When I first started my business and began making flyers and posters I was dismayed by the images available for me to use in advertising. Most of the images of women were highly sexualized (apparently to deadlift a woman must wear hot pants and grease herself up?) or showed fitness models of one particular body type with perfect make up and salon straight hair. The images available did not reflect my inclusive, empowering business and certainly wouldn’t encourage me to exercise.
So as time went on I have shared photos of real clients exercising (unless they do not want me to, which I respect) and moved into creating my own advertising from scratch with real clients rather than photoshopped fitness models. These real photos are ten times more inspirational than a staged shot of someone pretending to exercise who really isn’t. And there are smiles. I love the genuine smiles in these photos!
I appeared in Psychologies magazine many moons ago and they put me in so much make up with very big expressive eyebrows. Then they decided to Photoshop out my Madonna piercing and remove any freckles or laughter lines. The result was that I looked like all the other people in the magazine which looked a lot like each other but not a lot like people do in real life.
The expectation that the fitness world should only be inhabited by those of a certain size or look can be a huge barrier to those looking to improve their health. I’ve heard many people say I’ll start running/ working out once I’ve lost a bit of weight because there are very few public figures in the fitness world with bodies like the average person. Fitness clothing can be another barrier to exercise with many not really accommodating a muscular or larger physique in women.
My business is a work in progress but I am so grateful to my clients for allowing me to keep it real so we can inspire everyone to get moving regardless of whether they have a penchant for perfect pony tails.
I love that anyone can walk into my classes and they are welcomed. There are no people looking to find fault or judge their classmates. It has been my vision to create this kind of fitness community but it could not exist without all the lovely people who come along and get involved. Thank you all for keeping it real!