The Problem with Fitspiration

So a lot of edited pictures have been going around the fitblr community lately with the actual image and the edited one side by side. It’s a little alarming. One is of a girl drinking out of a water bottle and they’ve gone so far as to completely restructure her face. Because it’s apparently not okay to be fit and healthy and post up a picture if you’re not a model.

I think fitspiration pictures are great. It’s awfully motivating for some people, and I always love a good before and after. It’s bad when you go so far as to try and look exactly like them, though, because that’s impossible. They are them, and you are you. They have their own life with their own dietary needs, their own fitness plan and time (or not) to exercise. They have different taste buds and like eating different things than you. Maybe they like running and you like the elliptical. Maybe they spend 3 hours a day lifting and you’ve got a 30 minute window to get your sweat on. Maybe they have a genetically awesome metabolism. Maybe they don’t but you do. You are not them, and they are not you. So don’t try to look like them. Try to look like the best version of you.

The pictures of them also probably aren’t really them. I’ve talked about this a lot.

Photoshop = Fake People

Photoshop = Fake People(in depth)

Is There a Single Cause of AN?

So today, I retouched an photo of me from this post which was written in May. Here is the original:

dscn0154_thumb And here is the retouched version. I didn’t spend much time on it, but I did a fair amount:


First of all, I lowered my hair line, which is just impossible for anyone. I cinched my waist quite a bit and also widened my hips. Just so you guys know, I have a 36, 25, 36 body so that was just stupid as well. I put extra emphasis on the highlights and shadows on my skin as evidenced by the sloppy job around the top of my sports bra. I also enlarged my boobs a bit, which is also stupid because I’m a 34D. I made my bicep bigger. I obviously tried to color correct and bring up the brightness and contrast. It’s not too bad to look at, but it isn’t real. No matter how hard I try I will never look like that. I altered my ribs in this picture. I cannot make my breasts bigger, my biceps can always get bigger but I’ll have more of a cut when that happens. It won’t look like it does in the picture. I also attempted to enlarge my eyes but I don’t think I know how to do that in Photoshop just yet (finally got it on my new computer after my old one died and I thought I’d lost it forever, so I’m a bit out of practice).

Fitspiration is great. It’s great motivation, but that’s all it should be. Motivation. You shouldn’t strive to look like anyone but your best self. I just like them because it’s cool to see other people’s success and use the idea that if they could do it, so can I. It becomes a problem when you try to look like someone that doesn’t even exist.


8 thoughts on “The Problem with Fitspiration

  1. Personally I like the original picture better. You look more attractive in it. You are beautiful the way you are.
    Photoshopping can be very hazardous to ed recovery. It makes you feel so horrible about yourself because no matter how much you starve or binge and purge you will never look just like them. Because even the people in the pictures don’t look like that in real life. I’ve always been more for the real pictures too. I have an eye for Photoshopped pictures, I can usually tell if a picture has been altered I think because I worked with Photoshop all through high school.

    Anyway, I like this post 🙂

  2. It’s so crazy to actually see the photos next to each other to compare, because most of the time with fitspo you only see the retouched version, and it can be hard to figure out what’s real and what’s not. I’m not talented enough at Photoshop to be able to do this convincingly with one of my photos, but I know that in a way, I manipulate my pictures to make me look my best. The right pose, the right light and the right time of day can transform anybody, and it’s so deceptive.

    • Someone did a thing about that on facebook where they took one picture, then changed their pose and adjusted the way their clothes fell on them and took it again. It looked like they’d made some huge progress in their fitness, but all they did was shift their weight.

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