Im married to a onetime trademark/copyright attorney. If I werent featured below would be an example of a FITSPO photo Ive seen for those who may not know to what Im referring. Alas, Im going the boring definition route which is guaranteed not to get my misfita** sued.
Fitspo—or fitspiration—is a relatively new term used to describe something (typically images) intended to inspire others to eat healthy and exercise.
Basically it’s an image of an uber-buff or razor-thin individual (for the purposes of this post a female) with a motivational quote splashed across her.
- We know Im a curmudgeon.
- We know Im a firm believer STRONG JUST IS. It is NOT the new skinny, black, pretty etc.
- We (the royal) wont be surprised to learn Im not a FITSPO fan.
Each time I see these pictures fly past in my facebook feed (and they do. a lot. apparently Im in the DISLIKE! minority.) I think:
I ‘get’ women believe this to be a lunge in the proper direction as FITSPO rarely shouts BE SKINNY! To me, however, it’s BElittling of those who dont yet resemble the images.
(I told you this blog was a play on MISFIT not Miss. Fit.)
Im completely not a FITSPO-fan & here are my three reasons why:
- It doesnt motivate me. I appreciate the buff of the woman with I REGRET THAT WORKOUT—said no one ever!! emblazoned across her 6-pack. She’s just not me. Shes not a crazy 44 year old mother with a husband who works a lot, a crazy Tornado of a girl, a canine still semi-tethered to her & 13 bosses because she’s a freelancer. Im happy for her & her chiseled success–but seeing her wont motivate me to exercise any more than seeing these amazing images inspire me to make dinner.
- FITSPO is frighteningly close to PRO-ANA* draped in muscled clothing. The same way pro-ana sites feed off female insecurity FITSPO seems to only ‘succeeds’ if what I currently am is not enough. I am enough. Confidence & empowerment can be found in all shaped and sizes & one is not more “OK” than another. For me *all* emphasis on bodies–fit, skinny, curvy, BUFF, emaciated, whatever–is emphasis on the VESSEL not the woman inside. Im far more interested in the woman inside.
- It’s an illusion. As with all advertising/promotional images there exists little reality in FITSPO. Yes it may really be Woman Y, but it’s most likely Woman Y on the day of a competition: dieted, tanned, dehydrated & carb-depleted. It’s a fleeting moment in Woman Y’s life. In addition, for my misfit tastes, FITSPO employs sexiness/sex appeal all too frequently. To my eyes FITSPO doesnt shout health! or long-term happiness!, but is simply a snapshot of ONE ephemeral moment in time.
Ive let this post languish in drafts for a while because so many women *I* adore also adore them some fitspiration.
I really do wonder if it’s just me who finds these images not motivating and sort of irksome.
Ive been around long enough to realize my way isnt everyone’s way.
So now I look to you (as really images of *you* doing your fitness-thing I always find both inspiring and motivational):
- Do FITSPO images motivate you? If not—where do *you* turn for workout inspiration?
*Back in my traditional media days I wrote a newspaper article on the proliferation of PRO-ANA websites. Im deliberately choosing not to link any of them here–suffice it to say they were simultaneously terrifying and heart breaking.