Fit is the New Skinny

There are many articles popping up all over the web on the flooding of Pinterest “fit women” pictures lately. Some positive and some negative. Today I’m just offering my opinion on the matter.

As an addict of Pinterest myself, I know full well the extent of these images in the Health & Fitness category of the App/website.

Tons of images like the one above are taking reign in a “thinspirational” campaign that is advertising women of crossfit, weightlifting, and heavily athletic women. Some are arguing that this particular campaign is no different, if not worse than when runway models were the grossly advertised pedestal body type. To read an article with this particular opinion, please click here.

While I am completely open to all arguments on this matter, I can’t help but feel that us as women, no matter what, are going to be unhappy with WHAT body type is popularly advertised. If all the plus-sized women were all there was on TV, all the naturally skinny women (commonly ectomorph body types) would be complaining they could not gain enough weight to achieve that image.

The one pro on this “fit is the new skinny” that I focus on is that it’s centered around fitness, and not how little you put into your body. Not only that, fitness on its own can be acquired to some extent by any able-bodied woman willing to put in the time and effort. Being bone-thin can’t be acquired by just anyone. I know my hourglass body type would never be able to handle it.

The con that is being railed on is the fact that the images often shown are ones of “thin” women. There are claims that the word “lean” is just hiding the word “skinny”. Personally, as a girl of 190 pounds at 5’3″, I haven’t thought about that too much, mostly because I know the difference between those two words, and it’s all about how people use them. The only times I’ve called girls ‘skinny’ is when they are unbearably thin, eat little, and their clothes just hang off of them. I’ve never remarked on someone being ‘lean’ as I attribute the term to bodybuilding, but I do tend to use the word ‘fit’. They look “able-bodied” and “in good shape” and so on. To some degree, perhaps “lean” and “fit” are being misused on a back-drop of a pretty fit, and low BMI model, and I understand false advertising definitely exists.

We can only blame media for so long though. We have to do the best we can to educate ourselves and our children, especially our daughters, about realistic expectations of our body types. If we teach them how to eat right, take care of themselves with regular, healthy exercise, dress for their bodies, and appreciate inner beauty just as much as outer beauty, maybe we can raise them with a brain to form reasonable opinions on this body stuff. Of course, this entails us being able to do the same. Choosing whether we believe what the world tells us what our body should like is a choice that comes down to us, and no one else. Can you look at magazines comfortably, and not compare yourself to every model in it, whether it’s Us Weekly or Oxygen?

S.

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