Over a year ago, I was introduced to the idea of Barefoot Running as a fad, the latest thing. I quickly bought and read Born To Run. Suddenly lots of friends and their husbands were buying Vibram 5 Finger shoes. I couldn't wait till we went on vacation to an area with a store to try them on. I did not like the way they felt during a lightning fast dash to try them on while leaving relatives and kids in the car. Around the same time, I had been running barefoot a little on my own, unaware of this fad. It felt so good, so free, so childishly FUN! I was pregnant and on concrete, and it felt GOOD!
Tonight's revelation started with this blog post about an ad: Here's the ad:
Basically, shoe companies and lots of other fitness related companies stand to make money only if you think you need their products. Shoe companies NEED us to think we need specialized shoes. They lose money if we don't need shoes!! We don't need $100 shoes if we realize that shoes are the problem! Shoes ARE the problem.
At the same time, all over the country, women are fighting for the right to labor in peace and have a baby without being hooked up to monitors and poked and prodded and drugged. Some are choosing to have their babies at home in order to avoid the medicalization of childbirth.
Doctors, Hospitals, medical supply companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc ALL BENEFIT from making women think our bodies are flawed and we need interventions. They all benefit from runners and weekend warriors with injuries they don't realize are from shoes, too.
If our bodies weren't made to run and squeeze out babies, then we wouldn't be here. Our ancestors didn't have shoes and epidurals; they had muscles and bones and tendons and ligaments. Sure, some hemorrhaged during childbirth, and some some stepped on something, got tetanus, and died, but for the most part, people ran and people made babies WITHOUT any special equipment.
Of course the women who just want to have a baby the old fashioned way, and people running in Tarahumara Huarache Sandals are labeled freaks, weirdos, hippies, etc.
Do we want medals and cookies presented to us on a grandstand for running barefoot or pushing out a baby naturally? No! No, we don't, because we know that the reward is in NOT putting our bodies through injuries caused by all the "assistance" and "technology" available to us.
What else out there do we think is helping us when really it's hurting us? The increasing popularity of babywearing and breastfeeding have got to be related to this.
I'm pretty sure microwave ovens fit in this category, but, well, I'm not giving up my microwave!!
So, I totally understand people who still want their Nikes and Narcotics despite modern research of risks. Some things seem too good to give up.
What can YOU think of that would fit in this category of Bad but Profitable? Please leave a comment!