Fitspo loves a trend. When a trend catches on in Fitspo, it sticks around until it’s staler than last weeks slice of gluten free bread. It’s done and then it’s overdone to absolute death. And right now, it’s the rise of the transformation photo. The side by side snapshot. And it’s not your regular weight loss before and after. It’s not muscle gain progress shots that are taking over our feeds. It’s the 2 second transformation or the 24 hour transformation photo. It’s the abs Vs no abs. The booty pop VS standing straight. The posed Vs non-posed transformation. And they’re everywhere.
Every Amy, Laura and SuzieFit is on a quest to ‘keep it real’. And I was there too. I was there two years ago revealing my painfully enlarged and bloated abdomen to the world. Making sure that my followers knew that I suffered too. I, Ban Hass, Health & Fitness professional empathises with you normal people.
I get it. Fitspos are trying to help. Fitspos are trying to empathise. Some fitspos really do want to promote a positive message. But what fitspo fails to realise is that you can’t be part of everything. You can’t relate to every single thing. You can’t jump on every bandwagon just because that’s what’s currently trending or that’s what’s going viral this week.
But are these photos actually humbling? Are they helping? Has what was once motivational and inspiring just become f*cking boring? Is ‘keeping it real’ a positive message or is it just another way to generate likes? And finally, should fit chicks with sub 20% body fat be allowed to complain about their rolls? I don't know. But I’ve started questioning everything.
It's a photo
Let’s begin with the bleeding obvious. The fact that people are pointing out that their photo is posed makes me somewhat concerned for our generation.
It’s a photo.
Of course it is posed.
Guess what? The photo labelled ‘real life’ yup, also posed. If you want ‘reality’ get off your phone and take a walk in the park.
It's the same body type
9 times out of 10 it’s the same body shape complaining about exactly the same thing. A ‘socially acceptable’ sized fit chick harping on about her 4 pack which is usually a 6 pack. Or that 3cm of cellulite on her left thigh which you might be able to see if you look very closely in broad daylight with a catadioptric telescope.
I’ve intentionally avoided posting things like this? Why? Because in the grand scheme of things, outside of the 15% of fitspos who might be able to relate to my water retention woes, my stretch marks, my stomach which will always always hold that extra bit of fat, the remaining 85% of people would probably kill for what I perceive to be my ‘bad angles’. So I try and shut the f*ck up.
Why is it sometimes best to keep quiet? Because there’s nothing less motivating than hearing a skinny b*tch talking about her ‘love handles’. Let’s face it, we know what most people want to scream from the top of their lungs:
WHAT F*KING LOVE HANDLES?
It’s not motivating. It’s not helpful. And it leaves others who might be in significantly worse shape than you thinking, ‘Why should I even bother? What is the point?’ It also leaves some of us questioning whether you need serious help.
It defeats the point
If you want to normalise your ‘rolls’ stop pointing them out. If cellulite is normal then let it be normal. Post the damn picture. And sass the f*ck out of your rolls.
It's still about the way you look
'Look here! This photo is photoshopped! I don't look like that in real life! Neither do any of the other girls you idolise! It’s all a lie! We don't look like this!'
I hate to be the one to break the news to you all but some girls do actually look like the girls in the magazine. Some girls DO look like they’ve swallowed a valencia filter in real life. Trust me, I’ve seen them and I know them. And guess what? That’s absolutely fine. The world continues.
If you’re going to post about body positivity make sure you’re not perpetuating exactly the notion you’re trying to campaign against. It’s still a comparison. The focus is still on your outer appearance. If you want to promote a positive messages there’s got to be less emphasis on what we look like and more focus on the 100 million other reasons why women are badass.
As with most trends that take off in the world of Fitspo at some point there’s a backlash. And right now it’s the backlash of authenticity and fitness bloggers trying to promote body positivity by #keepingitreal.
But, (and if you’ve got this far god bless you) I’m going to end this post with a big fat question mark. Why? Because, if, as I’ve stated above, worth has nothing to do with how you look, then surely fitness bloggers should have a right to promote their message? Surely fit b*tches should have the right to moan, complain and share their honest views about that teeny weeny bit of cellulite? If, after all, body image has nothing to do with what you look like? If, what you look like has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on in the inside.
I have days where I feel bleukjhfkjfhkjfh but it’s practically illegal for a ‘slimmer’ person to call themselves anything that might be regarded as even slightly negative for fear of offending someone. That doesn't mean I don't have my issues. That doesn't mean i’ve got it all worked out. It doesn't mean I love my body. And above all, it doesn't mean that I don't deserve to share my story. I choose to keep quiet but my story is still valid.
‘Keeping it real’ photos: Positive or just f*cking boring? I want to know what you think.