Picture this: You're spending a few minutes on your lunch break, browsing the internet when you happen upon a page full of essentially half-naked ladies. You hurriedly close the browser, hoping that no one saw you looking at...Pinterest.
So who are these mysterious people, pinning photos of half-naked ladies? Other ladies. I guess it's the oncoming summer months, but 'fitness inspiration' boards featuring those kind of photos are all the rage now. There's not a day where I don't see an 'Awesome Bikini Bod Motivation!' or 'Hello, Summer!' pin popping up on my feed. And it's not like the pins feature strong, healthy, happy ladies. It's always a Kardashian or something straight out of Maxim. But it's baffling. As a guy, I don't really get why someone would look to any of those women as an inspiration. And for that matter, why someone would want Kardashians amongst the awesome art, photos and other nice things on the boards.
As someone with lots of friends that happen to be girls (and a lovely girlfriend), I want to say 'Do you really find obviously Photoshopped, dead-eyed pictures of bikini models something to aspire to?' It's weird to me to think that the strong-willed, smart, independent women I knew (and often, the ones who rightfully call out the media for featuring Photoshopped models) were looking to incredibly unrealistic pictures as inspiration.
But I know that, if I say something, it's going to come off as creepy.
Though I'm not the only guy on Pinterest, it's moments like these where my guy-ness just feels a little more obvious. Essentially, I feel like the only guy on Pinterest. As if I've invaded a girls-only club.
You see, most of my Pinterest followers are ladies, following through with the stat that 90 percent of users on that social media site are, in fact, ladies.
And it's my female coworkers that introduced me to the site. For the last couple months, the Pinterest talk was inescapable, brought up every time I'd chat with them in the breakroom. Secretly, I wanted an invite but was too embarrassed to ask. Then one night changed: I was magically sent an invite.
I went on a Pintrest rampage, pinning everything in site. The only difference is that I wasn't pinning what the predominately female user base goes for. I wasn't pinning recipes, craft projects, or clothing. No architectural photography or inspirational images.
Instead, I've been posting what amounts to is really geeky things that men like. My boards soon became filled comic book art, pictures of my favorite Utah Jazz players and countless ridiculous professional wrestling photos. I was proud of myself; I finally had a way to organize and keep all of this whackiness.
This whackiness had literally invaded Pinterest; I'm sure plenty a pinner was confused when they saw an image of Japanese wrestler Jushin Liger in all of his masked glory showing up amongst some fashion shots and decorating tips. I know one of my friends was shocked; she texted me something along the lines of "dude, what are you doing? everyone will think your trolling if you keep posting this crap."
Ouch. I was afraid I had violated some unwritten rule. Then I got a notification that people were commenting on my pins. The reactions to my pins are not what I expected.
It turns out that the Pinnerati enjoyed my silly dude friendly pins. My action figure and toy pics got added to people's boards like "things I wish I had when I was a kid." And it turns out that people really like pro wrestling from the 1980s and 1990s. Those pictures of Roddy Piper, Sting and the Undertaker keep getting liked, or repinned to boards called "silly things" or "things my husband watches."
In fact the only anger that I caused on Facebook was sharing a picture of rotund wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes and his donkey, which unfortunately was labeled in the picture as Dusty's jackass. Minus the 'jack.' To that I apologize. I just enjoyed the meta humor of it.
Despite the occasional weird pictures and off-handed comments, I do feel that Pinterest is ultimately a welcoming place for guys. Though, as we get closer to this mythical 'bikini season,' maybe it's better to browse Pinterest after your work day.