When you see this image, does it make you think of porn? Because The Huffington Post recently posted an article entitled “The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop”. It was an interesting article, but I am not sure I agree with this. I follow fitness blogs as well as fitness boards on Pinterest, and while I think that many of the pictures posted online are both sexualized and unrealistic for the majority of women, I also think that many of the blogs and boards are very inspiring for women looking to start a healthier life or improve their existing training plans. I think we are already so overexposed to sexualized images in the media, that we are past the point of saying that fitness models in particular should be compared to adult entertainers. And I know the article is referring to fitness competitions where women pose in bikinis, heels, and body oil, but seriously, comparing that to porn??? Isn’t that a bit of stretch?
The article also discusses women relying on strict or extreme dieting and use of drugs to reach their goal image, which I certainly don’t condone, but I have to wonder how much that truly contributes to their insanely toned look. What this article is overlooking is the hard work, dedication, and commitment to a healthy lifestyle that made it even possible for these women to achieve this look. I don’t know how prevalent the extreme dieting and use of drugs is in the world of fitness competitions or modeling – but I feel like the article implies that it is the norm. And I just can’t accept that as the truth. I would have much rather read an article talking about how hard these women worked to achieve their successes, including the sacrifices they have made. Because let’s be honest, the women who appear in my Pinterest feed with their six-pack abs and thighs of steel must have put in a huge amount of time working out and probably rarely give in to the urge to have wine and cheese for dinner.
Here’s my final thought in this rambling rant – if the media is going to bombard us with sexualized images of women, I would much rather see women with muscles than the waif thin heroin-chic look that was popular when I was in high school. Shouldn’t we celebrate the cult of the super fit woman?