In this blog, I’m going to talk about what is happening in today’s society from the overly saturated and sexual ‘fitness’ posts that are dominating the fitness and social media industry.
If you are a frequent social media user, you already know exactly what I am talking about. Every time you jump on, you are bombarded with body parts such as booty’s in thongs, and targeted ‘bent over’ exercise videos and photos that are purposely shot to focus on a women’s booty.
Fitness on social media has become less about how to properly perform an exercise or educate someone on real health related issues, and more about what is the hottest angle that can be shot of a specific body part to get the most views.
I, myself, use to take photos for social media of half naked photoshoots back in the day. I am the first one to admit that I had unprocessed emotional traumas longing for self-validation, and ultimately love and nurture that was missing from my life.
Today, I think and feel very differently about myself and others I allow in my life.
After processing suppressed emotions that were lurking many years ago, growing tremendously mentally, spiritual, emotionally and physically, something beautiful happened.
I no longer needed validation from someone. I found a tremendous amount of peace deep within that allowed me to live and breath my passion, while positively contributing to society. I no longer felt that my exterior was all that I had to offer.
It inspired me to implement everything I was learning and experiencing to others, while raising awareness to the hidden truths within the fitness, food and health industry.
Currently, as the new year arises, and I continue to grow and better myself, I think about the youth today, and how if I had children what would they be inspired to see. What would really motivate, educate and help become the best version of them? What guidance did I not have, that I can give to someone else who is in search for themselves?
Knowing for a while, and feeling a disconnect from my old photos online, I made the decision to remove outdated photos from my social media that could possibly negatively effect someone’s psyche, or not benefit someone’s journey to becoming happy and healthy.
Yes, it would be naïve to say that a healthy and fit physique is NEVER a positive impact on others, however, I think only if done in a subtle way. I think it’s 100% empowering to feel free, confident, beautiful and sexy. And there is certainly nothing wrong with the human body and the hard work and dedication someone has put into it.
BUT cheapening yourself to gain likes may backfire on you and in the long run lower the effectiveness of how to really inspire one another.
Slowly we are de-sensitizing ourselves, and putting more pressure than ever to look a certain way. The question that arises is, “Do overly sexual fitness posts have a positive or negative impact on improving one’s health and fitness?”
After interviewing a variety of different individuals such as fitness models, women and men who are struggling with weight gain, and online business entrepreneurs, the ‘sex sells’ mentality is suppose to increase sales, and in turn get you ‘more exposure’ to benefit one’s business, brand, or image, while increase the number of followers for whatever you are trying to sell, whether it’s a detox tea, or workout program.
The criteria for more followers or ‘more sales’ in the fitness industry is; “If they see my body, they will buy my products’ or they ‘will like my photo’…hence “They will like me, “I can make money off my body”.
Men and women whom I interviewed struggling with low self-esteem, and weight gain found overly sexual fitness posts ‘discouraging’, and distracting from taking control over their own life. They also found excessive emphasis on cheat meals from fitness models such as, In and Out Burgers, or Monster Drinks, de-credited their knowledge of health and fitness. They felt they were ‘showing off’ and narcissistic as unhealthy foods and booty shots were being promoted.
The majority of over weight people said they felt depressed, frustrated, and worse about themselves from provocative fitness posts. They admitted to feeling ‘defeated’ and that they could ‘never look like that’ or ‘achieve that’.
Overly sexual fitness posts can actually be quite counter productive for someone who is struggling with low self-esteem.
A word of advice that I can give people posting with the ‘sex sells’ mentality is only short lived. What else are you offering people besides your body? Are you really helping someone if you are promoting health and fitness? Long term, how will this benefit your career, goals and aspirations? What happens when you age?
Did you know that studies show the role of overly sexual fitness posts on social media can lead to development and/or encouragement of eating disorders, disordered eating, and body dissatisfaction?
Being once in the medical field as a nurse, now as a health and fitness specialist and business owner, I am always interested in learning what drives someone. People that are not motivated to workout are looking for something to belong to. Someone to trust and be empowered by. Someone who is real and honest. Throughout my own journey, I have transitioned away from the glamour model world and into helping people get in shape through knowledge, experience and inspiration, that does not involve degrading myself.
Here is what I’ve learned. Over time people are becoming significantly confused between the distinction between reality and fantasy.
If you were my client looking to loose weight, it would be inappropriate for me to show up in a sports bra, booty shorts or bikini bottoms to make you feel motivated. Yes, in turn this can be motivating for someone to see your hard earned work. But I believe it should be done with class and not so obvious. Sure, if you are in top shape, you can see what someone’s body looks like through your workout clothes. But big deal, what else are you offering to help this person who has come to you to change their life? Someone who is training one on one with you know really wants control. Control over their mind, body and soul in which they have lost.
How is this giving them control over their own life?
They want knowledge, self-growth, guidance, experience and accountability. They will not just stay your client, or succeed in their goals because you have a nice booty.
Imagine this……you are training a female client, and while they are working out they are starting to feel discouraged or challenged during the grueling workout…and you tell them, “Hold up! I’ve got the solution so that you can push through it!” You stand in front of your female client and bend over with a booty pose. Ha ha ha.
It sounds silly right? So why would it be effective to do it online?
Do you think that helped motivate her more? It can be the complete opposite of what someone who is struggling with low self-esteem needs to see.
This brings me to my next question…What do you really want to achieve online for your viewers? Is it really about helping someone succeed in taking control over their life? Or is it about showing off or self-validation?
Are we becoming de-sensitized to that sort of behavior, where we ourselves cannot see that it is spiraling out of control? Are we de-valuing ourselves, while actually discouraging others? Are women and men feeling pressured into portraying themselves this way on social media to gain popularity?
Social media has become the driving platform for women and men to seek out images of what we want to look like, and use it as an outlet for self comparison that may intensity existing self-esteem issues. It has become a viscous circle of putting ourselves out there in an overly sexual light, calling it fitness, then criticizing and analyzing ourselves and one another.
Until we raise the mental awareness and inner peace of one’s self, we will continue to reassure that our body parts are all we have to offer, while increasing pressure, body distortion and depression in others.