Fitness has the power to transform both the body and the mind. Engaging in physical activity can improve one's overall health, increase energy levels, reduce stress, and even boost self-esteem. However, despite the benefits of exercise, there is a concerning trend in the fitness industry: the promotion (or) parading of weight and obesity through the marketing of active wear.
The promotion of body positivity is essential to create an inclusive and welcoming fitness community that celebrates individuals of all sizes and shapes. However, some companies have taken this message to the extreme by promoting and selling active wear in increasingly larger sizes. While this may seem like a positive step towards inclusivity, it can also send the message that being overweight or obese is acceptable or even desirable.
Moreover, some companies market their products by using slogans such as "real women have curves" or "strong is the new skinny," which can be problematic long term. These slogans as well as different advertising methods around skinny vs overweight; can reinforce the idea that there is perhaps only one way to look fit or healthy, which is not true. Fitness is a personal journey, and everyone's body is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
The promotion of weight and obesity through active wear marketing can also have harmful effects on individuals' health. Research has shown that the normalization of larger body sizes can lead to complacency and a lack of motivation to improve one's health. Furthermore, the constant promotion of larger sizes has the risk of hindering individuals from recognizing the need to make healthy lifestyle changes and could, at worst, contribute in subtle and undetected ways to the obesity issue.
In conclusion, the fitness industry has the power to promote fitness as a positive and transformative experience that is accessible to all, and although confidence and pride in ones outfit is essential, it is crucial to ensure that the messaging and marketing of fitness-related products do not promote unhealthy lifestyles.
Companies must strike a fine balance between promoting inclusivity and confidence, and promoting a healthy lifestyle to ensure that the power of fitness is harnessed in a way that benefits all individuals.