I’ve made peace with the ubiquitous, stork-like representations of women that seemingly glow with flawlessness. Despite attempts for normalcy like the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, I still don’t see images in magazines or on billboards that look remotely like me. Somehow, I’ve acquired a discreet acceptance with this strange injustice. I know my acquiescence may sound like giving up or turning a blind eye, but really, it’s more about where I want to focus my energy. Instead of fighting an obstinate fashion community, I’d rather help women tap into gratitude for their unique, loyal body.
Recently however, my truce with the media has been threatened. It’s difficult enough being inundated with images of unblemished waifs, but now a new unsavory trend has emerged. Glistening fitness models with full chests and six-packs are being used to sell the idea of wellness and health, and serve as fitness motivation.
The unfairness of this practice gets my dander up for a myriad of reasons. Instead of motivating women to workout, images of fitness perfection can leave women feeling that their present workout regimen is inadequate. Comparing yourself to others is an unfortunate reflex. It’s like scratching a bug bite. We try not to do it but we just can’t help ourselves. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocuous habit can put our much cherished motivation in peril. When engaging in comparisons, it’s usually our exercise efforts that take the hardest blow. Images like the one above feel like the first punch.
For most, becoming as fit as the models portrayed in these pithy little fitness motivation photos is just as unobtainable as having the 5’11”, 117-pound perfect body of a supermodel. Yet, their message implies that with enough willpower and determination you can achieve it. They want me to believe that they represent the image of fitness and that my power-walk just isn’t going to cut it.
To all of my Hilton Head Health buddies, help me fight back! Let’s show the world what real bodies look like getting fit. Not the before and after, just the “I’m exercising now and feel good doing it” photo. Whether it be a picture of you at H3 during one of our programs, excursions and activities, or just getting fit at home, we'd love for you to share! Add your motivational one-liner if you want. Share this blog and post your photo in the comments. Let’s show the world what real fitness and motivation looks like! Be your own fitness motivation model!