You won't see them. Why not?
During my training to be a personal trainer, I had a few people tell me that I could use my own body as a good ‘selling point’. And it seems that this is not an uncommon method. If you search for anyone who is in the fitness related industry, there appears to be a ‘uniform’ for female fitness professionals of a sports bra and leggings (and there is the same issue with lots of shirtless males too). No matter how positive the message is that that person is trying to propagate, how body positive, or sensible a view of fitness they sell, it doesn’t change the fact that that message is attached to a picture of abs. Our social media feeds are FULL to the brim of abs. Why do we use abs as a proof of expertise in the fitness industry?! You wouldn’t use someone in a white coat as proof that they are a doctor. In our society of instant gratification, we look at the body we do not have and judge it (for better or worse), failing to realise the effect of years of consistent training, nutrition, self-discipline, and in some cases, good genetics has on that body. It forces a comparison between their body and your body, which is just not helpful or necessary. It forces a judgement, on you and them. So for me and my business, I wholeheartedly cannot support this. I am completely behind ‘practicing what you preach’, but this is different. Females and males are bombarded with images of what their bodies should look like every day. We may not consciously notice the mismatch between photo and caption, but our mind does sit up and take notice of the messages we constantly feed it.
Success looks different for everyone. A strong healthy body, with a strong healthy mind within it are all that matters. Be grateful for the amazing, functioning body that we have. As a personal trainer, I want to empower individuals to make changes in their lives, not to want to emulate me prancing around in my sports bra.
Unless you’d like to prance around with me in our sports bras because it’d be fun; if so, look me up and we’ll prance away!
What's your opinion on this? What messages do you feel society, culture and media tell us about our bodies?