There has been an increase in online fitness promotion through the use of beautiful, toned ‘influencers’. Influencers are people who appear to lead successful and fulfilled lives. They often travel all over the world and use particular products and services that they have been paid to promote.
Why is influencer culture bad for body image?
The sad reality of these influencers is that often they don’t use the gym or the products that they promote. Many of these people were born naturally skinny and are simply cashing in on their genes!
Seeing these beautiful people living the ‘ultimate dream life’ creates a false sense of reality for others. We compare ourselves to these online influencers and wonder,
1. Why am I so unfit/bad looking/unhealthy/unhappy?
2. How can I become relevant? A thigh gap? Visible ribcage? A bikini bridge? (Instagram terms, if you don’t know… it’s probably a good thing)
The benefits of exercising
There are so many benefits to exercising! Whilst weight loss is the most commonly known, what else will it aid? Check out our list of 35 reasons to exercise.
For the record, you can look good at a range of weights! Your focus should be on toning up and eating healthily. Being stick thin is not everyone’s natural ‘healthy’ look. For example, Plus size model Iskra looks absolutely amazing and spends lots of time in the gym toning and eating correctly.
Below I have featured a photograph from her instagram. The image shows a skinnier Iskra from 10 years ago and then a more recent photo.
View this post on Instagram
Both of these images are of me. The left is about 10years ago. And the right just under a month ago. I remember being proud of how skinny I looked during this shoot. And how now people call me fat when I’m just happy to be alive and grateful for this body I call my home. I used to seek approval from the fashion industry and tried to be “perfect”. I thought if I looked like “her” (an unrealistic beauty ideal), I’d be happy, successful and loved. All I found was failure (because you can’t change who you are) emptiness (because my time and energy was being used up trying to achieve something completely self absorbed and shallow sacrificing doing things I loved) and unhappiness (because no restrictive diet or abusive exercise feels good) I share my experiences with you all because if you are feeling like I did there is another way and those recovering from EDs you’re not alone. The best thing I ever did was focus on looking after myself and being the best me I could be. Seeing value in who I was. The impact I could have in the world and people around me. Trying to give, instead of focusing on myself, my image and needing approval from others. And accepting that I am meant to be here just like you, and we were all created to be imperfectly perfect. I started Investing time into self-care, doing things that made me happy. Listening to my body and mind and nourishing them both, without guilt. That is 10years all squished into a lil insta caption but it did take time but it was soooo damn worth it. Because of what I went through My dream has always been to get self-care (mental, emotional and physical wellness) education into schools. And I’ve started that, but I also wanted to create something for adults that still needed a safe space that’s judgement free to go on a positive journey of self love and that’s why I created @everyBODYwithiskra I don’t have all the answers and I’m not ever trying to change anyone or tell people to do this and that etc. But I felt the need to create this as I wish I could have had this when I was struggling and if I’m able to use that to help even one person even better. If you’re triggered by this post please contact @neda ❤️
The aim of her post is to highlight that people should never try and live up to someone else’s standard of health or looks. Decide to get fit because of self-love rather than guilt or lack of self approval.
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