We live in a world infatuated with fitness, from weight-loss supplements to waist trainers, there is no limit to just how far we will go to achieve that perfect body. According to Insider, in 2020 the majority of fitness influencers reach their viewers through Instagram. Despite the expansion of other media channels such as Tik Tok and YouTube, it is primarily through the app that is known for preserving flawless images that we often encounter these types of influencers.

In an article written by Eve Simmons, Mail Online “at least a third of young people on social media follow a fitness-related account”. Each influencer offers their own personal advice on how to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The belief that they are placed to promote health and vitality seems to be a common misconception. As we scroll through endless images of their chiselled torsos and shapely curves it generates an aspiration which soon feels out of our reach. The image of this ideal physique saturates our media and the concept of fitness becomes lost behind a screen of skin-tight leggings and sports bras. Instead of fitness encouraging physical and mental wellbeing, it has created a hypersexualised image of these individuals. It starts to seem they are only concerned with propagating an unrealistic image that takes away from the true reason we should maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Where are we now?

As it stands in 2021 “more than 14.3 million images on Instagram alone are labelled with #fitspiration or #fitspo – categorised to help people find content related to exercise.” However, as we are now only familiar with this distinct stereotype it seems the true purpose of exercise is becoming overshadowed by the false images we are exposed to.

Fitness is intended to benefit the individual but as we are shown these images we start to make ourselves feel inferior by comparison.  As we strive to look a certain way, we must remember the reality behind the image and relish in the reasons we love to exercise – to feel good!


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