Last week and the week before my friend and I hosted a screening of the Embrace movie. A movie centered around the body positivity movement. Every time I watch this movie I leave feeling more love then ever for my body and the fellow women of the world.
Then each morning I wake up to reality I feel like.
A friend tagged me on Instagram to win a free 3 week pass to a fitness studio. Awesome. Don't mind at all. HOWEVER. The imagery used in this contest was of a women in a tiny bikini in the water from the back side with "perfect" skin and a very small waist and legs. Followed by an image of a women with her legs in the water, again very slender legs, followed by the last image of a woman in another small bikini, thigh gap and abs. Not even showing any of their faces. Literally just their young "perfect" bodies. Like they aren't even people or something.
The anger begins to build inside me.
We have so far to go. We aren't going to change traditional media anytime soon. (That doesn't mean to stop trying). BUT fitness studios and trainers and teachers and instructors and gyms have the choice. Especially these small studios. They have a choice to embrace the women they are advertising to, rather then telling them they are not good enough through imagery.
To further my frustrations, I go to Facebook to see someone selling their fitness equipment saying "get those legs summer ready".
You have legs. They are fucking summer ready.
We have choices. We can choose to change the world by saying things like "invest in yourself" and "workout for you" and "exercise for your health", rather then "get abs" or "grow your booty".
Abs do NOT equal happiness. That shit comes from the inside. Workout because you feel strong or empowered. Workout to feel and be healthy.
The language of the fitness industry needs to change.
It starts with us as consumers. We can put our dollars into businesses that support positive body statements and images.
"Language Matters" as Mayim Bialik talks about in one of her videos regarding how we talk about women. Same rules apply how we talk about our bodies. If we keep sharing and buying products telling us to "get summer bodies" the cycle continues. BUT we have a chance to take notice of this language and advertising and fight with our wallets.