Portrayal of Women
I am interested in using SuperBetter as a tool for staying physically and mentally fit while having to finish a long and arduous project. The idea for this site and the way it is arranged is fantastic. However, when I have emailed a few friends to tell them about the site, all six were first struck by McGonigal's stage make up and unnecessary cleavage. For a self-help (or self-acceptance) site, McGonigal's styling seems to have missed the mark, appearing either threatening or comically bad.
Here's an email excerpt from a male friend of mine:
OK. I'm glad it's not just me who was weirded out by her appearance. I was feeling a little superficial for a minute there--here's this woman trying to seem genuinely interested in helping others, and I'm all like "WHOA, what happened to YOU?"
This has been a great conversation, and we appreciate the different perspectives offered here in the comments. We’ll keep these notes in mind when we approach future video content.
While I noticed what you're talking about, that's just what Jane looks like. If you're going to talk about self-acceptance, you have to apply it to everyone. And let's be fair. Her "unnecessary cleavage" is under a track jacket, she's not exactly dressed in clubwear.
Yes, with apologies to McGonigal, when I first came to this site I wondered why they had such a porn-ish looking woman doing the videos. I had no idea she wasn't just a model until I saw this feedback thread, but I definitely found her appearance to be distracting.
Production values? It's just Ms. McGonigal speaking to the camera in front of a colorful graphic. What else do you want? As for her appearance, what's it to you? Who's the one being superficial? Her style is hers, get over it. I wasn't blind to her appearance but I was really more focused on what she was saying. The shortness of the videos was so that she could introduce each concept individually making it easier to take it in and absorb it.
steve graham commented
I've had a number of people react in exactly the same way. Both to the image presented and to the videos themselves -- as a guess it may be that they seem short and superficial, almost trivializing whatever they were addressing.
This is in marked contrast to the responses I've seen when people watch Jane's TED talk.
I refused to play the game at first because of the videos! I think that many people are turned off by the strange production values at play in the videos.