an all -acce ss pass to the bragga rts who ma ke up the social media fit ness cultu re
YOU’RE A RARE New Year’s Resolutioner. January came and went, and you made it to the gym three, sometimes four times a week. February proved more difficult but still, your gym membership didn’t go to waste. To rouse motivation, you scroll through fitness pages on social media. The before and after shots of top-form physiques run down your screen as you double-tap, because you too are working towards the after photo. But, little do you know, your “fitspiration” habit could be doing more harm than good.
Similar to the way print and T.V. ads became the enemy for girls coveting the magazine look, “fitspiration” images lead to increased negative mood, body dissatisfaction, and decreased self-esteem. That goes for men, too. Regardless of gender, we’re wired for comparison: We determine self-worth by assessing others and gauging where we stand in comparison. The next time you decide to boost your motivation with a dose of social media ask yourself, is it motivation or a more sinister emotion like envy or jealousy? Whether it’s the glossy pages of a magazine, or on the screen of an iPhone, the story hasn’t changed: It’s all just smoke and mirrors, or in Instagram’s case, a valencia filter.