried to monitize my blog several times, but quickly realized that the few hours a week I devoted to writing would be swallowed up in logistics dealing with advertisers and trying to make them happy.
Being an independent blogger gives the Mom complete freedom to take a month off now and again to spend time on more important endeavors, like my sons wedding that just happened last week. I am not enslaved by my need for traffic, nor am I in hock to readers to keep upping the ante by over sharing. That being said I am not going to point the finger of scorn at any family who is making a living blogging.
Blogging has brought a great deal of distress into my life, but I have no regrets about confronting the various entities who have worked for decades to enslave the human family. I do not know that I will subscribe to you as I enjoy reading some of the very people you are critiquing.
There is so much ugliness on the web that I love seeing beautifully crafted posts that are filled with flowers, smiling babies, clean and well groomed doggies, and fit and beautiful people. If those families are making bank and sharing the good things in their lives… who am I to question how they choose to spend their time and energy?
The worst thing is for a dedicated, opinionated mom blogger to go read her GOMI critiques and self censor or stop blogging to curb the hate. If blogging has exposed female mormondom as the vapid, worldly, materialistic broads so devastatingly depicted in 2 Nephi 13 and Isaiah 3…well, here we are. I believe those chapters claim that the Lord himself is going to cleanse the daughters of Zion of their worldliness.
Wonderful that you have found blogging as a creative outlet and forum for expressing ideas with like-minded individuals! If the example he shared of fakery is happening day after day on certain blogs, eventually the truth will come out and that Mom will be exposed as a poser. Will that mean she loses all advertisers and readers?
The whole world of television is based on fake people doing fake things and billions tunes in day after day. Is the Mom who gets the coveted Kraft Mac n Cheese advertising account to be admired while the gal who writes and nabs the Macys ad is to be shunned as a faker? When pharma reps contact me, I always chuckle to myself and wonder if they even bothered to read my content.
As stated above, we all have to live and let live. I buy my clothes at thrift stores and Walmart, so do not maneuver in the fashion world that some bloggers thrive in. At some level we are ALL faking it when we plaster a smile on our faces and scrub the dirt off our toddlers and put on clean clothes to go out shopping or to church. I do feel comfortable publicly calling out inconsistencies on certain Mommy Blogs when I notice them, but most of the time those comments are not published.
Authenticity is to be admired and praised, but we all benefit from the world being made more beautiful by the lifestyle bloggers who write about homes, gardens, and yummy food that gladdens the heart and pleases the eye. I did not bother to put pants on the four year old cutting out cookies sitting in his pullup on the table before taping.
The problem is two fold: I think you missed the point of that last line. People go to instagram for inspiration, they like bright photos of beautifully designed homes. We bloggers have to treat our blogs and instagram like the pages of a magazine.
On the bright side, this could be the means of thousands of women truly coming to understand the struggle of men who strive to overcome their porn problem. I have a different opinion of my fellow Mormons!
On Christmas eve, December , my beloved husband had surgery, then for the next 5 months he was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes until his death on May 25th. Every day various brothers and sisters took me to be with Bill in the mornings and picked me up at night until he passed away.
Two months later I discovered I had cancer, had a mastectomy, then 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. Same thing, many, many people signing up to give me rides to hospital and appointments.
So thankful to all of them, including doctors and nurses and aides. All of this taught me to want to be more charitable towards others. Lots of us use Facebook and the only blogs I know which are plentiful are Family History blogs. Why are people now calling other stuff porn? Pornography is bad stuff and stands alone in its infamy. Mike, where do you get all your vast knowledge of Mormon women? Mike is married to a Mormon Woman, was born to a Mormon woman, has sisters and sisters-in-law, cousins and friends who are Mormon women.
He served a mission and his work has taken him to many places within and outside the US. I so agree with you Nita to compare blogging to porn is over simplifying porn. Blogging to me has nothing to do with the picture or how someone is styled for the picture. Would you rather see a sweaty slob standing behind her display? There maybe a few sites that are unreal or inappropriate but I doubt you can find few of those on Mormon sites.
I have more problems with all the sites on social media who claim to be nurtionist or knowledgeable in one area or the other while taking things to extremes. But really applying these things to filth and improper behavior is just pure deceit. Addiction comes in many shapes and sizes but I was uncomfortable with writer comparison. People your age have had much less exposure and access to the blogs that Mike is talking about in his article.
As a 21 year old female, I cannot even begin to express to you how relevant what Mike has said truly is. We have a disease, an addiction that most people choose to ignore. I dislike anything described or compared to the word porn.
That is one word I hate and conjures up disgusting images. If you have had any in your life or the lives of your children affected by someone who is or had been into porn. It is painful and disturbing. If you want to be cool and use a new word for what goes on in families find another word than porn. Real porn has no comparison values whether it is food or family lifestyles or blogging etc.
Although I enjoyed some of the content in this blog….. Idolatry has its own name, use it! I know 1st hand the destructive nature of porn and what it can do to family life. The word is not misused in the slightest. It is unfortunately incredibly hyper-focused to mean only ONE thing among some out there.
Sex is one of the least of the areas in which unrealistic expectations can destroy a marriage or family. Call it porn, because that is what it IS. Literally, in the past, pornography wasnt just depictions of lewdness, it included devils, idolatry, etc. My dictionary lists two possibilities:. There are many words one may find objectionable in one context, but are perfectly acceptable in another.
This is just one of them. He uses it for effect. The exact reaction you are having to the concept of pornography is the same reaction you should have to the out of control ideals we are creating. Women are really quick to call out men for using porn, but we have our own addictions that until recently have been going unaddressed.
This IS going on in families. This IS painful and disturbing. It is having a detrimental effect on families everywhere. People who are addicted to looking at porn spend hours fantasizing, coveting, wishing for, creating unrealistic expectations. They have the same effect on people. That part made me laugh.
I discovered pinterest right after my first child was born. I felt excited at the possibilities that I saw before me! This has grown over the years though to feeling like my own home is completely inadequate, since I really have no knack for such things as house decorating or even always keeping things tidy.
I usually feel self-conscious when people come over, thinking they must have seen as many beautiful homes and rooms as I have online , and judging me for it. An Incredibly beautiful woman, dressed phenomenally, with seemingly everything beautiful in her life. Children, home, food, clothing. This is paradise, remember?!
Blogging, it seems, has taken something that I thought would be worthwhile journaling, essentially , and turned it into a competition. Not all blogs…but the ones you describe. The ones dominating pinterest, instagram, and many, many mommy blogs. Messes made and children in the thick of it, looking guilty, dirty and happy. Moms locked in pantries to sneak cookies boxed ones, not artfully crafted homemade ones because they want a break.
Children having chosen their own clothing, which ends up being nothing but a Halloween shirt in May, cowboy boots and a diaper. Or complete failures at homemaking: These ones make me feel validated, feel connected with people who are willing to share these glimpses into their relatable, completely worthwhile lives.
They make me laugh at situations no one would want to find themselves in, but are so fun to hear about as an outside person. They lift me up. I have enough appropriate guilt, in trying to become more Christ-like. Anything can be porn nowadays.
Now Perfection Lifestyle Porn. Isaiah shows us that the Lord of the vineyard has servants! Awesome, thanks for subscribing. That said, I love to blog and hope that will be a good year for it. You or the women reading this might get a kick out of the spoof parenting site that mocks these sorts of staged photos: There are instagrams all about this type of issue — like http: Thanks for stopping by my blog.
This Instagram is awesome! I needed a real-life mom to follow. Like he said, this reality porn was getting me down. Way to go the. I really like your reasoning. Vapid, pointless time spent in idle envy. Well, perhaps worse for the poor people in the industry, and perhaps a little more addictive. You have made some valid points in that unrealistic pictures of others lives do add to feelings of dissatisfaction with ones own life etc. I take exception however at you pointing a finger at Utah or Mormon culture as being the most represented in this trap.
It is something that has existed for centuries thus reminding us that the Lord has warned us about envy. But modern technology has made the source of lust and envy more rapidly available to everyone in the world. Catherine, thanks for taking the time to read my post and taking the extra time to comment. No doubt lifestyle porn as a phenomenon is no respecter of cultures, but I do still think that Utah and Mormon cultures are overly represented here for the reasons I list in the post.
I agree with Catherine. What would have been a great, well written article had it been left directed at lifestyle pornography in general love the term, btw , ended up seeming more like just another jab at mormons, which is sad because I really loved several of your points.
Catherine is spot on and fakeness in the blogosphere and social media in general is prevalent everywhere, and probably much more equal than you think. This would have been an excellent article otherwise, and I would have been a quick subscriber. Being a Mormon woman who is less than active in the church within the year age limit I personally feel like he was very accurate not just on blogging but with with the attitude surrounding women in this age group in the church in Utah.
Because of what I have experienced in my life I have to agree with that there is a feeling of aarogance and holier than thou towards the women who do not fit within their circle. I have had to stop reading so many blogs, the lifestyle porn because enough was enough. I have to agree that so much of what they show is fake but the personalities and the attitudes are for real. In other states everyone else picks on you, including people who are probably breaking minor laws to do so employers, teachers.
It would be nice if she meant people full of the light of the gospel or whatever, but she specified: That fact that it exists in Mormondom at is an indictment on us. Moroni very specifically warns the latter-day church in Moroni 8: But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
And further, what Isaiah saw in his vision of the latter-day flower that was last seen blossoming as a rose: Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Kudos to those bloggers out there keeping it real. You have all the more reason to hope that the fakers and poseurs out there get exposed. Those keeping it real deserve the attention.
Show life as it is. That is what people really need to see in order to retain proper perspective. Live your own lives the best you know how and quit pointing your fingers at people you know nothing about. Get your noses out of ridiculous blog articles like this and into your communities so you can actually make a difference. On the other hand it is so tiresome to be bombarded with superficial images and overinflated expectations of what good motherhood looks like.
I really appreciate your perspective. Your comments really hit home Rebekah. It really got me thinking. And I am trying to figure out how I feeI about all this. I think I see a disturbing trend, or pendulum swing in the other direction: I avoid pop culture becauae it is so far from reality as I see it….
But really, we are now getting a pat on the back. In essence we get the participation trophy- so to speak. This too is damaging just like the comparison trap where women literally die inside, ruin health, relationships, etc trying to meet an unrealistic ideal that is believed to be equivelant to righteousness. There needs to be a direct focus on moderation. The coddling tactics of well meaning people might be backfiring. Accepting mediocrity instead of mastery and excellence and real goodness.
Speaking of fire, we need to hold our feet to the fire with things that matter. Because we are headed for social collapse actually already there in many respects , that starts first with individual and family collapse. Back to 40 years in the wilderness to learn it out of us?
Sorry for my rambling thoughts. That really is just what they are. And again, thank you for yours. I have had some of those same thoughts recently. This post intrigues me. If you would like you can contemplate this thought. There is so much information to process that Satan has an easy time flattering us into holding on to that which is more or less than the gospel. Hold fast to those concepts that are taught over the pulpit of revelation studying it out in your mind of first how it applies to you, than how it applies to everyone else.
All the while lifting and uplifting those around you which in turn does change and enhance yourself to accomplish works of righteousness. Escapism and fantasy can be very healthy and helpful to many people. But when you start to think that you can and should be living the perfectionistic fantasies of blog-land, emotional and mental distress will inevitably abound. Thanks for your comment. I agree about escapism and fantasy. My book s will hopefully be an escape through which we explore aspects of the human condition in an environment that is impossible in real life.
Lifestyle porn is the celebration of extravagance consumed by those who aspire to and build expectations around one day attaining some same measure of said extravagance. Long live sci-fi and fantasy!! This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution, and be true. The Man and His Work , Liahona April https: When I was a newlywed my husband installed security systems for Vivint, which was then called Apex Alarm.
During the iff-season he would do some installs in Utah county as he was a student at BYU. One time we went to a big, beautiful, gorgeous house for an install that had very little furniture in any of the rooms.
Do these families all have 8 kids and have them share bedrooms? I am forever grateful for the first family ward we lived in Provo post BYU graduation, not surprisingly it was the same ward we had already lived in as a married student couple, we just moved our records over to the family ward.
People made improvements to their homes as they had saved up the money to do. No one went into debt to fill their small homes with furniture or remodel them. I love your opinion! Would I love to have a perfect home with a perfect income with a perfectly behaved child? I may not be perfect, but God blesses me anyway. Gave me a bit different perspective I guess. Born and raised in Salt Lake but have lived many states away for over 20 years.
Still visit family in Salt Lake very often. Still see this kind of thing in my current city. People are just people.
We all need love. Absolutely agree with the article and I would love to read more of your musings on this! The life style porn is exactly as detrimental as you explain; however i dont feel it is yet as comparable to porn porn, which is a disease and the excessively damaging depths it entails.
As for someone from Ca. Yes, the very ones who sit in YW on Sundays. Jill, thanks for reading and commenting. I left in , went to Texas for 5 years, Australia for 3 and am now in Montana. Thanks again for leaving your thoughts. I agree with you, Mike, on the Utah aspects of the problem. It was only after moving out of state that I noticed the increasing secularism and seeking for worldly perfection among my former Utah acquaintences, especially regarding appearance in body and home.
A naturally beautiful friend started getting plastic surgery and the trend soon spread among our friends. I noticed in driving to Utah that the radio ads just prior in WY to crossing the boarder were about the price of livestock, then BAM, suddenly they were about electing to have plastic surgery billboards everywhere in Utah, too. Then the conspicuous consumption, and the obsession with body image. This sums up every single reason we left Alpine, Utah.
Living in a homogenous society is challenging for any culture. Read this with my wife just now. Thanks for the reality check. This post is amazing. It really made me think.
Still figuring out how to balance it with real life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Looks like you are letting outside forces decide what perfect is, to heck with that, perfect is the roiling, changing, organized mess that we the family in our home decide is perfect. Lifestyle porn and the slavish devotion to recreate it in ones own home is a product the the Mormon culture, what else do women have? I may be wrong, but I think the picture is to prove the point of the article!
I let my kids sit on the counters. Some of us live in too small of a dwelling to have extra little tables around. My kitchen is rarely spotless.
I have been married for 25 years to a hardworking man. I feel like we are successful and making it until we visit Utah. My husband has been an attorney for our entire married life and I always feel inadequate after visiting Utah and the Lifestyle Porn I am exposed to while there.
Thank you from Idaho. Thank you for bringing this up! I have felt this way for years , even before social media was so big. Basically pure guilt and failure. Failure because another mothers kids all matched perfectly in their peaceful sunset, family portraits that all looked so perfect and our photo shoot consisted of my kids screaming, fighting, pouting and crying inbetween each photo.
I totally agree with you Katie. I remember as a young mom with a troubled marriage and overwhelmed with household and children responsibilities reading in the church magazine about someone who left her husband with her five children, went to school comma work full time to support her family, and was Relief Society president.
I also remember while visiting Utah a comment from a mother disparaging that a divorced mother and her children were moving next door to her, ostensibly spoiling her perfect neighborhood. Thankfully Church magazines and publications now discuss real life and real situations. It is so refreshing to know that someone else is struggling with the same issues in family challenges that I am. It is absolutely true on every point.
A definite problem I see all around me online. What I care about is someone that can share the best parts of their lives with me as they step over the dirty laundry that no one sees. Life is too short, find your happiness. I bet you run one of these blogs? Just happy with life. It cracks me up what people rant about. Just live your life people.
Do what works for you and be content….. The only reason people are passionate about this is because they have been hurt by this situation. I could never see Christ running a lifestyle blog. Live you life quietly, hubmbly, share your talents when needed to serve. Mike, I live in Northern Utah County and can attest that what is seen on blogs and Instagram is often not real. Eh…I agree that fake lifestyle blogs are dumb. Thanks for the warning.
Do you even know a real human that reads that crap, much less believes it? And I spend way too much time online. Maybe all their subscribers are outside the church or maybe they just look for the pretty pictures? But as women mature, we quickly learn for ourselves that life, husbands, kitchens etc. I do know a few starry eyed idealist earlysomething brides. But some people, even within the church, will use anything to make members look bad. Kudos to you for calling the author out on unsubstantiated opinion.
According to what study? I am no prude and I have been guilty of utilizing bad language myself, but when used in a written format, these examples reveal a lack of respect, a lack of a command of vocabulary and a hint of petulance or even anger. Now, i do see that many of my friends and neighbors and ward members have feelings of inadequacy, but i attribute this to human nature members and non members alike , not just to mormon women.
My best friend and I were just talking how instagram and dating apple like Tinder are ruining good girls and turning them into attention seekers that only want the next big thing. I think this is all connected.
So good to read comments, even ones of the opposite opinion, that are not filled with words like stupid, imbecile, moron, and a slew of four-letter and other words that should not be repeatable in either written or spoken speech. I lived in Utah long enough only to graduate from BYU, and that was long before the word blog had even been invented. Fortunately, I have found some. The whole world is not a fantasy. Gives us something to think about and evaluate ourselves. Reminds us not to believe everything you see and helps us return our focus to what really matters.
Thanks for your take on this issue. I have watched friends and family fall deeper and deeper into this trap. Problem-free living is a fantasy, a fallacy, and against our opportunity to progress in the Plan of Salvation. I think lifestyle pornography such a resonant term — love it! The difference being that they are now both the shamed and the shamer. Crafty work from dark places, if v you ask me. As an insider to the blogging world, I am an interior designer who uses social media to grow my business , I rub shoulders with a lot of these women creating this lifestyle porn you speak of at events and such.
Husbands are following these women too. Maybe not on blogs, but definitely places like Instagram. People have to change their obsession with perfection and I doubt they will. Also, pretty sure I know Braxlynn. Excellent fake name choice, haha. I liked this comment. The nonchalant side boob shot is classic and yes those tend to yield more likes. I think he probably did this on purpose but if you could get his real feelings about the whole thing then you could open up a whole nother can of worms like the legalized pill popping, ponzi schemes, teen suicide rates etc, etc.
You can get jobs here. So It all kind of evens out. My biggest dillemma with me personally is I just went to my little boys baptism from an ex relationship who is remarried vivint salesman and it was a nice little event.
It was good for my kid to get that attention. The only issue I had with it is that she took my child out of state 3 years ago and I have a huge bond with my child. The Mormon religion or culture can be a dangerous thing when you throw Christ like principles out the window.
You put material things ahead of LOVE people end up suffering greatly. If my ex had to downsize here Cadillac SUV to a humble minivan and allow me to have split custody with our child she would slit her throat, even though, giving me more time with him would be the right thing to do.
At first I never caught on that the thousands of Bloggers I followed were from Utah or that they were Mormon. Slowly the pieces started to add up and thr similarities started to show. Now,without fail I can spot the Mormon Mommy Blogger in a second. Your words were spot on and gave relief to the feelings I have as a women and mother in the blogging world. Such a great read. Make no mistake, both have the ability to re-wire the brain and by doing so hold us captive.
Your aside about running through the Mines of Moria is indicative of a similar issue — that of fantasy gaming. You might want to rethink your analogy. In my opinion, Mormons in general, put way too much emphasis on the dangers of pornography in ways that trivialize other dangers. For example, in a class I took at BYU we had an ethics discussion about what lines we would draw as an employee of a company that performed questionable services. For example, would we work for Anheuser Busch?
Would we work for a company that shipped barley to Anheuser Busch? Would we work for a farm that grew barley that was shipped to Anheuser Busch? Would we work for a lender that provided loans to a company that produced pornography? The conversation was very interesting. There was a lot of back and forth. Ideas were raised that helped people think outside of the box, etc. However, the entire conversation came to a screeching halt once the topic of pornography was brought up.
This logic is insane and from my experience, certainly not limited to this class. Pornography feels like a huge issue to Mormons, because of its prevalence within the culture much of which is arguably self-fulfilling prophecy. It is simply much lower on the list of worldwide issues than Mormons would believe. Or we could agree to try to not be so easily offended.
As a wife to someone who has a porn addiction, I would say that a porn addiction is life shattering. Why do you think conference talks so regularly speak about the evils of pornography? My point is that presumably your husband is still alive. He can dress himself and get to work.
He can still be a loving husband and father. I too have friends and family members who are addicts, including substances like alcohol and opiates. There are support groups and counselors who specifically address the devastating effects of pornography on an individual and a family.
It absolutely effects whether a man can be a loving father or a husband or woman- a loving mother or wife , it changes the brain. Pornography addiction is like any other addiction, it is a way of coping, a way of numbing the pain. BUT when you numb pain, you also numb all of your other emotions until you truly become past feeling. To say that pornography addiction is comparable to lifestyle porn, is insensitive to those whose lives and marriages have been shattered by pornography addiction.
Here are a few: While I do agree that envying and coveting and setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and our spouses is harmful to our relationships and sinful, it does not cause the level of trauma and heartache that an addiction to pornography causes for all involved. The craziness of the situation is that Mike is your ally. If you agree that porn is bad, then hopefully you can see how similar this other phenomenon is and that it is also bad.
I think being told to suppress natural urges like masturbation and premarital sex is bad and that can be a reason why people turn to porn. He was doing plenty of those things prior to joining the church. It is a much, much deeper issue than that. I think the comparison to lifestyle porn is pretty accurate. I loved your article. I have seen the multitudes of lifestyle blogs out of Utah, however. I have noticed that whenever we visit family in Utah, there are so many available resources to make yourself, hone and family as picture perfect as we all want to be.
Stores for home goods, decor, clothing, home builders galore, etc. As a mom blogger, this is absolutely spot on. However I would add that many of these bloggers are the main or only bread winner for the family.
For me, I simply used to supplement income. If you want lots of followers, you must post staged, perfect-lighting photos with few exceptions. In order to make money, you must have lots of followers. You are compelled to attract sponsors I. This is especially true for Instagram. Some bloggers are almost entirely instagrammers. Oh and you smell funny. You really want the job. You will be judged for looking too good, and you will be judged for looking too sloppy. For me slowing down my blog was a personal, difficult choice which meant less income for my family.
Part of it was because of what this article says, the pretending. Mostly, it was because of the time. Modeling is a legitimate career, blogging is oftentimes modeling. And take a sincere look at how you let external factors affect your sense of value. I think his comments are aimed more at the consumers of the lifestyle porn than at the producers. Producers will always provide what sells. It can and will cause deep-seated problems in our marriages, homes, and psyches if we fall into the trap of believing, as Satan would love for us to do, that we might as well give up because all our efforts to attain the perfection we consume through lifestyle porn are in vain.
I love good design. I enjoy trying new recipes. I found this blog post from a rehash of it on Deseret News; I commented there; but realized the article writer was simply passing along the word of this blogger Mike Thayer; so I clicked over here; and was reading the comments, because I was trying to figure out where the fantasy came from. Mommy bloggers kept it real and shared the good and the bad of parenting.
They posted on their day to day activities and life; much like a journal, the realism was what I found compelling; but blogs lost their appeal to me over the years….
And your post shows me where it all went south. When blogs changed from web logs to money making schemes that is when the fakery; fantasy; over-the-top perfectionism in every regard crept in. And all of the same. It all boils down to money. Maybe we should see that Utah does in fact consist of more than just Mormons. Pretty funny, and as much as Utahns want to shed the stereotypes — it just feeds the stereotype.
How is that harder than what I went through? I wanted to — I really wanted to!! I agree completely that putting people up on a pedestal of any kind is wrong. And I agree that faking pictures or lying to your readers is wrong. I blog for the same reason many other bloggers do. I love to share! I also love to build and to share how I did it so that I can help others on a tight budget do the same thing. I can do that!!!
Women need to own their own feelings and recognize when they are feeling bad about themselves, or idolizing someone — and avoid blogs that cause those feelings. Stick with ones that inspire you to set goals you can actually attain and help you develop the skills necessary! I am a blogger and also as the sister-in-law of the author, and am not in the least offended. Most bloggers like you and me are just trying to share things we value.
But my family is pretty darn awesome even if my kids are completely crazy sometimes. It is all there in my blog. Just a mom getting through motherhood and sharing that with other parents. But one note for future reference- bicycles are pedaled, while illusions are peddled. This is the Grammar Nazi, signing off. I think it is a shame that you would water down and delude the real danger and evil of porn. He knew what the word meant when he named that directory.
When you use a blanket statement like Epidemic Mormon culture you better be able to produce the science to back it up. Other than that this is straight up bashing a culture of people I admire.
Great blog post, for all the many reasons commenters have already mentioned. As a former Provo Mormon wife and mother, I know how easy it is to get caught up in decorating your house, and dressing up your children, and perfecting your body I mean going to the gym and the hair studio and the latest whatever-is-coolest clothing store. They are members of a church that grants them only lesser positions of authority. They are valued by their culture for their nurturance and selflessness, their home-making skills, and—without a doubt—their beauty.
See the words of Brigham Young on this matter: Of course Brigham Young also said that women who aspired to should study math and medicine and become bookkeepers, etc. So of course we get mommy blogs. Of course we get beauty, crafts, homemaking skills, home decorating, fashion, money which is also associated with being deserving and blessed in the Utah County Mormon culture, no matter how hard we work to deny it done to the nth degree.
What else are they gonna do? So, yes, I agree that the values the blogs reinforce have become perverted, but they stem from the same source.
Women are whole people, too. And in their very-limited cultural spheres read: But, here we are. Blogs as symptoms of a deeper hurt.
I think working outside of the home helps fight lifestyle porn syndrome. Plus, it provides women with a sense of purpose and an identity outside of home and church. Thank you for putting into words what has been nagging me for so long.
Sharing this with my family! I was best friends with one blogger. I would go on trips with said friend and experience first-hand how an event was. But, however uneventful a activity or moment was, she had the gift to write it out as though the Queen of England had dubbed her Duchess and handed her a crown.
This said friend then switched gears and became a instagrammer and not only continued the perfect photos and perfectly said posts, but, she has disconnected from the real world and forgotten who her true friends are. I continue to try my hardest to keep our friendship tight, but, a girl can only try so hard. I think it is important to know that not only do people lose themselves and reality from reading these posts, but, keep in mind that the people creating these posts have lost themselves as well.
Now, I get your relation with the lifestyle porn and the porn porn. However, the world nor the church would claim that this lifestyle is as destroying to the soul as real life porn can do. Lest us forget that we are to not lust after another, nor thing. Sadly, I have fallen victim of such for a moment. Yes, jealously is a real thing and can disguise itself as something other than what it is. I say moment, because I knew and know for myself that being jealous of another does no good for my soul.
It is saddening and depressing. I would much rather live the life that is true for myself than dream of another. I can see a problem with fake, staged, unrealistic posts. Honesty and allowing less than perfection should be encouraged. Does posting or reading about treats you may or may not have made yourself change brain chemistry?
Do designer hand bags cause someone to see those around them as objects rather than thinking humans with feelings? Does indulging in these blogs cause an increase in abuse, adultery, sexually transmitted diseases possibly being brought home to a faithful spouse, or an increased demand for sex trafficking??? Yet actual pornography does all this and more. Show me one person who decided to go visit a prostitute based off these blogs. Show me one blog that has unwittingly participatanfs forced into being in the photos.
Show me someone resorting to drugs and alcohol just to cope with perpetuating this fantasy for the consumption of others. Show me a talk with a prophet of God proclaiming the inherent evils of a plague of mommy blogs. Until then I say your analogy is incredibly problematic. Right on Lisa because the comparison between fake photo shoots and very real acts of pornography, which lead to other real acts, is a ridiculous comparison.
Like a lot of things, understanding this is easier if you understand men and women and the universe of differences. Women like to portray their version of the ideal, to the group. That being said Lisa, you make the common mistake of hysterically blaming porn for things that porn just did not cause.
You actually did a serious disservice to your cause of being opposed to pornography. Hysterical distortions are sometimes more damaging than viewing acts that only the participants should be viewing.
Hysterical distortions about porn use, have broken more homes than anything actually attributable to porn use. Lisa, Studies have clearly shown that social media does in fact trigger dopamine highs which leads to changes in brain chemistry. A cursory internet search will provide you with a bounty of sources.
Even the hybrid names…Braxlynn? Thanks for the shout out on the LOTR reference. One must exercise self control in these things. And I loved it. Husbands can feel as insecure as wives in the respective porn. Women do not understand this enough. You want to feel relevant and important, but the daily grind frequently makes you feel the opposite.
It is easy to fall into a trap of looking to the wrong source for validation. But that brings up another interesting comparison to porn porn and lifestyle porn…fitness porn. What starts as an attempt to lose the SAHM weight gained while eating cookies reading lifestyle blogs, easily becomes a tantalizing new religion.
I have had friends that have jogged themselves right out of the church. So glad I stuck around to read this gem!! This article was exhausting and making it half way took all my effort. Women like to display fakeness to the group? WHO is surprised by this? And by the way, watching porn is about watching real acts that are truly stimulating in a real way.
So rewrite half of this article. So only women use Instagram and watch reality TV this way? And only men watch porn?? Only men have expectations in the bedroom? Sounds to me like this article was just written by a man who is grumpy about not making as much money as he would like and not looking fly in skinny jeans. I find many things in this article that are true. I agree with many of your points. But I think it comes off as judgemental and the undertone mean. I think the real problem is connection.
The lack of connection. We are trained in the church and society to put on that smile and strive to be the best. I use to judge utah mormons and think oh they always need to keep up with the jones! Then I went through a faith crisis transition is what I like to call it now; where I was pigeon holed into a category at church.
And was mocked and judged when people talked about me but not to me. But it tore a lot of my fixed beliefs down. It made me a better person. I see people in a different light now. Whatever mask we wear fashion, athletic, super mom, smiley, mormon scholar.
Thanks for putting yourself out there. The same goes not just for blogs, but for social media accounts such as facebook, where no one sees anything but the perfect things in your life we like to display. I love and appreciate real beauty, real struggles, and real people. As long as people paint the perfect pictures online of their otherwise real lives, I will continue to shake my head just a little and try to remember to keep things in perspective.
Thanks for your article. It is something that worries me. It trivialises an insidious evil and makes it as acceptable as looking at pictures of food. What about people who are addicted to food and it is ruining their lives? I think the author does a great job of using the word porn to describe something that people take to the extreme.
The goal of this post is to gripe about Utahns and Mormons who live there. The topic is just window dressing for the real motive: Us women have been dealing with this kind of thing for years. Appreciate your effort but…. Kind of arrogant, yeah? Good for both — those caught up in the thick of thin things and those who are trying their best and never seen to measure up.
Thank you for sharing this eye-opening piece. You have a gift. God will bless you in your struggles as you desire to help others. They started craving it, fantasizing over it, wearing, producing and consuming it, etc. Their hearts had turned to the things of the world, and the result?
Read all about it in 4th Nephi. It is merely a symptom and manifestation of a deeper, much larger and perverse problem: I dunno… I can see the comparison in a way. Lifestyle porn is a real thing, but not everyone is faking it… some people are really worth looking up to. My Barbie friend inspires me: This is a problem. Somewhere along the way, we have stopped valuing the simple life.
Or the simple ward activity. Everything must be exceptional. The unrealistic expectation alienates our real self from our conceptual self, and then depression and self-doubt begins to creep in. The destruction that comes from porn is that it causes one to covet. Coveting means disregarding the amazing, beautiful things you already do have in a delusion that you should have something else.
Glad you liked it. I appreciate your help in spreading the word. It has definitely opened my eyes to how easily I can get sucked in.
I just got a flash…maybe we are thinking of what the eternal family will hopefully be like in the hereafter. Thanks for the article. I feel the need to comment on this.
I firmly believe that lifestyle blogs are out of hand. That they are setting unrealistic expectations and desires. I also wonder when looking at these blogs or Instagram posts; if people really think you can live like that.
Is lifestyle porn an addiction of escalation? Could it possibly lead to children being molested and wives being raped by the man that should be taking care of them all? Is lifestyle porn going to lead to the woman stepping out of the house and sharing her most intimate moments with another man? With lots of other men? Does she sit at that computer or on her phone and look at those clothes and masturbate while her husband is in the other room wishing she would spend time with him?
And secretly go look at it in the middle of the night? And go on business trips to see more of it? And spend the money that is supposed to be keeping her family afloat getting as much of it as she can?
Do you think lifestyle porn is going to lead to her breaking the law to get more? Will she be looking in other peoples windows to see their couches or fancy kitchens?
Is she going to break the law and shoplift those fancy shoes? Can she not even see how much her family loves her? I think envy and wanting to live a fake life is a huge problem! How was looking at that stuff and wanting more more more considered enduring to the end? We should grow where we are planted instead of always wanting wanting wanting. I dropped out of a full ride scholarship at a great school to work three jobs to put my husband through 12 years of school. And he spent that time cheating on me!
Cheating when I thought was studiying and I was working myself to the bone. And his addiction and the things it led to absolutely crushed me.
And now, now Im using the options I have and running a food blog so that I can stay home with my kids, and still support myself and said kids; while my husband and his need for more and more and more women destroys our family. Trump reacts to deadly synagogue shooting. Former Tree of Life Synagogue rabbi speaks out.
The latest on Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect and the investigation. Pittsburgh residents react to shooting at synagogue.
Mail bombing suspect seen on surveillance footage night before arrest. Alleged shooter posts on social media before attack The alleged gunman in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre used four guns. Same-sex couple carries same baby, calls experience 'priceless' Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter both carried their baby boy Stetson. Here's the news you missed this weekend Before you begin your week have a look back at the top stories of the weekend.
Surveillance video shows alleged mail bomber at club night before arrest Sayoc has been charged with sending suspected explosive devices to politicians. Fire stations recruit burn survivor dogs to help advocate for fire safety Clover and Ruby were adopted by fire stations in Florida. Officials Police responded to reports of an active shooter on Saturday morning. New storm to hit Midwest, Northeast with strong winds A fast-moving storm will deliver some rain on Sunday and Monday.
What we know about alleged mass shooter Robert Bowers Police named Robert Bowers, 46, the suspect in the killing of 11 people. Mail bombing suspect seen on surveillance footage night before arrest Cesar Sayoc was seen looking at clippings on surveillance from a club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Bomb suspect's van contained possible bomb-making materials: Sources Cesar Sayoc, 56, is the suspect in the suspected mail bombing spree this week.
Reward for missing year-old Jayme Closs doubles amid funeral for slain parents Jayme Closs, 13, went missing Oct. Trump calls Pittsburgh synagogue shooting 'wicked act of mass murder' Trump called for more armed guards at places of worship after the shooting.
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting prompts wide outpouring of public support The shooting is believed to be the deadliest attack on Jewish people in America. At least 8 dead in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Fast-moving nor'easter bringing heavy rain, gusty winds to Northeast The storm will be cleared out by Sunday.
Rapper linked to shooting investigation hours after court appearance Daniel Hernandez, known as 6ix9ine, was sentenced to probation Friday. Florida man Cesar Sayoc arrested in 'insidious' mail bomb spree: Officials Cesar Sayoc, 56, faces 48 years in prison for the charges, officials said.
A look at the evidence that helped convict the killer Amy, Savvas and Philip Savopoulos and Veralicia Figueroa were killed in Preview ahead of World Series Game 3 Warmer weather conditions could make a difference in game play.
Matthew Shepard's ashes interred at National Cathedral In October , Matthew Shepard, 21, was abducted, beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in Wyoming for being openly gay. How mail bombing suspect was tracked down Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Florida, was arrested on Friday. Mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc in handcuffs Sayoc is charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives and threats against a This day in history: Read the charges against the bomb suspect that could imprison him for up to 48 years Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes.
Nor'easter to bring rain, winds to East Coast: What you need to know about the timing Overnight the rain will continue to push north, pounding the I corridor. What we know about the mail bombs sent to former presidents and prominent Democrats Multiple packages were found over the course of five days.
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