Why I Hate the Hashtags #FatNotThin and #StrongNotSkinny

Fitness is a big part of my job. I edit a fitness website, run a women’s fitness blog , lead women’s running groups and spend a lot of time in the gym (don’t worry, I go to the pub and eat chips too, I’m not a freak).

Working in fitness, it’s my job to keep up to speed on all things workout-worthy, which means my social media is a never-ending torrent of #fitspiration. My Instagram and Twitter feeds are crammed with oiled bodies, short shorts, and dubious ‘motivational’ quotes.

A photo posted by Celeb Training with Sam Faiers (@celebtrainsam) on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:04pm PDT

Facebook is constantly telling me how far my friends have run, showing me pictures of green smoothies and trying to hawk me trainers. My inbox is overflowing with details of the latest sleb-endorsed miracle superfood or fitness DVD from a reality-TV starlet.

In short, everywhere I look there’s a half-naked woman with her abs out trying to sell me stuff.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past couple of years, though, is that those abs are getting steadily musclier. Whereas once the media portrayed fitness as being all about slimming down to look good on the beach, hitting a magic number on the scales, or losing 10lbs in 10 days by drinking only snail saliva, the tide is turning.

Butts are having a moment, muscles are suddenly cool, and middle-aged women aren’t trying to look like pre-teen models anymore. Hallelujah

Now it’s more about actually being fit. Butts are having a moment, muscles are suddenly cool, and middle-aged women aren’t trying to look like pre-teen models anymore. Hallelujah. This is great!

Or it should be. But for every amazing This Girl Can campaign – showing women of all walks of life working out, and making no segregation via shape or size – there’s another I just can’t get behind.

A photo posted by This Girl Can (@thisgirlcanuk) on Jul 31, 2015 at 12:57pm PDT

My particular bugbears are the #StrongNotSkinny and #FitNotThin hashtags that are splashed all over social media these days – the latter originated as part of a Sunday Times campaign, which ran in 2013 and 2014.

While I get where they’re coming from – stop trying to starve yourself to look like *insert name of slender popstar*and focus on having a strong, healthy body instead – why do they have to do it by demonising yet another (often healthy, and often genetic) body type? You wouldn’t go round calling people fatty, so why is it okay to comment on them being ‘skinny’?

HIIT will be the death of me

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