I’m married to a onetime trademark/copyright attorney. If I weren’t below would be an example of FITSPO photos for those who may not know to what I’m referring. Alas, I’m 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.
(kinda like this)
- We know I’m a curmudgeon.
- We know I’m a firm believer STRONG JUST IS. It is NOT the new skinny, black, pretty etc.
- We (the royal) wont be surprised to learn I’m not a FITSPO fan.
Each time I see these pictures fly past in my facebook feed (and they appear frequently. apparently I’m 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 don’t yet resemble the images.
My reasoning is simple.
- FITSPO doesn’t 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 harried 44 year old mother with a husband who works a lot, a crazy Tornado of a girl, & 13 bosses because she’s a freelancer. I’m 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. I’m far more interested in the woman inside.
- FITSPO is 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 her 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 a snapshot of ONE ephemeral moment in time.
The topic is highly complicated.
It’s for that reason I’ve agreed to speak at ShiftCon in October.
I’ve been offered the opportunity to sit on a panel with a group of women I admire and discuss whether or not FITSPO has a place in our Healthy Living Tribe.
- Do these images create impossible standards?
- Can we view them and *not* feel badly about our current state of FIT?
- What are the long-term effects of FITSPO on our psyches?
It’s an important topic for women in general.
It’s an important topic for *me* as mother to a Tornado who currently thinks she’s unstoppable.
It’s an opportunity for you to join in the conversation.
At Shiftcon or follow along on Twitter as it all unfolds ($50.00 off ticket price until May 8th 2014 with the code CARLA at checkout.)