Hey guys! This post is on a topic I’ve been thinking about a bit lately; I was unsure if I should post on it, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. Also, please note-I am not trying to criticize anyone or anything! I’m just throwing some thoughts out there-and I’d love to hear your feedback.

I’m sure you guys have all come across fitspo twitter accounts. Many of them are anonymous, and the profile picture is a person’s abs or legs. People talk about their workouts and super clean food. I’m honestly not sure what I think of these. I’m curious to hear your thoughts-while it sounds similar to a healthy living blog, it just doesn’t give me the same impression. I’m not criticizing these-just observing. I guess maybe the difference is that healthy living blogs include living. Maybe they seem more balanced? Once again, I’m not sure what I think about them.

I feel like these types of accounts really open people up to comparison. I mean, sure, they’re anonymous, but the person with the account still has the opportunity to compare herself to all the other accounts. And maybe other people’s abs just are not gong to happen on every body. I guess this is my criticism with fitspo-it’s not necessarily realistic for everyone. But ok, I get it. It is motivation, and it does help people get off the couch. What concerns me a bit is thinspo. There is a whole twitter community more or less dedicated to this; many are anonymous accounts of people with eating disorders. I think it’s great that people struggling through the same thing have somewhere for support, but what else is there? If you have an eating disorder, is it the best to constantly compared? Many of the accounts post their weights, and goal weights. I guess what bothers me more is that many of these girls are young. My first response is just to want to give them a hug. But twitter is public-what about the vulnerable high school girl trying to be healthier who comes across an extreme diet plan (only hundreds of calories a day) thinking it is a healthy way to lose weight? As healthy living bloggers, we can tend to take our knowledge of health for granted. How is someone supposed to know that that isn’t healthy? 

I am in no place to judge. I’m not trying to judge. I’m just wondering if constantly being up for comparison is the best thing for health. 

In some anonymous twitter accounts, I feel like maybe constantly publicizing themselves is not the best in the long term.

Once again, I’m trying to be a neutral party-but I am curious about your thoughts on these types of accounts. 

And while we’re at it-what would you consider healthy?


11 comments on “The Dark Side of Social Media

  1. Beth @ Mangoes and Miles

    I hate thinspo. I hate fitspo. I hate all of it. Fitspo, to me, is just as bad as thinspo–the girls whom you see in fitspo are still (1) usually photoshopped and (2) have a very, very low percentage of body fat…just like the girls in thinspo. This is why I essentially quit tumblr; every other post I saw had something to do with abs and it just got to the point where it was unhealthy for me to see because I wanted them so badly and not everyone’s body is made for abs or gigantic biceps or thigh gaps. I think the important thing girls/women, young girls especially, need to realize is that everybody’s different. Yes, some people are able to achieve abs/thigh gaps/no love handles/low body fat with some fitness and diet regulations, but for other people, that might just wreck their metabolism. Ultimately I think healthy is doing what’s best for YOUR body and your life–because at the end of the day, whether you like it or not, you’re left with your body, not someone else’s.

    Errr…sorry for the rant. This topic really grates on my nerves. 🙂

    1. Aurora

      Don’t apologize! I couldn’t agree with you more. I read a description somewhere that said fitspo was just thinspo in a sports bra.

  2. Angela

    twitter, blogs, pinterest, tubmlr.. it’s all the same. There will always be people trying to promote unhealthy ideals. There will be people who listen, and people who don’t. I think it would be more effective to try to change societal norms as a whole in eliminating negative body image rather than trying to censor or silence the dangerous ideas some people promote.

    1. Aurora

      Yes! Societal norms and ideals are where sites like these stem from.

  3. Kammie

    I think fitspo is the next thinspo. Society is moving away from thin and towards ULTRA fit, which is just as impossible and unhealthy as is being super skinny because most women simply are unable to attain such a shape without some serious serious and I mean serious stress on their bodies and minds, plus disordered eating just as much as getting thin. Orthorexia is serious as well and a disorder. I don’t look at the fitspo accounts. They may be good motivation on the surface but I believe that the more you are into it and the more you look at them and use them for motivation, the more disordered your thoughts become and the more you compare yourself to others, including the person in the fitspo motivation images and social media.

  4. jessielovestorun

    I had never heard of fitspo before this post. I’m not quite sure I agree with the whole concept.To me being healthy isn’t about a NUMBER. I’m talking about the number of miles you run, the number of sets you knock out, or the number on a SCALE. It’s about loving yourself both on the inside and out. Yes it’s about eating clean, but it’s also allowing yourself to eat “nonhealthy” foods without feeling guilt. It’s about just being HAPPY and doing what you love <3

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  6. Health, Love, and Chocolate

    I love your thoughts on this. I find myself with a heaviness in my heart when I see many of the “fitspo” type accounts all over social media, and I hate to think that people’s lives revolve around that stuff. I personally just choose to follow accounts that keep it real, and the rest is none of my business!

    1. Aurora

      That’s definitely a good philosophy!

  7. Rina

    In my honest opinion, as long as you’re making an effort to eat right and get regular exercise, you’re healthy. I don’t care if you run a marathon, jog twice around the block, swim a couple laps, or dance your butt off to exercise. As long as the exercise suits you and you’re engaging in it regularly, you’re healthy.

    I admit I tend to judge people based on their appearance, but I’m trying to curb back that impulse.

    I’m not sure I like fitspiration. The idea is good, but when they post images of women with impossibly cut bodies, it’s just as bad as encouraging thinness because it drives women to exercise like crazy and feel inferior for engaging in something that should make them feel good. Additionally, one person’s “fit” body is not the same as another person’s “fit” body. We already know that regular bodies don’t look the same–why should it be any different for a “fit” or “athletic” body? Fitspiration also drives women to “fit-o-rexia,” eating clean all the time, which is psychologically, not to mention physically, impossible to sustain all the time. “Fit-o-rexia” may be even worse than anorexia sometimes, if it’s extreme, because it’s under the guise of being “healthy.”

    Just my very long-winded two cents.

    1. Aurora

      I agree! I’m a firm believer that there are so many ways to be active-and if you find an activity that’s fun, it’s all the more healthy. Health is mental as well. As for fitspiration-I’m not a fan. It’s another impossible ideal, disguised as one that we “should” be able to achieve.

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