On the same day, two things came through my newsfeed.
The first? This amazing article about how so-called “fitspiration” images are so, so awful. It’s something I knew, but it was great to get several reasons exactly why they’re horrifying. Being fit CAN equal being sexy. Being fit CAN equal losing weight. But these things are all 1) relatively subjective and 2) not always related.
The other one was an awesome takedown of all these images. Not only is it hilarious (“Drinking is funny!”) it’s also very critical in a way that I’m not sure was entirely intended. By framing these types of images in terms of, essentially, alcohol abuse, the image set is also a great explanation of why the gym- and fitness-themed images are so horrible. You’d never say these things to yourself in any other context – why, when it comes to physical fitness, is it suddenly okay?
Pete reposted the first article on Facebook, saying, “Lest I fall too deep down the “workout” rabbit hole…”. I think the same can be said for trying to lose weight, or lift heavy things, or anything, really. “Fitspiration” images are so dangerous because they do tap into some truth – yes, working out can be painful, and yes, sometimes you’re going to hear negative comments about lifestyle changes (“Come on, just a little piece of cake?”). But there’s a space between – and that’s what I, at least, am trying to find.