Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I have seen more images of friends flexing than I ever imagined. When I got my first iPhone in late 2012, I quickly grew accustomed to swiping past images of gourmet cupcakes and food trucks. Now those posts have come up less and less, inversely mimicking the frequency of pictures related to the gym. This is clearly not, in itself, bad. Hell yeah, if you have the determination to commit to working out, go you! Personally, I don’t have that drive. I’ve never felt my fitness-minded friends thought less of me for this, but I was curious how the other weightlifters felt about my lifestyle.
The first thing that came to my mind to search on Instagram was #doyouevenliftbro. The images that came up (for the most part) were expected: daily motivation to pump iron, selfies en route to the gym, people sharing their progress along their path to their ideal form. All totally positive and uplifting stuff. However, sprinkled in like a dusting of Comet on a salad were some corrosive images that made parts of my insides hurt – mostly my heart. Aside from a smaller percentage of images geared towards women, the majority of these bully-tactic-embracing posts were attacking men. I took a few screen shots of some real zingers, and I don’t want to spoon feed you what is innately upsetting about them, but I would be happy to put a little on your lips to give you a taste.
Initially, I was confused about what message this was sending, but no matter the context, it was still awful. A male posted this, so one could draw the assumption he’s speaking to his significant other. Is he forcing her to participate in his lifestyle? If so, that’s not cool. Fitness is totally cool if it is your choice, but waking another person from their sleep – also a healthy activity – to force them to be fit on your schedule is no one’s place. She is not your pet hamster that you dig out of her hut when you want to play with her; she has a life of her own as well as the ability to make choices for herself. Maybe he’s not going to the gym with her though. So he’s saying her body isn’t to his standard, which is also reason to tell him to GTFO. That body belongs to her. If she wants it to be fit, she can do it on her own without you interfering with her body and mind resting.