Is Strong The New Skinny?

I remember the first “Fitspiration” ad I clipped many years ago.  It was a print ad from Nike, and the rookie fitness professional in me liked the message.  It said something to the effect of how we never go out for a run and later regret that we did.  Couldn’t really argue that. . .

Flash forward almost 20 years and these ads have morphed into something entirely different.

Nike still plays it relatively safe, but commands hard work and harder bodies.

fitspiration 1

Others have a more radical tone.  Following in the footsteps of thinspiration, fitspiration (nicknamed “fitspo”), offers internet images and slogans designed to motivate us toward our fitness goals. Popping up on social media sites are images of women with toned, muscular bodies and especially chiseled abs accompanied by inspirational messages evoking themes of discipline, failure, and pain.

hahaha, love this
Charlotte Anderson of the blog (and book), The Great Fitness Experiment, writes about fitspo:

Looking at rock-hard body after rock-hard body it occurred to met hat fitspo may be in thinspo in a sports bra.  After all ,the problem with thinspo is that the images represent a mostly unattainable ideal that requires great sacrifices (both physical and mental) to achieve and I daresay that most of those “perfect” female bodies, albeit muscular instead of bony, are equally as problematic.

What do you think?  Do fitspo images and slogans motivate fitness behavior in the masses or promote an unhealthy relationship with exercise, food, and weight?  Are these ads just more socially acceptable forms of thinspo?

Photo 17-8-13 10 45 25 PM

Strong is certainly a healthier goal than skinny, and I’d love to see images of strong women of various shapes and sizes.  But if strong really is the new sexy, then why are these women all so skinny?
Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 800-568-9025Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?