By Austin Perry
If you have an Instagram account, odds are that you’ve at least seen multiple posts from many gorgeous women with ‘magazine like’ bodies showing off their ass like no tomorrow promoting some type of detox tea or coaching plan with no credible background history or certificates.
Flip side, this goes both ways for men as well. The truth is, the fitness community has almost completely taken over every individuals IG feed. To be completely honest, sharing more fitness and health content is a great thing for social media, specifically in the United States, as the obesity epidemic was all over the news during the early-mid 2000’s and still is a big deal to this day.
But, some of these posts can actually negatively impact overall mental health as they set a standard for somewhat ‘unrealistic visuals’.
The reason why the fitness community on Instagram can be such a positive thing is because it helps motivate people. Not just one person but rather millions. The amount of exposure and reach one post can get is insurmountable and by showing off transformations and progress pictures, those photos are bound to reach at least one person and motivate them to better their lifestyle for the better and truly make a change.
But here’s the inevitable truth of fitness-based Instagram profiles and photos…
It’s 2019 and not everyone is comfortable with their body. Some people might feel ashamed of how they look compared to some of these very in-shape models, athletes and just very fit people. This can send people into a spiraling depression and impacts their overall mental health because some of these photos they are seeing are almost too unreal to believe, making it hard to ever feel comfortable with the way they look.
One solid reason why a certain percentage of the fitness community on social media can be helpful when it comes to this is that many users also embrace the fact that a lot of these pictures are heavily filtered, contain good lighting, have the right angles and took about 100 photos just to find the right picture.
These users will not only post an overly flattering photo of their progress, but they also shed a light on reality and post an original photo with no editing. They go outside of their comfort zone to post a photo with no flexing, no angles or special lighting and show you the real-life visuals.
But this is not the case with all fitness-related posts…
Self-Esteem is a BIG issue, there is no questioning this. But is the fitness community really destroying others self-esteem?
Yes, it actually is.
There are some people out there that no matter how hard they try or how much work they put in to have the body they want, they just can’t achieve the results that they are seeing from some people they look up to within the community.
It takes a major blow to your self-esteem when you can see someone make it look so easy to have a diced core or the biggest biceps you’ve ever seen while you’re struggling just to get your weight up.
There are also studies that have shown that a certain percentage of women are actually insecure about their bodies when they see fitness posts by other women showing off their bodies.
In all honesty, fitness and health on social media is what we should strive to keep growing but in a more positive way because embracing a healthy and active lifestyle is extremely beneficial and creates a better lifestyle for us all.
But there is still a huge issue that hinges on true reality over expectations from fitness related posts.
Fitness on Instagram is a good thing but has many flaws and overall has been found to be a true issue for mental health related issues.