#TrainLikeAnAngel: Fitness inspiration or unachievable ideal?

Angel-mania has sprung up this year and everyone is going crazy for the models that will strut down the infamous runway. Some articles even gave us tips on how to look like these perfectly sculpted women.

The catwalk goddesses launched themselves into intense fitness regimes so they could #TrainLikeAnAngel. The idea is they can’t just waltz onto the runway without prepping their bodies to look in great shape; they can’t get angel status without this punishing regime. Gigi Hadid, Doutzen Kroes and Dev Windsor would start the day with some ballet and end it with a gym session.

The Mail Online spoke to Australian model Shanina Shaik and showed videos of her boxing and pushing her already toned body to the limits. They even have a personal trainer by the name of Justin Gelband; the fitness trainer behind ‘ModelFit’, an exclusive boutique fitness studio in New York City. He is training nine of the women walking in the show, including six of the 15 angels. In an interview with Elle, he told a story of how he had to help Angela Lindvall lose post pregnancy weight for the 2006 show.

With so many advances in other areas of fashion and body image culture, it brings you back down to earth knowing that thin is still in when it comes to fashion shows. Gelband says his work is about getting girls to love themselves, which sends a message that self-acceptance comes as the weight falls off you. Of course, we can’t forget that this is about physical fitness, rather than starvation. We can all benefit from more exercise and a more helathy lifestyle, but we also all dont have a reknowed instructor to help us. He runs hour or hour 15 minutes long sessions, four days of the week. How long the angels commit to this depends on their fitness level, but can be as long as three months.

The girls are given their wings to glide down the runway, and these can weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, so training is focused on building strength. This makes the training seem necessary, something that is needed for them to be successful.

The transparency of their fitness regime tells us all how even the most perfect of bodies don’t come naturally. It’s humbling and could help boost motivation. The opposite is also true though, as the constant funnelling of images of them into our brains is a constant reminder of the ridiculous standards and expectations that come with fashion. Telling us how we can look like these models is only consolidating the ideal of trying hard to be someone else.

It’s an obsession, devoting time to becoming other people, and this could mean different things to different people. Some might take this as the inspiration they need to improve their fitness whilst others might be intimidated. If you look closely there are some positive messages, mainly about avoiding juicing or detoxes, that everyone’s bodies are different and that exercises shouldn’t be personalised.

If you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, the obsession with a niche group of women is nothing new, and perhaps an unavoidable part of our society. However, let’s not think we have to #trainlikeanangel to achieve our own personal goals, which may be much less glamorous than floating down a runway dressed in lingerie.