For those of you who haven’t heard of it (you lucky souls), the term “fitspiration” is a movement started to supposedly promote fitness, mainly for women. On the surface, it seems like a positive idea. Promoting a healthy lifestyle? Posting pictures of girls working out and being healthy? Awesome! Let’s do it!
But…not so fast, ladies and gents. That’s just what these fitspiration enthusiasts want you to think.
On the surface, it seems harmless. But this movement is too similar to another internet movement: thinspiration. This movement promotes women being skinny (something new), and they encourage women to develop eating disorders to achieve their narrow perception of “beauty.” Sure, at least fitspiration encourages fitness, but it doesn’t promote a healthy lifestyle.
Fitspiration crosses the line, showing that women are, as always in advertising, only physical beings. While now the women are lean and working out, they are still only bodies, and nothing more. They work out to get attention and to feel worth something. Again, it’s the dangerous idea that women are only worth what they have on the outside.
Working out should be about health, and feeling good on the inside as well as the outside. Fitspiration is just more crap aimed at women to make them feel bad about themselves. The idea of women working out and improving their lives is great, sure, but fitspiration isn’t much better than thinspiration. Both are the same in that they both show a narrow perception of what they think women should look like. They both say, “Hey, here’s what you should look like. This girl.”
“You need to look like HER. Quit eating, (or work out for six hours a day), and MAYBE, just maybe, you can look half as good as she does. Good luck!”
How is that inspirational?
On the website The Great Fitness Movement, in an article written by Charlotte Hilton Andersen, she says, “Fitspo may be thinspo in a sports bra.” I could not agree more with that statement. Both fitspiration and thinspiration are telling women that, above all, our looks are most important. We must also devote our lives to perfecting our bodies, at all costs. These “inspiration” movements are promoting obsessive habits. Fitspiration promotes “fitness” in dangerous ways, and it continues the trend of making women feel bad about themselves. It does more harm than good.
While I’m all in favor of working out and improving your health, women also need to have a healthy self esteem. Fitspiration is doing nothing to empower women, so I think it’s a movement that should be stopped. A nonprofit online magazine called Libero Network was started to help support people recovering from eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. Libero Network promotes healthy lifestyles, and brings awareness to the dangers of the fitspiration movement. This online magazine started the “Stop Fitspiration” movement. With March being National Women’s History Month, I think it’s perfect timing to start promoting HEALTHY lifestyles for women, not obsessive-cumpulsive eating and work out habits.
Women want to be empowered and loved for their minds, not their bodies. Let’s put an end to thinspiration, fitspiration, and anything that’s out there tearing women down.