Bombarded on a daily basis with pictures of a perfect body and ‘fitspirationalist’ mottos for changing one’s life got me thinking the fanatical pursuit of a fit lifestyle is a new form of oppression we are facing nowadays. Indeed, mainstream culture and advertisers are trying very hard to reach every single person and make him or her conform to the idealized standards of beauty. If you are, however, that lucky person whose biggest lifetime goal is not really achieving a six pack or an hourglass figure, this is the post for you.
Over the years, we have gotten used to the “fit” bodies of a thin, more often than not, with seriously developed eating disorders, models promoted by fashion industry. Yet by observing recent trends in social media, especially on Instagram, it seems that traditional notions of a fit body are being challenged. What is presented in these pictures receiving millions of likes, are individuals seriously working out at the gym. They do not, however, depict regular exercises aiming at losing some kilograms. On the contrary, the photos portray the intense workouts of determined bodybuilders, both men and women, doing pushups and lifting weights. Not to mention, in the case of women, wearing a full makeup look at the gym. All of these things because strong appears to be the new skinny. Instagram has thus become the center of selfies displaying people’s body makeovers and constant competition over who is able to prepare the best sugar-free cake and possesses the lowest percentage of body fat. What is really bothering me here is that these people do not rest on daily exercises at the gym only, but indulge in pricey bodybuilding supplements, whose job is to speed up fat burning, increase energy and support muscle growth.
Obviously, the market seems to have reacted to the trend of fitness fanaticism too. Not only can you see it from a growing number of supplement stores, but also from regular clothing stores, the majority of which, now offer special gym collections. Depressingly, not all people can afford a 130zl Calvin Klein sporty bralette or 400zl nikes just to look fancy in a gym like the fitness elite does.
Now a question that may arise at this point is whether it is possible to live up to these standards of a fit lifestyle without necessarily making it an obsession? Certainly, advertisers and fitness gurus on social media won’t help prospective individuals, who just happen to start their journey with the gym, resist this phenomenon.