For decades, women have been constantly fed the idea that in order to be considered as beautiful by society, they have to maintain an extremely thin and slender physique. This has led to many women without a naturally small frame to resort to eating disorders and body dysmorphia. This “thin ideal” has been constantly portrayed and reinforced by celebrities and supermodels all over the world.
But, along with this thin ideal, a new and possibly even harder to achieve physical mold of what beauty looks like is becoming popularized. This new body type includes woman who are relatively thin but are muscular and very well toned.
Abs, defined arms, and muscular butts are the physical attributes that are being highly portrayed as aspirational features all across social media. This can be classified in the term “fitspiration” where women are posing in athletic wear during workouts or posing in order to show off certain muscle groups. And while many of these fitness posts are supposedly supporting health, many are actually supporting looks and beauty above all else.
Aspiring for muscle is not all bad though, and many of the woman who constantly post fitspiration on their social media accounts genuinely want to promote a healthy lifestyle and inspire others to achieve the same. Many woman turn to weight lifting and the aspiration of gaining muscle for personal reasons, such as becoming stronger, healthier, and more confident.
A lot of women who have experienced severe malnutrition due to eating disorders have also started turning to muscle building as a different, healthier form f addictive behavior. It is important to note, though, that while many people post these inspirational fitness pictures on social media, you should never compare yourself to another person or follow a restrictive plan because it may cause more harm than health.