3 Minute Monday
I’ve gotta be honest with you, I’ve been struggling over the last week and a half.
The trip to LA & Fort Lauderdale last weekend was so epic, I recorded 4 massive episodes in the space of 27 hours then another huge episode out in Florida.
But I pushed a little too hard and since I got back over the last week I’ve been feeling really agitated and negative.
I’ve been self-critical, short tempered, not thinking straight and irritated at my own shortcomings.
I guess there’s periods when your output outstrips your capacity, and I bounced off the underside of that limit last week.
There’s no pithy bro-philosophy takeaway here really.
Except maybe “know your limits, get enough sleep and don’t confuse acute emotions with actual self-worth”.
I regularly fuck up in mundane, inglorious, exceptionally ordinary ways.
If you do too, hopefully this gives you some sense of perspective.
With all that being said…
The episode I recorded on Friday in LA is one of the best I’ve done this year, with probably the biggest health & fitness guest on the planet.
I cannot wait to announce this tomorrow.
Onto what I’ve been thinking about this week…
This is going sound harsh, so up front I want to say that this is just a potential theory, hear me out.
The Rivalry Theory Of Body Positivity.
TLDR: Female support for body positivity is at least in-part fuelled deep down by female intrasexual competition, which pushes other women out of the dating pool by discouraging them from losing weight.
This was originally inspired by a Bill Burr bit from his Netflix Special…
“You guys are so into destroying each other.
I see all that sneaky shit you do.
Ladies, if you could just support the WNBA the way you support a fat chick who’s proud of her body and no longer a threat to you, that league would be doing better numbers than the NBA.
‘Oh my god you’re a goddess, you’re gorgeous, you look great in that bikini, I’d kill myself if I looked like that, keep eating, keep eating, lose a toe you fat bitch.’
It’s like if you saw an alcoholic…
‘Oh my god you’re face down passed out, your kids are crying, you’re a hero, you’re a god, keep doing what you’re doing.’”
Do I have anything more well-grounded than a comedy bit?
“A recent study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that women who are high in intrasexual competitiveness are more likely to advise women who they perceive as a potential mating threat to cut off more hair, potentially in an attempt to sabotage their attractiveness.
The researchers studied 450 women who were presented with hypothetical salon clients.
Participants were asked to recommend the amount of hair to be cut off for each client.
Women who reported higher levels of intrasexual competitiveness were more likely to recommend that clients have more hair cut off when the hair was in good condition, and clients expressed a preference for minimal cutting.
The reason behind this recommendation might be to subtly manipulate the appearance of their rivals.
Longer hair is a cue to youth and health.
By advising more extensive haircuts, these women could potentially diminish the physical attractiveness of other women.
Another finding is that women advised clients of similar attractiveness as themselves to cut off the most hair.
In this scenario, participants effectively targeted women they perceived as being on the same attractiveness level as themselves.
This suggests a form of competitive behaviour known as horizontal competition, which occurs when individuals compete with others of similar attributes or qualities.
The choice to focus on women of similar attractiveness may be strategic.
Highly attractive individuals may not pose a significant mating threat to others because they likely have access to high-quality mates already.
On the other hand, targeting less attractive individuals might not yield the desired results, as their physical appearance may not be easily harmed through hairstyle changes.” — h/t PsyPost
Why do I think this relates to the body positivity movement?
Because the parallels seem absolutely obvious PLUS you get social renown for standing up for a mistreated group.
And importantly, there’s no body positivity movement for men – why?
Women use indirect aggression way more than men do.
Men’s intrasexual competition is more like large sledgehammer, whereas women’s is a poisoned arrow you never see coming.
Is this the entire motivation of female support for body-positivity? Absolutely not.
But I think it would be naive to say that it doesn’t contribute at all.
I imagine this is going to be an unpopular idea.
It’s uncomfortable to realise that what we think are altruistic compulsions might have a selfish undercurrent.
But intrasexual competition is a very powerful motivator.
Anyway, it’s just an idea, however I definitely think there’s something here.
*caveat caveat caveat – no not everyone is driven exclusively by selfish aims, yes you can actually just care about other people without having a personal motivation, no I’m not shaming people who are confident in their body or who encourage their friends to be either.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Konstantin Kisin – the host of Triggernometry joins me to talk climate change, men’s advice, why no one will let Brexit go, modern media and more.
Mary Eberstadt – who were the actual winners of the sexual revolution? What were the unintended consequences? Absolutely fascinating breakdown of what’s happened over the last 50 years, don’t miss this.
Justin Mogilski – consensual non-monogamy is gaining a lot of popularity, but why? Is it possible for people to bypass their ancestral pair-bonding instincts to actually enjoy it? What strategies do they use?
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Hormonal Birth Control could be driving female mental health problems.
“A study examined the consequences of combined oral contraceptive pill use on the mental health of girls in Denmark who start using the pill between the ages of 12 and 17
It was found that approximately 15% of the upsurge in antidepressant use among the girls can be attributed to increased oral contraceptive use.
The probability that girls make a psychiatric visit or receive a depression diagnosis increases shortly after they start taking the pill.
One year after the first combined oral contraceptive prescription, the probability of antidepressant use is 65% higher.” — CEPR.org
Most beliefs are self-validating.
“Angry people look for problems and find them everywhere, happy people seek out smiles and find them everywhere, pessimists look for trouble and find it everywhere. Brains are good at filtering inputs to focus on what you want to believe.” — Morgan Housel
Resist the desire to have an opinion on everything.
Your expertise is narrower than you think and the world needs more signal, not more noise.
Clip hotel curtains together using a hanger.
Hotel curtains leaving a huge sleep-destroying, sunlight-enabling gap in the middle of them?
Take 2 trouser hangers from the wardrobe and clip them together.
Saved me so so many times.
Tell your friends they should read this Newsletter.
I’m in London this weekend recording episodes around ARC Forum. See you there if you’re in attendance.