#19: Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge!

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The ancient Greeks had Zeus, the Romans had Jupiter, the Egyptians had Ra, the Persians had Ahura Mazda, and in 2012, we have Ashy Bines. Just as Zeus turned Chelone into a tortoise, Ashy Bines has the power to inspire the ultimate transformation: normal sized woman into hot, skinny bikini babe!

Eugh, this female god SUCKS. And her superpower is crap.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Ashy Bines (lucky you) she is a 24 year old personal trainer from the Gold Coast who loves educating women on how to live a healthy, happy, active lifestyle. She has almost 400, 000 ‘likes’ on Facebook (more than the population of Iceland), and even if you don’t ‘like’ her on Facebook, before and after photos of women who have undergone her 12 week challenge pop up unwanted on your newsfeed. It’s like The Voice, or that terrible Lara Bingle show, or watching a couple have an awkward fight in public…it’s so bad but you just can’t look away.

Our first problem with Ashy Bines (besides the fact her name is ‘Ashy’…’Bines’, what kind of name is that? How can she expect us to take her seriously? And if her name is actually ‘Ashley’ why did she feel the need to shorten an already short name?) (oh, and, she uses THIRTEEN exclamation marks in her introduction on her website, chill out) is that she has absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to be an authority figure on nutrition, psychological wellbeing or health. Contrary to what we appear to believe in 2012, being a bikini model does NOT make you a beacon of knowledge about everything, or an expert on life. One serious bias we need to overcome, is the belief that individuals who appear to be fit, healthy and attractive, know more about life than we do. One of us (Castor) has compeleted three years of study in Psychology, but is obviously not qualified to give mental health advice or treatment for another three. Castor feels a bit silly now, because it turns out that all she needed to do was dispense wise cliches such as “toxic thoughts are worse than toxic foods”. If this is the case, then why is Ashy marketing a diet plan, and not referring people to clinical psychologists? When coming across Ashy Bines’ blog (for purely research purposes) we came across the post named “toxic thoughts are worse than toxic food” where clever Ashy argues “It is true. So STOP NOW. Ignore your negative mind that brings you down every day.” …um ok. It’s in capitals as to be important and forceful. Is “negative mind” a technical biological term? If Ashy knows the answers, why do people spend years of their lives studying and researching psychology in order to investigate how to change people’s thoughts and behaviour? Three years of my life wasted…I should just become a bikini model.

What is incredible is that Ashy is an expert not only in nutrition, health, life coaching and psychology, but also chemistry! She should win a Nobel Prize! It was whilst reading her blog that we came across the following passage – please bear with us, it is long but we PROMISE it is worth it:

“I once read an article about a man who was conducting an experiment looking at the crystalline structure of water molecules. He had two separate jars of water from the same tap. Every morning he would say positive, caring, loving and beautiful things to one of them. And the other jar he would say nasty, hateful, negative words to. After a while he looked at the structures under a microscope. The water he said awful things to hardly grew and looked very miserable and dark. The other water structure showed a perfect, bright, glowing crystal formation. How is that for evidence that the way we speak to ourselves on the inside is reflected in our outer appearance!  Remember our body is made up of 75% water …. So think about THAT!!!!”

Okay, we will think about THAT!

Oh. my. God. That did not happen. Where did she find this? Can she even read? She certainly can’t write. After looking up the study Ashy is referring to, we were disappointed, and obviously shocked, to discover that it was not scientifically valid. To be honest, we had some reservations to start with when reading Ashy’s recount of the experiment, such as: Does water speak English? Does Ashy Bines know what the crystalline structure of water molecules are? What scientific journal did she read this in – Cosmo is not peer reviewed. Can water even grow? Were ethical guidelines adhered to? What sort of psychological help was offered to the water that was miserable and dark after the experiment? If water can react to what we say, why can’t we just tell it what to do instead of going to complex lengths of boiling it and freezing it? It turns out the study did not adhere to the scientific method, that is, it was not empirical and measurable, i.e: credible. It was actually submitted more for the purposes of photography, and was never peer reviewed, but that doesn’t matter. Ashy looks good in a bikini, and if Ashy looks good in a bikini, people can talk to water. CAPISH.

Just as our bodies are made up of 75% water (Ashy said it so it MUST be true), Ashy’s boobies are made up of 75% silicon. Sorry, that was a bit of a punch in her (incredibly toned and defined) gut. It’s not Ashy Bines personally that we have a probl…wait, yes it is Ashy Bines that we have a problem with. She advertises that for $49.95 a month, we can look just like her in a bikini, but to our knowledge, this does not include a boob job, or a spray tan. For $49.95 a month you could sponsor seven children…and lose weight on your own, because, you know, Ashy keeps telling us that really “In the end it’s YOUR choice!!” bla bla bla rarara bla.

Another problem with Ashy Bines is that she is a proponent of toxic thoughts that I didn’t even have before I went on her Facebook page. How about: “What’s my secret? OH it’s this awesome new diet pill called get the fuck up, and work your motherfucking ass off, bitch”. OUCH. Why is she being so mean? Why is she calling me a bitch? I didn’t ask what your secret was 😦 If I’m sitting on the computer looking at your facebook page I can guarantee I’m a) not exercising, b) in fat clothes and c) eating and/or thinking about Maltesers. And now I feel bad and fat and guilty. And when I feel guilty I eat more Maltesers and don’t feel like going to the gym. So congratulations, your page has done the complete OPPOSITE to what you claim it’s going to do. Toxic thoughts, in our (unqualified) opinion, are thinking about the physical appearance of your body every minute of every day. We are not sold a diet we are sold a feeling; the promise that every aspect of our lives will improve and we will finally be happy. So what happens after those 12 weeks? You look like Ashy (heaven forbid)? Probably not, unless you have a spray tan, bleached hair, a boob job and who knows what else.

Example of toxic thought #2: “Here’s a weight loss tip you can pin…There are no secrets. Stop eating garbage and get off your ass”. Again with the language. Wait a minute, if there are no secrets, why are we paying you? We, and the morbidly obese, already knew that, so we didn’t need your “tip”. But try doing a uni degree, or earning an income, or dealing with negative life issues like depression and anxiety, the death of a loved one, economic disadvantage, social stress, discrimination, or disability, and then tell us to get off our ASS to our FACE (bitch). And Ashy, you can be very…patronizing.

We don’t usually use cliches but considering Ashy is allowed use them in ways that don’t make sense, we thought we were entitled to one: HAPPINESS DOESN’T COME FROM THE OUTSIDE. Today, primary school teachers are taught that children need intrinsic motivation (e.g. Wanting to feel good about themselves) rather than extrinsic reward (e.g getting a gold star). But Ashy didn’t go to primary school. So she thinks that yelling at people in capital letters, posting pictures of her own hot body, and before and after photos of other peoples bodies, will make people think “Oh my God…I want a hot bikini body! I’ll spend money I don’t have on Ashy’s diet plan, and in 12 weeks, I will finally be happy”. But there are 2 problems with this. 1) When/if you achieve slenderness, you are still not happy. Because the low self-esteem is the problem, not your love handles. 2) At some point you will realise that there are more important things than how you look in a bikini the three times a year you go to the beach. Like, I don’t know, compassion, or relationships, or your ideas?

BUT…

If Ashy looks good in a bikini, decades of research is wrong, and all we need is for other people to tell us we look good in order to achieve self esteem. This must be true, she really does look very nice in a bikini.

As much as we’d like to blame Ashy for everything, the transformation motif predates her very short existence. Since Cinderella, we have loved the idea of rags to riches, or, more recently, ugly, fatty boombalada to totes hawt betch. However, the difference is that Cinderella did not write in to Ashy saying “Hey Asshhyy! All my life I’ve been abused by my stepmother and stepsisters, and I ate to numb the pain. When I heard about the Ball I knew I had to do your 12 week challenge, and, as expected, I found the man of my dreams! He is LITERALLY my Prince Charming! I was so skinny my shoes kept falling off and I hallucinated a fairy godmother LOLZ! Thanks babes xxx Cindi”, with replies such as: evilstepmutha21: “still chubby hun got a while to go”, and stepsistaz4lyf12: “too skinny babe..you look gross…chicks need a bit of meat”. Look, niether of us have any idea what we just said in the past two minutes of writing or how it relates to ANYTHING but we thought evilstepmutha was funny so we’re going to leave it…we apologise.

There is only one truth to the Ashy Bines, omniscient god, expert on everything, bikini model/chemistry professor, phenomenon: If Ashy looks good in a bikini, Ashy looks good in a bikini. CAPISH (Castor keeps saying that today…don’t know why…to my knowledge she’s not Italian). If Ashy looks good in a bikini she is NOT qualified to give us life advice, and obviously not qualified to give us a recount of recent research in chemistry. Ashy’s appearance in a bikini probably isn’t even good evidence that she can give anyone else advice on how to look good in a bikini, as demonstrated by her aggressive and frankly rude strategies to get me off my couch….

So here’s a tip you can pin (no idea what that means..pin where?): The world is going to end shortly, and you just spent the last 12 weeks on a diet! HAH!

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