“Fitspiration” Isn’t Any Better Than “Thinspiration”

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything in forever. I’ve had approximately a million things going on this week. I feel like I am probably preaching to the choir here, since most people that read this blog probably already agree with me. But please, feel free to disperse this information among people that don’t agree with me.

1. The pictures are often the same.

Sure, some of the thinspo pictures are a little more skeletal looking than the fitspo ones, which tend to have a little more muscle mass and emphasize that “strong is the new skinny,” but there’s tons of overlap. There are so many images that serve the purpose of both thinspo and fitspo. I’ve seen a lot of images and phrases on fitspiration sites that are also on pro-anorexia sites. That isn’t ok.

2. It serves the exact same purpose as thinspiration.

Seriously. All people are doing is picking a slightly different body type to aspire for. As long as people are picking one body type and saying that it is what is “good,” I will not support it. I would not support anyone that says that “all women need to be curvy.” I don’t follow this whole “real women have curves” train. I like the concept behind it, since this is society places such an emphasis on the thin ideal. But we need to be accepting ALL NATURAL bodies. Not only the ones that we deem “attractive” or “average” or within a certain weight range. Bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes and this idea of picking the body of some man/woman that you have never met and aspiring to have THEIR body is absolutely ridiculous. You can’t say “my body needs to look like hers in order for me to be ‘healthy’ and look ‘attractive'” and that isn’t how bodies work.

3. It’s often as mean as thinspiration is.

“Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.”

“Don’t stop until you’re proud.”

“Be proud but never satisfied.”

“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”

“Skinny girls look good in clothes. Fit girls look good naked.”

“Strong is the new skinny.”

If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, your mom, your daughter, your brother, your grandfather, your pet chinchilla, don’t say it to yourself. There isn’t any more of a reason to treat yourself badly than there is to treat them badly. So don’t do it.

4. It creates judgment.

Fitspiration still only embraces one body type. And it creates judgment against bodies that aren’t that specific type. It encourages this idea that anyone that doesn’t look like these people isn’t taking care of their body “properly.” It teaches people to stereotype and look down on others simply because of their appearance. Without any knowledge of them or their health. And you can’t be holding yourself up to those standards but not everyone else around you. That isn’t fair to you. But it’s just really annoying if you’re holding me up to the same standards without being aware of my story/body/health. Especially if your standards are to some degree distorted by the media and society. The media does SO much to tell us that healthy/attractive looks a certain way. And it’s for the sake of making money. It’s so they will make money off of those beauty products and those diet programs and those gym memberships. Because such an emphasis is placed on appearance and people are concerned about it. And the more we continue to buy in to it, the more they’re going to keep doing it. It’s a cycle.

5. This still isn’t a very realistic goal.

People need body fat. End of story. It’s recommended that women have at least about 20% body fat and men have at least about 15% body fat. Obviously these are just numbers that will not apply to everyone, since bodies are different. But in order to have a visible six pack, women will usually need to get their body fat percentage down to about 15% and men will need to get it down to about 10%. Again, these numbers are a little different for everyone, but these are the numbers that I’ve most commonly found in my research. So, don’t be mad at your body if it just naturally doesn’t have that low body fat percentage. Yes, some people look like these fitspiration pictures, but it isn’t exactly realistic for everyone to look like that.

6. Healthy and “fit” doesn’t always look like this.

This. Again. Always this.

I feel like if fitspiration was GENUINELY about being healthy, I would be more likely to support it. But it’s not. It’s about looking a certain way. It’s one thing to motivate yourself to work out in order to be a healthier individual. But looking at pictures of people with the body type that you want in order to motivate you to look like them isn’t about being healthy. That is a purely an aesthetic thing.

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