A response to one of the most ridiculously narrow minded articles I’ve ever read…
This post is inspired by some pretentious fool who posted this article. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
First of all, the name of the article – 11 Reasons Why The Fitness Culture on Social Media Needs To Be Stopped. This in itself is a huge indication that all of the following content is going to be completely narrow-minded and opinionated garbage. It’s so definitive… “Needs To Be STOPPED.” Hardly the kind of language I would use to describe a social media group that I don’t support. (But then again, I probably wouldn’t write a whole blog berating a social media group I don’t support… I just wouldn’t support it, and that would be the end of it. But I digress…)
(1) “They make completely average people think they are famous” It actually kind of blows my mind that this could be construed as a bad thing. What in the world is POSSIBLY negative about empowering “average” people and making them feel as if what they’re doing is great? What’s wrong with these so-called “average” people finding their niche and feeling strong and confident within it? How can you legitimately argue against something that instills powerful and positive emotions in people who might otherwise not get a chance to feel them? This point is so ridiculously insulting that I don’t even want to spend anymore time on it.
(2) “They make you feel bad for eating normal food” This argument is just as bogus as the childhood favorite, “but he/she made me do it!” It just isn’t true. No one else MAKES you feel any certain way, but rather you allow external factors to influence your emotions. It’s as simple as that.
(3) “They think this is sexy”
(with the above picture attached and captioned “Gross.”)
Now, let’s be clear about one thing; absolutely no one has the right to decide for everyone else what is “sexy” or beautiful or attractive. The end.
(4) “They only know how to express themselves in meme form” Well, I believe this entire blog serves as evidence to the contrary. I’m an avid participator in the social media fitness communities, but I also PRIDE myself on my ability to express myself via my writing. Certainly I’m not just an anomaly. And, in addition to this, let’s explore what the author meant by the word “express,” because fitness in and of itself IS a form of expression. By this logic, literally every single person in these fitness communities knows how to express themselves without using memes – they use fitness.
(5) “They complain about their self-imposed lifestyle (e.g. ‘meal-prepping’)” Let’s first establish that MOST people (in and out of the fitness communities in question) lead “self-imposed” lifestyles. Most of us don’t have our lifestyles forced upon us in a way that makes them NOT self-imposed. Let’s also appreciate the fact that everyone complains. It’s human nature. Therefore it’s not just people in social media fitness communities who complain about their self-imposed lifestyles. Here’s a wonderful example: people who work “9 – 5” office jobs and complain about it. The choice to work in that environment with that particular structure is certainly not forced upon them. It is chosen. (Societal pressures aside, of course, no one is forcing them to work 9 – 5.) And yet, almost everyone in this position finds something about their job to complain about. So confining the above statement to social media fitness communities only is just ignorant.
(6) “They upload videos and photos of workouts anyone can do” The last workout video I uploaded was of me doing a 160 pound deadlift at 125 pounds bodyweight. To me this was HUGE. I uploaded it because it was my newest personal record, and I was proud of myself. To others, a 160 pound deadlift is but a warm up, but you know what? The wonderful thing about these fitness communities is that even those people, the ones who WARM UP with my max, support me and cheer me on. That, in my opinion, is something to be applauded rather than disparaged.
[EDIT] It was very correctly pointed out to me that these videos and photos also serve as a wonderful form of motivation for others. To be able to post a depiction of something that I do in my daily life and to know that it is in turn positively affecting many other people feels absolutely wonderful. And to be on the receiving side of that bargain is just as great. I love seeing “flex Friday” or “swelfie Sunday” pictures, and videos of people doing impressive things. It makes me want to be BETTER.
(7) “The suddenly believe they are certified nutritionists” This one admittedly does have a ring of truth to it. Fitness junkies tend to think of themselves as experts, and while that isn’t always totally warranted, it IS perfectly reasonable for them to believe that they know more than the average person about the things they spend ALL of their time doing; fitness and nutrition. Yes, I do have a better understanding of nutrition than most people I know. Occasionally this gives me a big head, and I realize that. But there’s no reason for me to act the opposite, like I know nothing on the topic, when that’s just not the case. Like I said, there’s a kernel of truth to this point, but it’s not something that bothers me as a member of fitness communities. In fact, it makes for a very informational atmosphere.
(8) “They ‘follow’ and ‘like’ people and posts as if they belong to some sort of cult…which they do” Well, the perception of these fitness communities as a “cult” is completely subjective, and I reject that idea. Rather I see them as extremely positive sources of support, information, and reassurance. Plus, I’m INTERESTED in fitness. I LIKE fitness. So why would I not follow and like things relating to it? Doesn’t everyone else do the same thing for whatever it is that they’re interested in? We all surround ourselves with our hobbies purposefully, and fitness is no different than any other hobby.
(with the above picture attached and captioned “The worst thing to happen to neon since EDM.”)
Okay, so now we’re beating down EDM as well? Man, this author is relentless… But really? Does this point even deserve my words? It’s absurd. Who cares what people wear ever?
(10) “Their food makes us sad” Does it? Then why are you looking at it? The choice to spend time being “sad” over the food that other people are eating is 100% YOUR prerogative. Be my guest. But it’s not my issue at all, so please don’t try to make it mine. This issue is remedied as simply as not following things you’re not interested in, or just scrolling on past things you don’t agree with.
(11) “They date each other, procreate and form tribes of weight lifting spawn” (First of all, you forgot the Oxford comma. Gotta have the Oxford comma.) Secondly, this is possibly the single most absurd argument of all. We are currently living in a time when obesity is a serious EPIDEMIC. Yes. It’s being referred to as an epidemic, and it isn’t for no reason. (I’m only familiar with this issue in relation to America, so I will keep it within that confine.) Americans just keep getting fatter and fatter. We have fast food restaurants on every corner. Unhealthy food is the cheapest and most accessible no matter where you go. Physical activity is NOT the norm for the American population, but rather a sedentary lifestyle behind the screens of technology. So, why then, would you ever degrade the people who fall outside of this overweight and lazy phenomena that America is currently experiencing? Why would you discourage the dedication, motivation, hard work, persistence and consistency that those who lead fitness lifestyles exemplify? These fitness communities on various social media outlets are an extremely powerful reinforcer of the aforementioned characteristics. They don’t need to be stopped. They need to be expanded upon and learned from.
Sure, as with literally anything else in the world, online fitness groups have their problems and weak points. But in my experience with them, the positive completely outweighs those downfalls. And one of the most important things that leading a fitness lifestyle has taught me is that not everyone wants to lead a fitness lifestyle, and THAT’S OKAY. I don’t care if other people don’t want to follow in my footsteps, but what I do care about is when people try to publicly tear down something that’s important to me. (And especially if they do it poorly and ignorantly.) Which leads me to the last little bit…
The article closes with this text, “This article reflects the opinions of the author and was written in a satirical manner.” The text is separated from the rest of the article and is a lighter color clearly suggesting it was written as an afterthought. This is purely speculation, but I think this was added to the end at the request of the host site (elitedaily.com) after the post received so much negative feedback. What a cop out.