The dangers of ‘fitspiration’

Browsing through ‘fitspo’ images and quotes on social media sites can really get us motivated to want to change ourselves and our lifestyles for the better, whether that is losing weight, exercising more often or making improvements in our diet. But can these motivating images really be discouraging us from getting on track with a healthier lifestyle, and more into taking drastic measures to achieve these looks faster?

Some serious concerns have been associated with fitspo posts that can be taken to extremes in promoting diet and exercise, and readers can often be sucked into believing that these are the looks that they should be striving to achieve. For example, a series of images of seriously thin women being shown to be the ‘ideal’, and more scarily, ‘normal’ way to look. Many women turn to fitspo communities for training and nutrition tips, but some posts glorify ‘not stopping when it hurts, stop only when you are done’, which is just a crazy way of promoting injury and punishing your body by pushing it further than it should go.

Photoshop trickery.

Many #fitspo photos that look too good to be true, could well be. Photoshop and Instagram filters enhance photos for the better and should not be taken lightly. The majority of ‘fitspiration’ social media users will not be completely how they appear to be in their photos in real life, and this would be the reason why. Fitspo posts are also often associated with thinspo posts, which promote thin figures as being ‘the way you should want to look’. This is dangerous territory to cross as thinspo often glorify thinness and the thigh gap look, as well as undereating to achieve this. Thin isn’t unhealthy, but the extent to which some people seeing this may go to, to achieve these looks, could be. 

Embrace your body type.

Shouldn’t it be that the weight and body size that we are comfortable in should be the healthiest way for us to be? The epitome of health should not be found in these fitspo images of size nothing and super-toned women. Yes, they may look great and their look is of course, desirable for many, but we should embrace our own body types and be the healthiest we can be without striving for an image that may be unhealthy to achieve. Most importantly, is it worth possibly compromising our happiness to take such measures that these posts suggest to get these looks for ourselves.

The internet and social media sites will always be full of the latest and quickest ways to achieve these desirable looks and to be ‘summer ready’, or ready for any occasion for that matter. Imperfection is real and perfect will never be achievable as there is no such thing – everyone is different and everybody has different body types and that makes us individual. We are all different and have different appearances, and who is to say that we can’t be completely happy and comfortable within ourselves and our exteriors if we are healthy and active?

Beware ‘Fitspo’ posts.

Staying healthy is the most important thing, and fitspiration quotes and images can promote a healthy lifestyle and give some great motivation towards getting started, but watch out for the posts that promote extreme behaviours and strict regimes in getting the body that you want, or images that popularise idealistic figures without mentioning the strict diet and exercise regime taken by the person who has most likely dedicated their life to achieving and maintaining this figure, and to get to this stage to be considered a ‘fitspo’.