We want to see more sweat and cellulite, and we want it now
When was the last time you came across a TV ad depicting what we actually look like when exercising? And no, I’m not referring to the Always tampon clips, where the beautiful gazelle of a lady gracefully saunters around a tennis court on her period – wearing, you guessed it, all white.
I mean footage that shows the raw reality of working out: the sweat patches, the panting and the beautifully blotchy red face – all inevitable signs of a solid gym session. Sadly, they’re hard to come by, and with the rapid growth of the influencer market, social media is headed the same direction. With sleek, tanned bodies and tiny waists, fitness bloggers are slowly monopolising what it means to look and be fit.
This is clearly having a negative effect on women, with new research finding that less than a fifth of us find fitness influencers relatable. This coincides with stats showing that as many as two-fifths of women aren’t active at all, due to being held back by fear of being judged.
The study has prompted a comeback by the This Girl Can campaign, initially launched in 2015. This year, This Girl Can is calling for influencers, media and brands to feature more realistic and diverse imagery of women to promote physical activity as accessible for all.
Launching alongside a powerful new advert, the campaign focuses not on the way woman look while exercising, but the way exercise actually makes them feel. Its moving advert also places a spotlight on everyday issues rarely targeted on a wider scale, such as dealing with period cramps or menopausal symptoms while working out.
Discussing the new campaign, Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England said: ‘This Girl Can is about helping women feel confident, so they can overcome the fears about being judged that our research showed was stopping many from getting active.’
‘We’ve designed the new adverts to show things we’re not seeing – women using exercise to manage period symptoms or juggling motherhood – all while celebrating women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds.’
The ad will hopefully go some way in making sure we see more ‘real’ women on our TV screens, as well as making exercise more accessible for all.
For more information about This Girl Can, please visit: www.thisgirlcan.co.uk