Revolution of a Fit Life Epidemic

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact beginning of this fitness revolution with tons upon tons of social media sources related to this “Fit Life Epidemic”: the idea that motivation is spreading like a disease. Dieting and fitness are nothing dieting1950s2new to daily lifestyles in society. Although, according to Wikipedia, George Cheyne wrote the first diet book in 1724 and William Banting’s written legacy in 1863, dieting had not become popular until Lulu Hunt Peters wrote “the first weight-loss book to become a bestseller” in 1918.  It can also be proven with newspapers and diaries from the 1950s that dieting was very popular amongst housewives and the idea of sharing tips and tricks through an early form of mass communication had become a trend.

dieting1950s

The difference from the past to modern day is the communal monster known as social media and the innovative progressions in technology. Social media is free to use and easily accessible through search engines like Google, video sites like YouTube, and even apps like Instagram and Pinterest. It’s become common for users of these apps and websites to post pictures of their fitness and health progression. Pictures of healthy appetizing meals are used to pull readers into short articles about dieting, while providing any nutritional tips through Pinterest. Any user of Instagram or Pinterst can simply tap the app icon on their phone and instantaneously get smacked in the face with workout strategies and idealized fitness models linked to motivational quotes designed to hype up any reader and create a fresh spark of inspiration to impact their life. One of the rewards for taking part in this revolution is a widely known social media hashtag known as “Transformation Tuesday”. This special day in social media is when anyone can post a before and after picture of their bodies to show off their hard work and dedication. The Fit Life Epidemic is this endless and obsessive streaming of posts related to nutrition, dieting, fitness, and motivation.

The Fit Life Epidemic is the healthiest disease fueled by technology and infectious through social media.  Wall-E could be an accurate prediction of where civilization could end up. A human dystopia is greatly possible with the advancement in technology designed to make our lives easier with the least amount of effort.  However, technology is finding ways to fuel fitness lifestyles.

Tara Sabo, a blogger writes about the power of social media and how it affects our health and fitness. She digs deep into why people are reacting to such extremes with anything related to social media. She also educates us on the tools that can be found while warning her audience of misguided information, which is a dangerous force of its own.

“Social media is loaded with images that aim to influence, from the vain-glorious selfies of beautiful women on Instagram to healthy living bloggers posting daily meal recaps, it’s easy to fall into a comparison trap. I do it, and I always have to remind myself that I am not them. Unrealistic ideals and visual stereotypes exist. They are real. But so am I. I am unique and completely my own, which means that one person’s reality cannot and should not be my very own. But imagery has the power to make us forget this, and that’s where social media can fail us. And yet, it can also educate us.”

All people obsess over their image to some degree. I believe women are the most obsessed with their body image. When women look at models on Instagram that are receiving comments from other women and men, they compare every angle of themselves to that model receiving such positive attention and feel pressure to look as close as possible to that unrealistic ideal. It doesn’t help when society’s standards multiply to a greater level. If women or men believe that a possibly photoshopped model is absolutely pure beauty, then their idea of reality is skewed. The media representation theory is playing its part here by providing a false image constructed of how a person should look. The hypodermic needle theory can relate to this idea of a false reality because the audience is passively absorbing the material and skewing society’s views.

This controversial song has been argued by many over its true intentions and overall message.  This song may as well begin to play when the “Burn Book” is opened in the movie “Mean Girls”.  The arguments on social media all pertains to whether its “better” to be thin or to have some meat on your bones.  I believe it makes women self conscious about their weight and fuels the epidemic. What do you think the moral of this song is?

Although the fit life is fueled by jealousy but at the same time seems like an unhealthy disease, it actually is the best thing for individuals to live a healthier, longer, and most importantly a happier life due to the image they create of themselves.

In an article written by Elizabeth Kolbert in 2009, she quotes a sentence that I find very ironic to our existing situation. “To conquer obesity will thus require a complete new awareness, the re-education of the great mass of consumers, and this seems a distant prospect,”. I find this quote ironic because this distant prospect that the quote is referring to is actually no longer distant. It’s sitting in the bedroom of nearly every home in the world. It’s attached to our hip on a daily basis. Social media has brainwashed society for the good of our health.  This fit life has always existed in the homes of the housewife world, but now its on an extreme level.  Believe it or not, this is just the beginning of the revolution.

The Fit Life Epidemic is so popular that one of the largest stock market giants, Apple is incorporating features within their products to aid fitness and health apps. And to quote Apple, “It just might be the beginning of a health revolution”. In an article, “What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?”, written by Mark Federman. Mark quotes Former Chief Strategist Marshal Mcluhan, “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it.” Social media seems to be creating a social media crossroads of its own. Will we evolve into Wall-E World’s De-evolutionized couch potatoes or will the future bring a mass of uber health crazed fitness fanatics? Which direction will we choose to take?

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2 thoughts on “Revolution of a Fit Life Epidemic

  1. People are definitely more motived to get in shape when they see people liking their photos and such on instagram, it like getting a virtual high-five and motives you to go workout again in order to get more virtual high-fives. People are more likely to stick with something when they are supported by a group of people doing the same thing.

  2. Being someone who likes to workout myself, I definitely see the impact social media has on this topic. I don’t take progress pictures, but my friends post them all the time. I’ve even seen the word “swellfie” thrown around; a combination of selfie and the “swell” from the gym. I also follow many pages on Instagram that post diet recipes, diet supplements, and even videos of different exercises. This makes it much easier to find routines and plans to accomplish your fitness goals.

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