WHY DOING WHAT THAT INSTAGRAM MODEL DOES WON’T MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE THAT INSTAGRAM MODEL
GENETICS, PLASTIC SURGERY, AND EXTREME ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT
By Anna Alvarado
THE TEN SECOND TRANSFORMATION. Left photo (before) taken at 1:05:27 pm. Right photo (after) taken at 1:05:35 pm.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” –Theodore Roosevelt
I do it, too. I scroll (and scroll and scroll and scroll) past Gymshark clad fitness models posing ever so casually on new cars/ benches at South Beach/exercise balls– and I wrack my brain to figure out how their abs could be so lean without seeming to have sacrificed any breast tissue. Oh yeah, breast enhancement. I’m all for doing what makes you feel your best (breast enhancement included), and long story short, I’ve learned that comparing myself to the women I see online is probably the thing that makes me feel my worst.
Firstly, no amount of bench pressing or fasted cardio is going to give me the chest to waist ratio of someone with the advantages of silicone. I can push heavy weights and count my macros to a T but that silhouette will not be borne of solely my hard work, and unless plastic surgery becomes an option for me, lamenting over having a small chest will only be a waste of my own time.
Secondly, I come from a line of athletically built women. We are strong and powerful in our movements. I did gymnastic for twelve years, and built up the core strength to perform impressive and complex skills. Never have I ever had an hourglass shape– even at my leanest, I simply flattened out, never getting narrower across the middle. My best friend growing up on the other hand, looked as though she were always wearing some sort of casual corset. Nothing extreme, but her narrow ribcage and wide hips gave her exactly an hourglass figure. No matter what she weighed, she never lost it. I dedicated too much time and effort restricting my diet and manipulating my wardrobe to try to achieve a shape that genetically wasn’t in the cards for me, rather than learning to appreciate the core that held me upright, enabled me to lift, push, pull, and climb.
Thirdly, I’m smarter than Instagram. I know how Photoshop works, I know angles/lighting/flexing is everything. Those are precisely the tools so many of those “Instagram fitness models” rely upon. Suck it in, pop the booty, and boom, you’ve got yourself a hefty handful of likes. Have I done exactly that? Absolutely. Is it wrong? Not necessarily… however if you present to the world that your sucked in, nip/tucked, Photoshopped body is 100% “#BuiltNotBought” and achievable through exclusively consistent hard work and proper nutrition, you are contributing to the increasingly problematic culture of fitness on social media. Instagram and similar platforms allow us a perfect Petri dish for breeding the idea that fitness revolves around and manifests itself in aesthetics– which is simply not true. Fitness is about how you feel, how you move, and what you are capable of. Train as such.
Bonus: That pose you see 90% of Instagram fit girls doing? It’s called extreme anterior pelvic tilt, and it’s terrible for you when done consistently– bad for your hip flexors, and even worse for your low back. Avoid it. #TheMoreYouKnow
Anna Alvarado is a Certified Functional Strength Coach, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. Currently she practices pole dance fitness and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She can be contacted for coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-395-6027.