In each new trend, there will always be people out there who believe that they must change in order to conform to the “new cool.” I want to address the misleading “trendy” fitness advertisement that, specifically social media personalities and celebrities, promote, without fully acknowledging their very negative side effects.
I hold absolutely no judgement towards anybody’s choices or individual goals. But I do believe that when it comes to sharing views that could, intentionally or not, negate somebody’s confidence or self belief, that it’s important to speak about the truth behind these idealistic messages.
Fitness trainers/instructors, dieticians and all types of health experts work to provide reliable scientific facts on how to nourish and fuel your body, and most of us are aware of how to safely build and strengthen our bodies. Health and fitness journeys are personal. Each person has a unique build. Understandably what works for you, doesn’t necessarily work for somebody else, and the choices somebody makes to reach their goals, again, may differ from the choices you make. That makes sense, right?
What doesn’t make sense, to me anyway, is when those goals are manipulated by the media’s ability to encourage, what seems to be especially young girls, to alter their mindset according to a trend. I see “fitness routines,” with the headline: “How to get the perfect, perky butt!” and waist trainers and skinny detox teas being promoted in magazines, commercials or youtube videos. The main focus suddenly goes from being helpful advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, to, convincing an audience that there is only one way to lead a healthy lifestyle. Suddenly it is no longer about establishing what works for each individual, and altering it accordingly, but about convincing the viewer or reader that their current progress is invalid, and that they should change if they wish to see “real” results.
Those working within media may respond to my view by saying that they essentially only promote that which people want to see. But what isn’t talked about, is the fact that the only reason people want to see it, is because they’re made to believe that they must attain it.
It’s easy for me to sit and ignore headlines and social trends. I have a very strong, firm belief in my own opinions and never have they shifted based on seeming more socially appealing. But I know plenty of people who unfortunately fall into these traps, believing that they are only really “fit” if their butt is big or if their stomach is completely flat. These trends seem harmless at first — until we start to discuss trends like the thigh gap, the bikini bridge, or the latest: ribcage bragging. It’s damaging trends like these that can lead to eating disorders, and attempting to distort our bodies in such ways is nothing short of self harm.
I’m by no means concluding that if you goals correlate with trends or social expectations that they’re less genuine. Naturally, this will happen if you aim to build a strong and healthy body. The most important thing to understand here, is that you do not need to follow a routine that doesn’t inspire, aid or make you happy. You do not need to look like the people you see on social media. You do not need to aim for unrealistic goals which will not benefit you, but if anything, harm you.
It deeply upsets so much, when I see people becoming so affected by these unhealthy “body goals.” You can only ever be healthy, when you figure out and do what works for you. You can only ever be healthy, if you compete with yourself and not the false images put infront of your eyes. You can only ever be healthy, if you lead a balanced life. Build a loving relationship with your body, and your mind, and always focus on what feels good for you. The way you view yourself is the only thing that matters. Please, do not try to live your life constantly comparing and reshaping yourself in the image of others. Please, do not live your life based on a trend that will come and go. The body ideals you see are false, and there is no such thing as a perfect bikini body. So please, do not give power to a beauty industry that’ll only try to exploit your insecurities — you deserve so much more than that. All you have to do is respect and take care of yourself.
Isabel Murgelas dedicates herself to living a healthy, happy and adventure filled lifestyle. She has previously written for Your Zen Life, Happy Well Mag, Taylor Magazine and Affinity Magazine.
She enjoys travelling, acting, making music and aspires to inspire others with her words.