You can’t move on Instagram for motivational ‘fitspiration’ images these days. In fact, for many people, the image- and video-sharing site has become a key tool in their fitness journey.
It’s a great place to get workout and nutrition tips, watch videos showing the correct form for certain exercises, and garner advice and support as you pursue your fitness goals.
But while the social network can be a brilliant fitness resource, it’s also, frankly, a great place to look at pictures of hot, obsessively-toned butts.
Some popular fitness Instagrammers, such as Jen Selter (5.5 million followers and counting), are as well known for their sexy ass, boob and bikini snaps as they are for their exercise advice. Some of the guys are pulling their shorts so far down – in order to display their abs – that you can see their short’n’curlies…
So, is instagram over-sexualising fitness? Do you find these images inspirational and sexy, or just a bit ridiculous and soft-porny?
We asked Instagram-using Unbound readers for their thoughts
“I like CrossFit accounts, and those showing real body transformations. Some of the pics I’ve seen of men’s abs have to be Photoshopped, though. And my God, some of them look like gay phone-sex hotline adverts – they verge on being pornographic.
Some shots verge on being pornographic
“That makes me take the person giving fitness advice less seriously. I wouldn’t hire a trainer who put up shots like that. It’s unprofessional.”
“It all depends on whether people are getting into fitness for the physical benefits or the aesthetic ones. I’d argue that there’s a large proportion of men and women who get uber-fit for the way it makes their bodies look.
“There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’d expect those men and women to have sexy body-shots on their social-media pages.”
I don’t post sexy selfies on my own account
“I’ve read a lot of blogs discussing the perception of females in the fitness world and whether they’re too sexualised, but I think it’s their choice. If they want to wear a tiny pair of shorts while promoting a tub of protein shake, they should bloody go for it!
“I don’t post sexy selfies on my own account, though – I find it hard not to pull a goofy face as I can’t really take myself seriously. Maybe when I have a banging set of abs I’ll post them. Until then, I’m a bit more sedate.”
“Hmm… It’s a difficult one. I’ve been trying to improve my fitness and body shape for a while now, and I follow several Insta-fitters.
“Nowadays, I find pics of women in bikinis and so on quite inspiring, but thinking back to a year-and-a-half ago when I wasn’t in such good shape, they’d have made me feel terrible about myself.
“I do think a lot of ‘fitness icons’ are over-sexualised, but then, everything is nowadays. People are becoming desensitised to it.”
“The way I see it, if you’ve worked hard for a body worth showing off, show it off.”
“All those shots and videos of women doing squats in yoga pants with perfect hair and make-up just make me roll my eyes.
“I might have to set up my own account that shows me evacuating my bowels after a really hard run, since we’re focusing on our buttocks so much. #keepingitreal”
“I follow Kayla Itsines and find her pics really useful. She shows you techniques you can do in your house. She often wears just a sports bra and shorts but A) She lives in Australia; B) you wouldn’t see exactly how to do the movements if she was wearing baggy clothes; C) I get the impression that she’s proud of her body but isn’t doing it to be sexy.
“I also follow The Skinny Bitch Collective, an annoyingly exclusive trainer who only trains models and attractive celebs. A lot of the images and videos are of the models looking super-hot in slo-mo, but I find it good motivation when I see a thin girl who looks like she has no muscle lifting heavier weights than me – it inspires me to work harder, as I’m very competitive!”