I want to start out by saying, Instagram is an awesome online fitness community. There are so many fitness personalities I look up to on Instagram that have motivated me, helped me realize that women can (and should) lift weights, and have helped me realize that proper nutrition (read: eating enough) is crucial to making progress. However, there's also a lot of sketchy shit that goes down on Instagram. Like all social media, it is a snapshot. It is one picture, one moment, one second that is portrayed as that person's life all the time. And it can start to get a little discouraging. Here's a quick reality check on some Instagram gimmicks I'd like to call bullshit on.
1. A pose is a pose, it is not forever. I think it's important to keep in mind that a lot of fitness accounts you follow on Instagram post the most flattering angles of themselves (like most people in general). They are choosing shots with the best lighting, best angles, flattering outfits, after a good workout pump, the best filter, etc. They are twisting their bodies/contorting themselves into poses that are not natural. You know what I'm talking about: hip out, waist turned, bicep or tricep flex, and so on. Hell, I do it too. Now if you're following the realest of real on Instagram, every once in awhile they will post side by side photos on themselves: one in a flexed position, and one standing totally normal, to point out that hey! they are normal people. They don't walk around looking jacked 24/7. So it's okay if you don't either. Refreshing.
@theswolebarbie you da real MVP
2. Unnatural enhancements sworn as "grown in the weight room". Okay, to make it easy, I'm talking about butt implants here. I have NO issue with someone getting butt implants; if that's what makes you feel good about your body then by all means, go for it. However there are a LOT of ladies on Instagram who have gotten butt implants, take hundreds of pictures of their bums (occasionally holding a 5 lb dumbbell) and sell themselves as a fitness professional. THAT'S an issue. There are tons of women who are working nonstop towards their goal of growing a bigger booty and tons that have done so successfully. So it can definitely be done. But don't be fooled by the girls with thin, under developed quadriceps and hamstrings, and a huuuge butt claiming that body weight squats got them there. (Sidenote: Breast augmentation is completely different. Unfortunately you cannot grow boobies in the weight room and nobody has ever claimed to. In fact, boobies go away, like big time. A lot of women have breast implants, and are usually pretty open about it; because, let's be honest.. you're not fooling anyone by lying about it anyway. Again, I'm not looking down on anyone who gets plastic surgery. It's your body. But I'm not okay with people claiming it's real and setting young women up for disappointment and failure when they can't achieve the same)
3. Girls who are "body goals" with nice assets but no credentials trying to sell you something. This one really gets to me. I'm sure you've seen it. A girl with perfectly done hair and makeup laying in a fluffy bed next to her beloved bottle of protein. A girl next to a giant pizza with a "Carb blocker" pill that supposedly makes it like that meal never happened (Sidenote: The most annoying part about that one is you know that chick is not going to eat that pizza!!! The whole damn thing will probably go to waste). A girl with the "perfect body" who claims she achieved her physique by drinking SkinnyTea. A girl with a great body in a sporty outfit who (because of her body and social media following) now feels qualified to sell you a workout plan. A person who "has no affiliation with a product, but use my code for 10% off!!!!" Sorry. Not. Falling. For. It.
Be wary of someone trying to sell a product on Instagram. Most of the time, there's something in it for them (ie, they get paid to post about a product that they may not even use). Also, if online training is something you're interested in, make sure the individual you choose actually has a certification.
4. Photoshopping. Alright, this one is actually SUPER bizarre to me. But there is a huge epidemic right now of fitness professionals getting called out for photoshopping themselves on Instagram. Butts are getting bigger, waists are getting smaller, floors are sinking in, walls are bending, tile grout is going missing, etc.... and the crazy thing is.. these girls already look AMAZING without that crap. I will never understand what makes these women think they need to photoshop themselves. But for some reason they feel the need to make themselves look like a damn centaur. Just be aware that it happens. So don't feel like your lower body has to look like it belongs to a freaking horse.
Look at those swirly floor tiles. For the record, I did not make this. But it still made me laugh. (All credit goes to @iwascrazydrunkwheni
@Erindimondfitness showing how easy it is to photoshop a pic.
All in all, the fitness presence on Instagram is huge and can be highly motivating. If you find yourself scrolling through your feed and you're inspired, by all means.. follow away! If you find yourself scrolling through your feed and you're feeling inadequate, guilting yourself into extra cardio, feeling bad about what you just ate, or wishing you had someone else's body in a way that makes you dislike your own, it's probably not a healthy motivational tool for you right now.
In closing: LOVE YO'SELF!