Having had an interest in the fitness industry for several years, I have come across a problem that is relevant to The Body Campaign, and also Loughborough University, given the amount of sport that takes place.
On too many occasions, I have seen comments online directed towards healthy and active girls, telling them: “don’t get too muscular”. However, you almost never see “don’t get too thin”.
We all know that there is a lot of pressure from society for people to look a certain way, and this is no exception, but I do feel as though there is a lack of education surrounding this issue as well.
The fear that girls will become “too muscular” is ridiculous, not only because everyone should be free to choose how they look, but also because it is biologically very challenging for girls to gain a large amount of muscle mass, anyway. Without going into too much detail, females produce far less testosterone than males, which ultimately means that less muscle is gained.
The point is, if being worried about getting “too muscular” has put you off of resistance training in the past, don’t worry! If you’re unsure and require assistance, ask around, do some research, or speak to a member of staff at the gym.
Moving on to the other side of the problem… The phrase “don’t get too thin” is used much less frequently. Sometimes, being as thin as possible is even encouraged, which is unhealthy and, of course, unrealistic.
The worst instance of this that I have ever come across was on a post by a fitness columnist who spread an image containing the words “LET’S GET SKINNY”. It amazes me how someone who is apparently so focussed on health and fitness, can happily portray such an unhealthy message.
It is unfortunately evident that society is more concerned with body image than it is with health, seen as unhealthily thin is more accepted than fit and muscular.
Following on from the success of last years’ Body Campaign, we have re-launched the campaign to continue our body revolution! Last year The Body Campaign won student- led campaign of the year at the Welfare and Diversity awards proving what a great success it was! This year we aim to hold lots more events and it’s really great when loads of people get involved. At our Body Campaign FND on 7th November our team promoted positive body image and prompted students to think about what they love about their bodies and the best compliment they’ve ever been given! Interviews were filmed in a Totty TV special by LSUTV and the evening was also photographed by Lens! All of the footage from the evening can be found on The Body Campaign Facebook page!
There are always loads of things online about how bad the media and the press are in terms of promoting the wrong kinds of thoughts about body image. It is our aim to tackle this negativity and prompt the opposite kind of thoughts! Mannequins and advertising campaigns often only show one body shape. This often makes people believe that to be beautiful and attractive they have to be a certain size and shape. Most often, this means being the so- called “size 0” which is actually unachievable for most people.
It is this stigma that The Body Campaign wishes to tackle. You can be involved simply by following us on twitter @TheBodyCampaign and @lboroheadsup. We also have a Facebook page where you can find out about our events and also find the links to our photographs from nights out. Throughout the year, we will hold some more serious events which will hopefully raise awareness of eating disorders and the ways in which they can be linked to the representations of body images within the media. We are also considering events such as Body Workshops, contact us if you have any ideas! You can reach us over Facebook, Twitter or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information about our campaign and how you might be able to volunteer and get involved!