Selfies are the worst.
There, I said it.
I’m referring here to the glamour shots of 20-something-year-old fitness “experts” who flaunt their post-workout (yeah, right) physiques on social media for the world to see. You know, to motivate and inspire us.
Exhibit A . . . (and this is just the tip of the iceberg)
Does this make you feel good about yourself? Does it make you feel inspired?
To be honest, pictures like this do actually make me feel good about myself. But more on that later . . .
These are the women (girls?) we supposedly look up to as pillars of health and fitness. And, fellas, this is what you’re supposed to find sexy. Maybe you do and if that’s the case, power to you, etc.
Look, we all have different goals and aspirations with our fitness and fat loss – and so we should! There’s absolutely no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to this stuff. What great health looks like for you will be totally different to what it looks like for your neighbour.
But if this is what you’re pinning your hopes and dreams on, I’m really worried that you’ll end up disappointed. Why? Because this just isn’t realistic for the majority of women.
What worries me more is that I see so many young women in my gym with printouts of these “bikini body” programs beside them, slogging it out doing wishy-washy, generic workouts, every single day. Which makes me think that it is what many of us are pinning our hopes and dreams on.
I can’t imagine the kind of influence people like this are having on young girls. And I’m wondering when we decided to make these women health experts?
This is what comes to my mind when I look at pictures like this:
1. If you look like this after training, you haven’t worked hard enough.
2. I’d like to see what these chicks’ arses look like when they hit 30. Bet they don’t post so many photos then.
3. Eat something.
4. Eat something.
5. Why do we care about these photos? If we stop looking at them, will they stop taking them?
Here’s where I’m coming from. Every single person deserves to look and feel strong, fit, healthy and nourished, and to enjoy life. I don’t know about you, but people like this don’t look like any of the above. To me, they just look hungry.
And how enjoyable can their lives be if they spend all day in front of the mirror taking photos of themselves? Snore. This isn’t about inspiration; this is about vanity. Simple as that.
Here are my questions: when did this become the definition of good health? And exactly how qualified are these people? Because no personal trainer I associate with would think this epitomises strong, fit and healthy.
I’m a trainer, which means I know what it’d take for the majority of real women to look like this. Trust me, you don’t want that. I have access to every piece of equipment, every diet, every meal replacement – every trick in the book – and I have zero desire to do this to myself or my clients.
Why? Because, chocolate. Because wine. Because, having a healthy relationship with food and exercise and feeling my best is what motivates and inspires me. Not being rail thin with a box gap, or whatever the term is.
And that’s why photos like this make me feel good about myself. Because I know that I don’t need to buy into certain ideals of what women should look like to be sexy and strong and healthy. I’m the best version of me and that makes me feel really empowered. I hope it makes my clients feel empowered, too.
Okay, that’s all from me. But I do want to leave you with this. Here’s what a real post-workout selfie looks like. This is me and my training buddy Amanda after smashing out a squillion sled sprints today. Plenty of sweat and not an ab muscle in sight.