Since pinterest took over the internet a few years back, another trend has emerged from its success. This trend is one of the most popular boards on pinterest, showing image after image of workout motivation, diet tips and positive and encouraging quotes.
It’s known as fitspiration. Pins which have been made to encourage us to workout and exercise while loving our bodies. On the surface this is a great idea, obesity is a huge problem and we need to be doing something to stop it. At the same time, boards that state ‘real women have curves’ are promoting self love which is always a good message to send.
But as you look deeper at these messages they start to get a little problematic. Take this one for example.
At first glance this is a nice motivational way of getting someone to stand up and exercise. The more you think about, however, you start to wonder if this actually is a good thing to be telling people. Instead of encouraging healthy living, this is perpetuating the idea that you have to look a certain way if you want to be healthy. Who cares if your heart is strong and your insides are clean, what matters is that you look good in the mirror. Whats more the idea of being in competition with yourself isn’t that nice. How can you ever be happy with your body if you see it as a thing that is separate from who you are. What ever happened to look in the mirror and love what you see?
It may sound like I am over thinking these pins, and at first I didn’t have any issues with them and used the mantras in my own life. The problem for me is that we are infatuated with these types of quotes every time we visit a site like pinterest. And while it can motivate us when we do need it, they can also begin to encourage an unhealthy exercise obsession. Think about it, if you are eating well and doing everything right you don’t need to be reminded to do more, but that’s exactly what you are going to hear when you are scrolling through these sites.
Another issue to consider is that these pictures are often not of ‘real people’. In fact one the makers of each meme admit to searching for a picture of a toned, skinny girl online and just go with that. What it means is that when we are being told that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ the girl we are seeing has most likely been air brushed and photo shopped to look that way. She isn’t a realised body that you can achieve, but when you are seeing these bodies every single day you are going to start to work hard to look like her.
We should exercise and eat well yes, but we need to do it for reasons other then because we are being told we have to. Healthy living should be about living life to the fullest and it shouldn’t become an obsessive fixation. As we are bombarded with fitspiration, we are told that we always need to be exercising, always need to be trying to get to that body. I am not asking for a total shut-down of fitspiration memes, but I am just raising the issue. maybe next time you scroll through your pinterest home page take a moment to think about each quote a little harder. Is this motivating you in a good way? Or is it sending a more twisted message? I leave you with a more positive fitspiration image – because they are out there. We just need to stop taking the more negative ones so seriously.