The other day I mentioned that I had no idea what fitspo or thinspo was, so I took some time to have a look into both.
Thinspo (according to Ask.com) is also known as pro-ana is the promotion of the eating disorder anorexia using images or video montages of slim women, often celebrities, who may be anything from naturally slim to thin with evidently projecting bones to motivate people towards the loss of weight.
I would conclude that Thinspo = Bad
Fitspo or Fitspiration is the promotion of healthy eating and exercise using images of lean and well muscled women often accompanied by slogans such as “strong is the new skinny”.
Fitspo has been described as Thinspo’s happier and healthier (and I guess bigger) sister. That would mean Fitspo = Good .. right? I’m not so sure. Here’s the thing, google #fitspo and you will get a multitude of photos like this;
Can you see a theme? Most fitspo images are of very lean women not doing anything other than lifting their shirt and showing off their six pack. Yes the protruding bones of a classic thinspo body are nowhere to be seen but these images still show very lean women. It would be more apt if these images had “lean is the new skinny” scrawled across them.
The message that the majority of fitspo images I have come across seem to be portraying is that this body type is what fit and healthy looks like, whereas I feel that health can not be determined aesthetically.
If the people behind fitspo truly believe that strong IS the new skinny why are we not seeing images like the ones below? Wouldn’t these women be more representative of the new skinny? AND as an added bonus they are actually involved in an activity that involves a display of “actual” strength.
When I see motivational images of extremely lean women the only strength I see is that of willpower .. not to eat dessert (ever). I will unequivocally state that dessert definitely tastes as good as being fit feels.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good quote, in fact I’ve posted a tonne of them and have shown examples above, but I do tend to raise my eyebrows with many of the fitspo messages I see on social media sites.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, even if you “want it”, “work for it” and “believe” it’s still highly unlikely you’ll end up looking like the fitness model in the fitspo image, heck even she doesn’t look like that all of the time!
How about we inspire others just to be awesome?
My friend Kate posted the following message on Facebook the other day;
“EVERY SINGLE ONE of you is amazing, and all of you have something that you are good at!
Can you do 5 unbroken double unders? AMAZING!
Can you run 400m without stopping? AWESOME!
Can you pick up a 20kg stone from ground to shoulder? SUPERB!
I bet many of the people you know can’t do any of these things! SO my challenge to you is to set yourself a goal to achieve by the end of March. Do you want to Squat your body weight? Do a Muscle up? Train consistently 4 times a week?
Pick a goal, make a plan, and work towards it! If you ever need help in getting to your goal, no matter what it is! I’m here for you”
Now that ladies and gentlemen is my idea of fitspiration!
Till next time