My dear fellow travelers,
I have been strongly suggested not to write this post. But stubborn as I can be, I do it anyway 🙂 . I believe it’s my responsibility towards you, people I try to inspire and inform, to go beyond posting only the umpteenth sunset picture. So here it is.
In April 2017 I wrote my first critical post about how life portrayed by #vanlife is becoming the new marketing rat race and has little to do with the reality of life on the road. The “perfect life”-lie not sold on TV, but in a different package. My post was fueled by an article that had appeared in the New Yorker, titled “#Vanlife, the Bohemian Social-Media Movement”. And one particular line has stuck with me:
“They want to see Emily in a bikini, they want to see a sunflare, they want to see the van”
Since the publication of that article, I saw thousands of overpolished, staged pictures, portraying exactly that what #vanlife has been reduced to. Women doing yoga poses in bikini on top of their vehicle, because hey that is what you apparently do when you leave the conventional life behind. Or women laying naked in their mobile bed staring in the abyss, not worried about the tons of mosquitos entering their van or defender. You know the pictures I’m talking about.
Badass Overland Women
It seems I missed the memo that I should be doing this to promote #overlandlife or #expeditiontrucklife — nah, not really, but I stubbornly refuse to. Instead I’ve been posting pictures of me behind the wheel of our 9.2 ton expedition truck or me trying to fix something in my old greasy clothes. Doing things so many other badass overland women do on a daily basis.
And I definitely forgot to add the caption “Look at that view”. Maybe I’m supposed to semi-conform to the Social Media Movement and start adding “What a ride” while maneuvering half-naked into the downward facing dog pose on top of our truck or motorcycle. Or is that already taken? 😉
But maybe with a caption like that, instead of #BeBoldForChange, the picture I posted on an Overland travel Facebook group would not have been removed under the pretext that it broke the rule of self-promotion… PS I posted it on International Women’s Day.
How could I have been so bold to advertise gender-equality and celebrate your sister/girlfriend/wife/mom/daughter’s courage to brake barriers and travel overland? Can someone lend me the “How to get a bikini-body for summer” guide please?
More than a pretty body
Yes, there are also pictures out there where I skipped a few layers of clothing. In two articles* I even include an element of nudity —- how do I dare! 🙂 I just do not feel like my curves should be ogled and compared to the curves of our so sexy Steyr. Nor do I purposely x-rate our stories to collect more likes – the business cards of the social media rat race. I believe that when you promote a certain lifestyle and take part in its community, you’re also a spokesperson for its values. So does the overland community admire and value women for more than their physical beauty, and do we act accordingly?
*The “infamous” articles:
PS: If you can’t help yourself making comparison between the sensual human and exhilarating vehicle’s body … then ladies take your 11:30 break and let the 1990’s Coca Cola hunk service your vehicle … and do not forget to caption it with “I want you … to work all day… I want you ….” 😉
Thank you for reading this post!
Written by one badass overland woman!
This article was not written to offend or shame anyone. Nor is it my intention to start a discussion where people need to defend themselves. My goal is to challenge your thinking and to encourage you to be attentive about your online presence, the values you celebrate. It is always the right time to improve and make a change.
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