social media

Health gurus, social media and the #FitFam cult

Written by alice.murray
Every now and then we all go on a little health spree. You buy the low fat mayo and might even be tempted to get a box of green tea when you nip to the shops.

Every now and then we all go on a little health spree. You buy the low fat mayo and might even be tempted to get a box of green tea when you nip to the shops. You cut back on the chips after a night out and try to drink more water. It’s a natural cycle for many of us, the never ending merry go round of eating healthy and then slowly slipping back into old habits. 
The thing is if you share you’re new healthy regime on twitter or Instagram you now run the risk of being branded part of social Medias latest cult… #fitfam.
The average young man and woman follow an array of health and fitness pages on social media. You know the type: the clean-eating, weight lifting, meal-prepping cult that is ruining social media, and potentially the world, with their antics.
These pages have hundreds of pictures of abs, bikini bridges and the notorious thigh gap. The fitness gurus love posting videos of themselves at the gym doing things that anyone could do, they just chose not to post them on the internet for the world to see.
They have unrealistic and sometimes bizarre pictures of their idea of perfection. Men with legs as wide as tree trunks and bulging biceps alongside women with chiselled backs and defined calves adorn pages. They are seen alongside unbearably cringe worthy hash tags such as #thinspiration #strongisthenewskinny and everyone’s favourite #squatspo. 
Disillusioned and disheartened
These fitness fans glorify meal plans, steamed veggies, yoga at dawn, no eating after 8, detox tea, and protein smoothies. This lifestyle would be fabulous if you were a 20-something un-employed attractive person living in Australia not so feasible for your average Joe living here
We all can admit to following them, it’s only natural, somehow we think we might just turn into them if we stare long enough. These pages are there for motivational purposes but more often than not they leave you disillusioned and disheartened. The sad thing is we end up wanting to be like these models no matter what the cost. While this trend is seemingly healthier than its predecessor of size zero models that haunted us in the noughties it’s definitely not all it’s presented to be.
These websites and pages aren’t just promoting; exercise they are promoting a whole lifestyle that absorbs individuals and is quite frankly, hard to maintain. The rise of the fitness guru has made celebrities out of young attractive people (nothing new there), but all these ‘hot’ people seemingly do all day is meal preparation while they lounge about in their bikinis, giving out nutritional advice as if they were a certified dietician. 
Let’s not get away from the fact that being healthy is a good thing – God knows we need it to combat the obesity problem – but the thing with this cult-like enthusiasm is that it takes health and fitness to the extreme. Really, when taken too far this new found fitness fad is no better than over-eating or starving yourself. 
Keep things in perspective
It’s important to remember that while everyone on these fitness Instagrams have identical bodies, they represent a tiny portion of the population who have won a genetic lottery. Two different people following a vigorous routine of squats and eating only avocados will produce different results simply because they are different. 
Not everyone no matter how much they work out, practice yoga, eat only lentils and spinach can look like Beyoncé. Genetically were different so there’s no way we can all morph into this one ideal body and why should we? 
The worst part about the #FitFam is that it grows daily and breeds, just like a real, working cult. Many of its members have found their self proclaimed #swolemate somewhere between the rowing machines and the weight rack, and if history repeats itself, we may find ourselves facing a race of really scary, strong people in 15 to 20 years.
What do you think of the #FitFam cult? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Ed Yourdon / Flickr