Last week I wrote a post on setting goals, and another one about steps to take for enhancing your chances of success. I’d like to turn Mondays into a regular motivational post, just to keep that fire lit. When I searched “motivation” on Pinterest this morning, I was hoping for some inspiring quotes. Instead, I was bombarded with images of (mostly) women’s half-naked bodies.
If you’ve been around Pinterest or in the fitness world for a while, you’re familiar with what I’m talking about. The phenomenon actually has some terminology dedicated to it: fitspiration, thispiration, fitspo, thinspo. (If you’re not familiar with this, search “motivation” on Pinterest). There it all is.
First result for Google search: “fitness motivation women” Motivated?
Well, it all pisses me off (and not just me – here and there are some other viewpoints).
I personally am not motivated by these graphics (and if you are, more power to you!) Instead I’m shamed into believing that I still haven’t reached that ideal body. I’m not inspired to run another mile because after 20+ half marathons, I still don’t look like the body in the picture. My focus shifts away from my health (physical, much less emotional and mental) and onto my appearance.
That is not motivation.
The photos normally don’t have a head attached to the body (objectifying the subject) – drawing the attention to very rounded and lifted glutes, flat abdominals and chiseled shoulders. Hell, I’ve even seen super perky boobs as the focus and let me just tell you here, and you can quote me on this one: no amount of time in the gym can enhance your boobs!
Just because you put the body in athletic wear and stamp a motivational quote over it doesn’t make it inspiring.
I asked some of my clients how they feel after seeing these images, and here are some responses:
I find most are not motivating and veer on thinspiration. I think a lot of these graphics make women feel less than, and encourages disordered behavior.
They are not motivating to me, honestly. Sometimes the words are motivating depending on the message. There was a time I would have been obsessed with looking that way.
Here is what I hope motivates you: Feeling good-mentally and physically. Moving without pain. Being outdoors. Having confidence in yourself. My stories of daily sweats. An open road. Exploring new trails. Measurable progress in miles, speed, pushups or steps toward your goals. Inspiring others. (And I hope this post will spur some questions and thoughts in your mind about this industry, enough to get a conversation going with your fellow females).
And because of those hopes, here is my promise to you: I promise to never post one of those graphics on a Motivation Monday blog. Never post one of those graphics to a social media account. When I do put photos up, they will be of me or a client celebrating an accomplishment or transformation. And finally, I promise to never to hold you, my clients, my readers, my friends to that beauty/fitness ideal.
But I’m curious…do those photos motivate you?