For all of the really positive, rewarding and inspirational effects that it can have upon our lives, here at DadBods, we can’t help but have one major gripe with the "fitness industry".
And what is that?
It is, for the most part, not an industry based around fitness.
It is an industry primarily based around aesthetics. It should be referred to as the aesthetics industry. Or the you-should-look-better industry. Or, even the pay-us-money-and-we-will-try-to-make-your-body-beautiful industry.
It is an industry that preys on the insecurities that we all have about our bodies under the pretense of caring about our health and fitness. It is an industry that constantly promotes images of the human body that can often only be achieved with airbrushing, fake tanning and perfect lighting. It is an industry where the dream of looking like the latest Instagram model (who took 200 pictures just to choose the perfect one and then spend 30 minutes editing it) is sold on a daily basis.
It is an Industry that often glorifies what we look like on the outside, regardless of how we function and, more importantly, feel on the inside.
Now just before we receive a bunch of emails from PT’s, coaches, gym owners and fitness enthusiasts hating because they are out there genuinely trying to help themselves and others look after their actual health and fitness - we get it! There are genuine people and legitimate organisations everywhere looking to improve people’s health, fitness and quality of life. Trust us - we are one of them!
But if you are in any of those positions yourself - take a look around you…
How much of what you see is about ‘toning up’, ‘beach bodies’, ‘building dat booty’ or ‘looking like so-and-so’?? When what it should really be about is ‘not dying’, ‘staying mobile’ and ‘being able to pick up my kid without giving myself a hernia’.
Now, clearly we aren’t saying that there aren’t large parts of the fitness industry that we absolutely love and respect. Pre- and post-natal training. Injury prevention and rehabilitation. The increasing attention on function and mobility. The holistic approach to wellness that focuses on the connection between mental and physical health. The list goes on.
But the industry is still plagued by an intense focus on people’s physical appearances. And we get it - it’s human nature. We feel good when we look good. We like our hair to look good. We like wearing nice clothes. And we definitely like to feel confident naked. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that on a personal level.
But for an industry to prey on those desires and insecurities inherent in the human race under the pretense of ‘health & fitness’… well… that is an issue.
So at the end of the day - we guess our message is this:
If you are one of the professionals or businesses within the industry - step back and ask yourself - How much of my business comes from selling the shallow prioritisation of physical aesthetics? If the answer is more than 50%. Change.
If you are one of the many, many customers of this industry - step back and ask yourself - How much of what I am doing and paying for is actually focussed on improving my body’s capacity to cope with the physical stresses of life? If the answer is less than 50%. Change. You never know... you might just get the body you are looking for in the process!