After hearing mention of it during one of our class discussions, I revisited Betcheslovethis.com, is one of the most interesting conglomerations of humor, news, and on-trend articles. It’s difficult to not laugh while reading anything from Betches, and as it geared primarily towards college aged females, the abundance of slang and humor as well as super-contemporary references makes it an appealing place to browse, seeing what is going on in the world of politics, fashion, and social media, amongst other things. After unpacking the Riot Grrrl Manifesto and discussing exploration of new and unheard of ideas through media, it is easy to see Betches as a liberating source of such media, opening up a multitude of dialogues that are not only important, but frequently shamed among other news outlets. Pretty feminist, right? Betches seems to have all of the best motives, bringing the media back to women in a way that is easy to explore, fun to read, and hilarious.
Because Betches is a community of different writers (similar to Buzzfeed or any other contemporary media news source), there is much diversity in the tone as well as topic of articles. From a brief thirty-second peruse, I saw tiles for furry-nail trends, dessert instagrams, and updates on the newest pop hits.
One article that caught my attention was this. Upon opening this article by a writer who calls herself “Blackout Betch”, I was frankly a little astounded. For those who might not have time to read the article itself, it begins thus, “If you think people lie on Facebook you clearly haven’t ever heard of LinkedIn. Cropping your fat arm out of your profile picture is one thing, but pretending to have any kind of career skills is another”. Interestingly enough, Blackout Betch seems not to find much value in accurately advertising career skills, but also begins by reinforcing the societal idea of what it means to be a “skinny woman” or as their website refers to them, a “skinny betch“. A mere click on their ‘Food and Fitness’ section, and I was swept up into a world of quick weight loss tips, ideas on making the perfect green smoothie, and even an article, “Learn to be Skinny”.
Returning to the LinkedIn article, another quote that stood out to me was, in the section talking about your “All of Your Connections” on LinkedIn, which Betches clarifies as, “AKA all of the guys you slept with in college and all of the girls you pretended to be bestie with.” This article, along with many others, does an interesting job of not only reinforcing heterosexual norms to appeal to a very specific demographic of women, but also seems to encourage the societal compartmentalization of gender, reinforcing the idea that women must all be a certain size, have a certain sexual orientation as well as promiscuity, and apparently, be ready to lie on LinkedIn and “pretend to be besties”.