Thinspo, Fitspo, Whatever It Is It's FAUX
by user123 on June 18, 2015 - 2:16pm
Today in society, one of the number one obsessions is to be fit, skinny and ready for bikini season. It is a universal obsession that is similar to all age groups. “We're in the midst of an epidemic, one that's destroying both the quality and the longevity of our lives. It affects not just us but our children, and likely their children, too. And while this epidemic has been around a while, it's growing at an alarming rate, not just here but around the world. You'd be hard-pressed to find a twenty-first-century culture that didn't struggle with it.” (Brown) We have moved on from being skinny in which the new “in” obsession is to be fit to which the twenty-first-century people aspire to anything that has to do with, Fitspo, which is short for fit inspiration. This can be a series of pictures, videos, articles and so on. But what qualifies as fit? Being healthy? Being in shape? Sadly, neither are definitions to “Fitspo.” Fitspo is just another word to tell women that they should strive to be thin with a twist of also having muscle.
There have been various studies conducted on how bad it is for the media to present to the world advertisements that show false and unrealistic body goals. The present study, by Harper and Tiggmann done in 2008, has found that ones body and its appearance has become the most important aspect in the way that women describe themselves after being exposed to advertisements that feature thin ideal woman in the media. The findings of this study indicate that the media influences the perception of body image where thin-idealized magazine advertisements influence anxiety and self-objectification. Specifically, women who look at advertisements that have a thin female model in it tend to report greater self-objectification than control advertisements. (Harper & Tiggmann 654-655)
The reason why this topic is a moral dilemma is because on one hand, everyone wants to be healthy and fit, like the women claim they are in the media. But, on the other hand, the media still wants women and girls to aspire to something unrealistic and possible harmful. The women are obsessed with looking picture perfect that they will do anything to reach that unattainable goal. The media is trying to promote that everyone should be healthy and fit by posting tons of pictures on various social media sites with the hash tag fitspo (#fitspo). The pictures that are linked with the fitspo hash tag are supposedly inspiring quotes to help motivate the person. By posting pictures with quotes to motivate others should be right because it is inspiring everyone to be fit. Therefore, wanting to achieve the greatest good for the greatest amount of people, as a utilitarianist would argue. But, someone that believes in the virtue ethics perspective can argue that they aren’t being virtuous in the sense that they even though they are promoting being so called “fit” to the population, it is an unhealthy way of being fit and the means to which to achieve the bodies posted on social media is unhealthy. The people pushing the fitspo mindset are cunning and scheming. The women being portrayed as “fit” on the images are still super skinny, with a thigh gap, therefore not really looking healthy. Their bodies look unattainable for someone that is a contributing member of society and doesn’t have time to spend numerous hours at the gym each day and live on a cube of cheese. They look more as if they constantly work out to obtain a body of purely muscle without being extremely bulky. Furthermore, most pictures that are associated with the fitspo hash tag are associated with a quote that is shameful and harsh. “One of the biggest problems with so many of these fitspo motivationals is that they promote unsafe behaviors and goals, and they rely on guilt and shame to do so” (Anna) The types of mottos that are displayed on the pictures are slogans such as: “You will regret eating that cookie. You wont regret running that mile,” “Unless you puke, faint, or die-keep going” (Senski). How would eating one cookie be harmful and one cookie doesn’t equate the calories lost after one mile. On average, one cookie is 49 calories and running one mile will burn (Food Database), if you are 125 pounds for example, you will burn 94 calories therefore representing a not ideal and unhealthy way to get fit. (Mcdougall)
A solution to this problem would be simple, to stop promoting fake and unattainable bodies that can cause harm to the people trying to attain them. Promoting and advertising more realistic, non-photo shopped bodies would make this world a better, healthier and happier place.
All things considered, the fitspo tactic is false advertising by making others believe they are promoting good health but in reality they are promoting to strive for an unachievable body that is only achieved in a very unhealthy manner. A utilitarianism approach would believe that this is correct because it is providing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people by encouraging them to be fit but on the contrary a virtue ethics perspective would argue that the people promoting these so called inspirations that aren’t ideal and are far-off from what a normal body should look like. These ads should be more realistic so that people can aspire to achievable goals a healthy way.
Anna. "The Problem with Fitspo." Bras and Body Image. N.p, 9 Jan 2014. Web. 15 Jun 2015.
Brown, Harriet. "Our Unhealthy Obsession With Being Thin—And What We Can Do About It." Ravishly. N.p, 24 Mar 2015. Web. 15 Jun 2015.
"Fatsecret." Food Database and Calorie Counter: Chocolate Chip Cookie. N.p, Web. 16 Jun 2015.
Harper, Brit and Marika Tiggemann. 2008. “The Effect of Thin Ideal Media Images on Women’s Self-Objectification, Method, and Body Image.” Sex Roles 58 (9/10): 654-655. doi: 10.1007/s11199-007-9379-x
Mcdougall, A. "How Many Calories Do You Lose Per Mile?." LiveStrong. N.p, 21 Oct 2013. Web. 16 Jun 2015.
P. Senski, Jessica. "The "Fitspo" Dilemma.." Jess Stands Amazed. N.p, 31 Oct 2013. Web. 15 Jun 2015.