I hate that word.
But what I hate more is internet fitness and “thinspiration” culture: images of very thin girls and women, clearly meant to be aspirational, tips on the best ways to trick yourself into eating less, propaganda about the evils of fat (on your body, in your food), embracing “curviness”, so long as said curves are only in the right places.
I hate seeing stuff tagged “fitspiration” and getting this. Or this. Or this. (TW for food and exercise disorders applies here.) And, of course, the omnipresent fear of obesity— the horror of being fat and conflation of failure and worthlessness with fat bodies. It goes without saying that it is rarely acknowledged that size are not always predictive of fitness and/or health.
Much has been written about it, and I’m not exactly blazing new trails here, but because I’m deeply invested in body acceptance and embracing diversity, as well as fitness and health, I want to make a project of putting what I consider “real fitspiration” (as much as I hate that cutesy term) out there, on the internet. It’s my drop in the bucket of tumblr fitspo, and if one person sees something I post and appreciates it, or even if it only makes them think for a second, I’ll count this project a success.
I need fitspiration, and I know a lot of other people do too. Not just because I want to look like the athletes whose pictures I’ve posted (although I do envy some of them their incredible bodies), but because I need to be inspired by people who do incredible athletic feats. The strength, skill, and power of these athletes is inspiration to me: I want to be able to do things they way they can. I want to have form like superheavyweight Olympic lifter Cheryl Haworth. I want the flexibility of that Venezuelan pole dancer. I want the conviction and dedication of the Afghan runner in hijab.
I want to be strong, and I want to be inspired. I don’t want to want to be thin. And “thinspo in a sports bra” does no one any favours. Let’s let true athleticism inspire us.