First came slut shaming, then came fat shaming, then there was thin shaming, and now there’s apparently something called glam shaming (thank you, Bachelor). But, one other form of “shaming” has currently been infecting our society, and some people’s self esteems. Fit shaming, as I call it, is when someone judges or criticizes you for being physically fit. Although all forms of shaming are completely hurtful and unnecessary, I think this one takes the cake. As a woman who is just barely peeking into the fitness industry, I have learned that no matter how you look or how hard you work, someone will always have something to say.
Why do we shame people at all? But, specifically, why do we shame someone who is trying to better themselves? I started lifting weights and tracking macros roughly two years ago. Recently, I decided to start a fitness instagram to not only keep myself motivated, but potentially motivate others who could relate to my trials and tribulations. Fitness is something I have grown to love and value, yet I still have people shaming me for it. For example, I have had friends who make fun of me for tracking my food. I track my food because I am trying to reach a goal, and you would think that your friends would understand that, right? Wrong. They don’t understand because they do not share the same values as you. As much as I try to brush off harsh comments regarding my lifestyle choices, it’s hard to stay motivated when people you care about don’t support you.
I am not alone. My friends in the fitness industry struggle with this all the time. People have called my girlfriends who lift “too manly” because of their muscle definition. People call men “girly” for taking photos of themselves at the gym to show their progress. These are just a few things that I see happening to others on a daily basis, and it needs to stop. So what if someone takes a selfie at the gym? They are working their a** off to reach their goals and you shouldn’t make them feel shameful for being proud of their progress. Who cares if I track how much food I eat in a day? As long as I am being healthy, you have no room to discourage me about it. Stop making fun of people for choosing to immerse themselves in a fitness- centered lifestyle. You don’t have to understand why people choose to lift, diet, or compete- but you do have to respect their lifestyle choices.
Any form of shaming is completely pointless. I mean seriously, what good does it do to tell someone they look too manly, or they workout too much? Before you shame someone for being fit, think about why you are shaming them. Is it because you chose to watch Netflix instead of workout? Or is it because you wish you looked like them, but you don’t want to put the work in? In order to stop shaming others, we need to stop shaming ourselves. Whether you realize it or not, all of this hatred-fueled judgement spawns from dissatisfaction within yourself. Before you shame, think about this. Will your words do someone harm, or good? If the answer is anything other than good, keep it to yourself.