The New Stupid

There are two problems with this “motivational” Facebook poster: 1) It suggests that strong is a “look.” 2) It goes on the News Feed of a great deal of the people on your friends list. Look at your list. How many of those people would you classify as strong? How many would you classify as skinny? Most importantly: How many fit into neither of those categories? Congratulations. You just body shamed all of those people. Since you asked: My opinion on these motivational (?) posters: I find them to be a self-aggrandizing, passive-agressive and demotivating kind of holier-than-thou-ness. Furthermore, I think they are billboards of insecurity.

These posters are not the positive messages they are pretending to be. Why puff yourself up by deflating everyone else? Why puff yourself up at all? Who the heck do you think you're motivating? I long for a day when we can all be humble and real about exercising. I miss the days when exercise was about being fit, instead of simply looking fit. If you think you’re great at setting and reaching goals, then why not simply BE great at it, without needing to belittle those that struggle? Rather than posting a banner as to how much better your round bum is compared to a flat bum, why not just silently appreciate your bum? Can we knock it off with the #gymselfies already? [Sidebar: Some who read this may say "But I'm a fitness competitor! I have to take progress pics and I have to motivate myself to achieve specific physique goals!" I have no opinion on fitness competitions, apart from the fact that I wish they would call them something other than "fitness competitions."] All of these highly opinionated words are coming out of the mouth - er, fingertips? - of a fitness and nutrition professional for 20+ years and counting. I'm hypersensitive to competitive-seeming body image and fitness shenanigans of this nature because it creates a Success/Failure culture with no grey: Either you're strong or you're skinny. Either you're crushing your goals in the gym every single day oryou're lazy. The all-or-nothing approach to wellness has not been working for us as a culture. It has become a barrier preventing people from even getting started. It sets people up for failure because it doesn't offer up a spectrum of successes. I need this whole thing to be softer, friendlier, more malleable.


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