T Nation

Inspired or Tired of Following Female Fitness Models/Athletes?


#1

I've been hearing a lot of debate lately about this topic. Today it seems like everyone wants to be a social media celebrity and they'll do anything to get attention even if it means exposing themselves or hurting others in the process. People will do anything to gain extra popularity online and tend to forget about reality in the process.

I was reading something earlier about body shaming and people are always very upset about fit moms who are posting pictures of their abs online and asking the question, "What's your excuse?". This is something I can really relate to because I'm a mom and after having my sons I made fitness a priority because it's always been a priority so having kids wasn't going to stop my passion. However, I do believe there are much more positive ways to go about making these kind of posts. I believe all women(or men) can achieve the body they desire if they make it a priority and eventually anyone can reach their ideal physique but some people will take longer than others. That being said, if you're a mom and have abs then that's great... And if you're a mom struggling to lose weight don't be discouraged because everyone is individual and has to face different struggles everyday and just because you don't look like the girls in the magazines it doesn't make them any better than you.

Personally I enjoy following other female athletes online because it's motivating and I like to see people following their dreams. Usually I don't pay too much attention or put a lot of thought into fitness meme's and I would never be negatively or positively affected by what they say (considering many of them have spelling mistakes they can't possibly be very serious!).
I also enjoy following the women who are just beginning and aspiring to be great athletes. I think the transformations and lifestyle changes are amazing. They should be proud of their progress and if people have a problem with seeing progress pictures, food prep or motivational quotes then it's pretty simple.... Unfriend them or don't follow their page!!

What do you think? Female fitness models are inspiring or tiring?


#2

Great topic.

My social media presence is geared towards increasing my exposure to a non-stop stream of pictures that my sister in-law posts of my adorable baby nieces, aged 3 and 4. I won’t post pics, but take my word for it. They are adorable. And yes, they squat deep, especially when coloring without the aid of gear like tables, easels or trays.

I am also unusually interested in the lifting of weights, not to mention the effect this can have on one’s physique. I occasionally find myself admiring the physiques of women who post images on The FaceBook.

Regarding Bron’s specific question, I believe that positivity has a way of rising to the top. There can be a fine line between attention-whoring (both male and female) and inspiration (both male and female), and either will undoubtedly result in negative reactions from certain people. There is nothing you can do about that. We can’t control other people’s reactions.

Rooting one’s online presence in a spirit of positivity and continuous improvement is something we can all aspire to. I believe that more good than bad will come of this mindset. There are a lot of dicks out there, and they seem to have more time on their hands than we do.


#3

My wife of 12 years, three kids later has the six pack, and gets ridiculed all the time about how strict she is with what she eats, and her overall workout habits.

She does not post on social media, and flaunt it as such.

Her biggest issue is people who ridicule what she does because they do not have the self control to initiate change in their own habits.

I explain it to her as jealousy, women can be catty bitches to one another, especially in a social circle, when some of them may feel inadequate.

Fitness models or competitors in general I have no personal issue with, the exception being attention whore skinny bimbos, that have a somewhat six pack, yet no other definition in their bodies, claiming fame as a figure model. If you feels it’s necessary to snap a selfie in front of the mirror everytime you are at the gym in yoga pants, you’re not there for the right reasons.


#4

I think many women feel that fitness models are genetically gifted and feel it is unrealistic for most women to look like that. I know my wife does. Its not the idea that it doesn’t take a serious,hard,sustained,and intelligent effort to look that way,its that most women can’t look that way no matter what they do. I myself am unsure. I know that we can all be better than we are,but…there seem to be certain body tyles that will never have visible abs. What are your thoughts on this? Your powerlifting sure is going great. Well done!


#5

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
Great topic.

My social media presence is geared towards increasing my exposure to a non-stop stream of pictures that my sister in-law posts of my adorable baby nieces, aged 3 and 4. I won’t post pics, but take my word for it. They are adorable. And yes, they squat deep, especially when coloring without the aid of gear like tables, easels or trays.

I am also unusually interested in the lifting of weights, not to mention the effect this can have on one’s physique. I occasionally find myself admiring the physiques of women who post images on The FaceBook.

Regarding Bron’s specific question, I believe that positivity has a way of rising to the top. There can be a fine line between attention-whoring (both male and female) and inspiration (both male and female), and either will undoubtedly result in negative reactions from certain people. There is nothing you can do about that. We can’t control other people’s reactions.

Rooting one’s online presence in a spirit of positivity and continuous improvement is something we can all aspire to. I believe that more good than bad will come of this mindset. There are a lot of dicks out there, and they seem to have more time on their hands than we do.[/quote]

There can be a fine line between attention-whoring (both male and female) and inspiration (both male and female) - Well said, this is very true!

Lol, I’m sure your nieces are very cute have perfect squat form… There’s no better form than a toddler, all they know is natural movements! And I agree that there’ll always be negative reactions regardless of the topic. I recall a post Dani Shugart made here about women who train are accused of having"man arms" which is ridiculous in my opinion.

I suppose I could be accused of making excuses for not having a bigger social media presence like a lot of other athletes. Much of my time is spent raising the kids, working, training and spending time with my family… That’s my excuse :wink:


#6

[quote]bullpup wrote:
My wife of 12 years, three kids later has the six pack, and gets ridiculed all the time about how strict she is with what she eats, and her overall workout habits.

She does not post on social media, and flaunt it as such.

Her biggest issue is people who ridicule what she does because they do not have the self control to initiate change in their own habits.

I explain it to her as jealousy, women can be catty bitches to one another, especially in a social circle, when some of them may feel inadequate.

Fitness models or competitors in general I have no personal issue with, the exception being attention whore skinny bimbos, that have a somewhat six pack, yet no other definition in their bodies, claiming fame as a figure model. If you feels it’s necessary to snap a selfie in front of the mirror everytime you are at the gym in yoga pants, you’re not there for the right reasons.

[/quote]

This is very true and I couldn’t have said it any better.

Congratulations to your wife, it sounds like she’s found a great balance between family life and fitness. You should get her to sign up on tnation and join in the discussions here because there’s a lot of other women out there who would benefit from her story!

Women can be catty bitches! Haha. You know I find this especially true in the fitness industry that people will be nice to your face and then shit on you behind your back. People aren’t generally in the best moods when they are dieting so I guess this would be a part of it. Since I started doing powerlifting I’ve found that it’s a completely different story when you’re competing for performance rather than bring judged in stage in a subjective sport. You can argue that your physique is better than someone else but you can’t argue when someone lifts more than you!


#7

Hey Bron!

About following figure athletes on social media -
It depends.

If following super fit/ beautiful women inspires and motivates you, or teaches you something, or even reminds you of exercises or that you’ve neglected - then it can be a positive thing.

If following super fit/ beautiful women on social media causes you to feel discouraged, to focus too much on your perceived imperfections, or plays into some imbalance or even OCD behavior where you spend far too much time and mental energy thinking about your diet or training at the expense of other parts of your life - then it can be a negative thing.

I really like Brooke Erickson. She’s very positive and she seems to be a balanced person with a full life outside of lifting. I’m spending less time online these days in general, but she’s one of about three women I like to read regularly. She’s the first person I heard say, “My life is my show.” That really resonates with me. I’m training for my life. Love it.

For the women putting up lots of sexy shots of boobs and booties (Michelle Lewin’s FB would be an example). - She’s got a beautiful shape, but most of her content is geared toward a male audience, IMO. And she’s making a living from her pictures which cross over from fitness mags to posing for Playboy. She’s the equivalent of a pin-up girl who lifts. It has less appeal for me personally, because it doesn’t help me with my lifting. Not trying to put her down. I appreciate Michelle Lewin’s physique from an aesthetic/ artistic point of view BUT …

I’m more interested in people like Jen Comas Keck - Her content comes from a more health related/ athletic / educational point of view and is geared toward women who lift.

Put another way - When she’s older, I’d be happy for my daughter to follow people like Jen Comas Keck, or our own Dani Shugart! But not so thrilled to see her putting up the boob and booty pics, or spending a lot of time following or looking up to women who are all about that. There are lines. Does that make sense?

EDITED


#8

[quote]confusion wrote:
I think many women feel that fitness models are genetically gifted and feel it is unrealistic for most women to look like that. I know my wife does. Its not the idea that it doesn’t take a serious,hard,sustained,and intelligent effort to look that way,its that most women can’t look that way no matter what they do. I myself am unsure. I know that we can all be better than we are,but…there seem to be certain body tyles that will never have visible abs. What are your thoughts on this? Your powerlifting sure is going great. Well done![/quote]

Thank you, my training has been going great and I’m really enjoying it!

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

I agree that genetics will play a roll in the rate at which we progress and obviously how we are physically structured. I know women who are almost stage ready and they don’t have visible 6packs until days before stage due to lack of muscle in the area and it’s a trouble spot on females that tends to hold onto the last bit of fat and also some water retention. For me it’s very easy to have visible abs and it’s always been a strong point for me because I am very long and lean through my torso. But I have to tell you, we all have struggles with certain body parts… My legs and glutes are a real bitch to get ready for a show, my upper body comes in weeks before my lower body and I’ll have abs year round.

I think anyone can have abs but it’s a matter of time and a lot of effort to get to this point. It’s a lot of hard training to build muscle mass and it doesn’t just happen from doing casual bodyweight crunches. Also, consistent clean eating habits to lower bodyfat to a level where this is possible. And as I mentioned it may be an area that’s very stubborn for some women therefore they would need to be aiming for a stage condition in order to finally see abs and this is not a condition that is healthy or realistic for people can hold all year. The women seen in magazines are at their prime condition, it doesn’t mean they look like this all the time.

Enough of my babbling here, lol. Point is that genetics do play a part in this but I think with consistent efforts and patience it’s possible for any woman or man to reach an admirable physique that they will be happy with when they look in the mirror. I just really think people expect results to happen so fast and set themselves up for for disappointment by making unrealistic expectations for themselves. Any progress is good progress!


#9

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Hey Bron!

About following figure athletes on social media -
It depends.

If following super fit/ beautiful women inspires and motivates you, or teaches you something, or even reminds you of exercises or that you’ve neglected - then it can be a positive thing.

If following super fit/ beautiful women on social media causes you to feel discouraged, to focus too much on your perceived imperfections, or plays into some imbalance or even OCD behavior where you spend far too much time and mental energy thinking about your diet or training at the expense of other parts of your life - then it can be a negative thing.

I really like Brooke Erickson. She’s very positive and she seems to be a balanced person with a full life outside of lifting. I’m spending less time online these days in general, but she’s one of about three women I like to read regularly. She’s the first person I heard say, “My life is my show.” That really resonates with me. I’m training for my life. Love it.

For the women putting up lots of sexy shots of boobs and booties (Michelle Lewin’s FB would be an example). - She’s got a beautiful shape, but most of her content is geared toward a male audience, IMO. And she’s making a living from her pictures which cross over from fitness mags to posing for Playboy. She’s the equivalent of a pin-up girl who lifts. It has less appeal for me personally, because it doesn’t help me with my lifting. Not trying to put her down. I appreciate Michelle Lewin’s physique from an aesthetic/ artistic point of view BUT …

I’m more interested in people like Jen Comas Keck - Her content comes from a more health related/ athletic / educational point of view and is geared toward women who lift.

Put another way - When she’s older, I’d be happy for my daughter to follow people like Jen Comas Keck, or our own Dani Shugart! But not so thrilled to see her putting up the boob and booty pics, or spending a lot of time following or looking up to women who are all about that. There are lines. Does that make sense?

EDITED [/quote]

YES! This makes sense!! Great post and examples, this is exactly what I was thinking.


#10

I think people want to pull you down with them. When the fitness models post pics, they should be proud because they worked hard to look like that. But people see it and are ashamed that they don’t and thus get mad and lash out.

Now, it does annoy me that people think that health looks like a fitness model; in reality healthy bodies have a range and might include cellulite and non-visible abs or a flatter butt. I know a lot of people who work out, eat right, are in great health (myself included) who don’t belong half naked on instagram. As long as you aren’t calling me an unhealthy lazy slob who eats McDonald’s because I don’t have 15% body fat, we are good.

Ultimately, people who care about their health and fitness all need to stick together and support each other, because there is so much pressure to NOT be healthy. My thing is lifting, and my sedentary, 40 and over friends are a constant drone of warnings and discouraging comments. My diet gets criticized- not enough carbs!!! (I eat over 100 grams a day) too much protein! live a little! Red wine is great for you! Have a muffin/cookie/cake! You are wasting away! (I am 5’6, 170. Not wasting away. thanks.) And never tell anyone you squat or deadlift. Ever. Because you will hear about their bad back and knee. Never mind that my back and knees are BETTER THAN EVER. It’s like they want to bring you down to their misery.

I can’t imagine what actual fitness models with low body fat and stricter diets must hear from people.

So… when I see the fitness models, I’m glad they are out there doing their thing. Sometimes I wish the blatant sexy was dialed back a bit. Or maybe wish the guys would take up blatant sexy too. But then I tell myself, if I looked like that and worked that hard, I’d have a shot of me squatting 200 lbs in booty shorts and a bikini top too. On my facebook. But it would say “I am awesome”.


#11

I don’t see anything wrong with putting your hard work up for display, for all those to see (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). Many do not understand the type of dedication, and work that is involved in creating a body like that. When I see post regarding fitness models, bodybuilders or athletes (regardless of sex) posting pictures of themselves I look at it as inspirational/motivation. The majority of people attribute this success to rampant steroid use, dumb luck, or call them “genetic” freaks.

Yes this does play a factor, but in the end, it only contributes to a small percentage. Hard work, consistency, sweat, blood, tears I think are more of an indicator of great aesthetic/performance success. Dave Tate, Matt Kroczaleski, and even Christian Thibaudeau have stated numerous times that they weren’t endowed with the best of genetic gifts. They put in the hard work, and I can safely say they have reached a physical status that the majority of us would be envious of.

Publicity is necessary in order for success in the fitness community, it’s how one gets exposed and in the end makes their living. So for all aspiring fitness models (male or female) I say post away, if it means helping your chance of scoring a big contract. Now as much as I don’t see a problem with sharing and exposing yourself to the world, I do believe one should have humility. I was taught that humility is a sign of a champion, and I strongly stand by that. I know this does stray away from the main, focal point regarding mothers, and female fitness models. Saying that, I do think that most of the same arguments used against male fitness models, are similar, if not the same used against their females counterparts.