Scrolling through the “Explore” section of my Instagram feed, ever other photo is another version of the same fitness beauty posing in bronze-bodied perfection for the camera. At once this “fitspiration” would have motivated me, but now I have become desensitized by the overabundance of these fitness accounts. It makes me ashamed to say that even my own account has the term “fitness” in my bio. I
mainly put it there because I genuinely love to workout, but no, I rarely post gym pictures because when I go to the gym I actually workout.
When Instagram first emerged, fitness celebrities quickly rose into fame with the new technology. This was mainly because fitness and some form of bodybuilding was already their career. Now, there are entire supplement companies that only promote their products through social media and their sponsorship of chosen athletes.
One issue that our generation in general is now being faced with is what's next? We've never seen what these social media fitness stars end up like when they've aged and can't rely on their bodies for their social media based incomes. Top paid fitness models include Kayla Itsines, at $7.29 Million, Paige Hathaway, at $5.6 Million, Chantel Zales at $5.36 Million. My question is who will they be in thirty years? This question alone terrifies me for our children's generation because if we are so fixated on following virtual accounts of people we don't even know as our role models, let's just hope our kids still look up to us. Although following people who have the bodies we desire is motivating, it can also be detrimental to the self-esteem of men and women everywhere because all stars do is workout and eat right. It's literally their job. Naive kids think that if they adopt some of their role model's principals they could look the same, but the truth is that you should motivate you.
This is the falsity behind the industry that is influencing our generation into thinking this is reality
Having grown up in a gym, I've seen what it takes first hand for bodybuilders to be fitness ready. This is a similar state social media fitness icons must be in, but all the time. They dehydrate themselves and deplete their carb storages to unhealthy levels. I was actually working at the front desk of our gym a few years ago and literally watched a bikini-level female bodybuilder have a seizure because she was one-day pre-competition and took her body too far to the extreme.
If the reality behind the fitness industry is not made known to normal children growing up with the multitude of media stimulants surrounding them 24/7, then it can be a danger to lives. Dangerous eating disorders can emerge and other self-destructive behaviors. I've been through stages in my life where I've taken my fitness regime to an extreme, and it doesn't always result in happiness. Take what you see on Instagram as inspiration but don't let it bring down your self-assurance. The only person you should be comparing your physical fitness to is yourself in the past in order to know what you are capable of. I urge all people today to put down their phones and utilize exercise as what it was meant for: a challenge to become a healthier version of ourselves.
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