By now, you’ll probably know that I love fitness, but have a problem with how fitness is portrayed on social media, particularly Instagram.
I feel as though my irritation with instagram fitness is heightened due to the fact that I was very much a part of this movement for so long – so I know it inside out. A recent maturity/realisation has caused me to view Instagram fitness in a totally different light… a sort of sinister one.
In summary, here are my main issues:
I’ve become very selective with who I follow on Instagram, and I’ve had to mute the fitness category (and even some people that I follow), simply because I’m fed up of seeing bottom. There are some incredible fitness accounts out there, but it’s really such a pleasure to find an account which doesn’t have an underlying ‘bottom’ message being thrust upon me. As I wrote in my last blog, the celebration and validation around these bodies is causing a sort of obsession around this look. Girls everywhere are contorting their bodies to have tiny waists and huge bottoms to get celebration and validation (I was one of these people). It seems how big your bottom is and how many followers you have on Instagram is a sort of currency – it’s distorting what people value and is causing obsessive and unhealthy behaviours.
Posting a picture of my bottom. Seems pretty harmless right? But what if the reason I’m posting is because I feel overwhelmed with competition. As though everybody is better than me until I post a picture proving that I, too, am a ‘BiG bOoTy BiTcH’ which is so praised and celebrated online. As I said, Instagram likes and followers have become a sort of modern-day currency. The more extreme the ass-to-waist ratio, the more likes a picture will get. It’s a constant battle to get a shot which is more outrageous than the last persons.
If you scroll down on my Instagram page, there are so many examples of me doing this. I’m explaining a really deep and meaningful piece of research which could help somebody lose weight, but overshadowing it all is a sexualised picture of my bottom in skin-tight leggings twisting around to suck my waist in an extra 5 inches. Come off it – do you care about helping other people get fitter and healthier? Or is this entire thing just a massive ego/self-validation trip? It’s more likely that these people are not egotistical idiots… perhaps people are feeling the need to validate their body? Or feel insecure and want to feel special and celebrated like their instagram idols?
Over the years I’ve promoted a few products here and there, but if I’m completely honest, there has only ever been 1 brand which really made a difference to my life and that I could promote with absolute honesty and confidence. That brand is Gold Standard Nutrition. They sent me pre-cooked chicken breasts which I absolutely loved and ate for years and years. I eventually parted ties with them after I’d just got bored of the chicken. I think I’d actually over-eaten it because I loved it so much – it was so convenient for me to eat around work! I recently parted ties with my Musclefood and Myprotein sponsors simply because I wasn’t getting any benefit from the brand, so couldn’t confidently and happily promote it on my page.
So many people will promote nutritional products that are backed by no evidence or that are damaging, just because it gives them free product and the ‘credibility’ of working with a brand.
Thankfully, research is telling us that people are becoming distrusting and skeptical of influencers that do sponsored posts. But I still see an awful lot of bullshit that people are buying into because that person happens to have a bottom on display with a giant wedgie. UGHH.