Peachy Bums and Muscly Tums

The Rise of Food and Fitness on Social Media

Caitlin Rawlings
26th November 2018
Image: Christopher Campbell

Apart from the gym, the second most common place to see people working out is on social media. We are living in an era which is seeing the rise of the fitness phenomenon as the western population strive for perfectly preened bodies and aesthetic dishes to post all over their social media accounts.

As a generation, we have experienced the growth of social media before the age of Snap Maps and 24-hour stories, therefore over time we have learnt to understand the tags #transformationtuesday and #fitspo. Over 60.7M photos of perk bums and bulging muscles appear on our phone screens as the fitness world infiltrates our lives whether we want it to or not. Whether this inspires us to sign the dotted line on a gym membership or if it actually fills us with guilt for feasting on a midnight McDonalds remains debatable…   

The 2018 State of the UK Fitness industry report reveals that there are over 7,000 gyms across the UK, with 1 in 7 people holding a gym membership and the net worth of the fitness industry being £4.9 billion. Fitness stars across the world have risen to fame throughout social media platforms such as Instagram. Famous names such as Sommer Ray, the 22-year-old American fitness fanatic has over 19.3M followers and is allegedly paid over £20,000 per Instagram post. It has quickly become a trend to brand yourself a ‘gym-enthusiast’ in your Instagram and twitter bios as you strive towards the goal of the ‘perfect’ body.  

Arguably, the rise of fitness wear infiltrating everyday fashion has seen a surge of brands such as ‘Gym Shark’ and ‘Good American’ appearing on millions of gym selfies worldwide. These brands have ended the days of neon sweat pants and smart Marks & Spencer sports bras and have now deemed ombre twin sets the fashionable gym attire. This change of making fitness fashionable has been documented on social media as the message continues to reach users globally.  

Another emerging craze is the supposed ‘dream diet’. It is now a familiar picture to see people stand on their seats to get the correct angle of their avocado salads or to hold up their detox juices in front of shop windows to get that perfect Instagram shot. In this era, it’s not socially acceptable to hate avocados and kale. Social media has decided that salads are the in thing and fatty fries are going out of style.  

At this rate, social media will remain part of our society for the rest of our lives. The glamorisation of a healthy lifestyle is productive when seen as a means of motivation towards a balanced diet and remaining confident in your body regardless of what the scales say. However, the fascination with fitness should not be seen as a time when what you eat and how you look is more important than how you feel.  


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