I’m sure this may rub many people up the wrong way. Well, two types of people – the Instagram fitness fanatics who are innocent of this, and then the instagram fitness fanatics who “believe” they’re innocent of this.
Actually, probably also a third type – the ones who do know they’re guilty of it, and are annoyed I’ve brought it to light.
Dear Fitness Fanatics of Instagram…
I don’t know whether it’s my tiny profile picture of my face, or the fact that I’m a mum, that makes you believe it’s ok to contact me by DM on Instagram, to offer me your diet stuff.
If it’s my profile photo – I’m insulted! It’s a tiny photo and I think I look alright in it tbh.
If it’s the fact that I’m a mum – I’m insulted!
Ok, so you’re a mum too (or a dad), and you had your kid, then joined a plan (probably because you were DM’d on insta!), lost some weight (a little or a lot – doesn’t matter for this post), and want to share your success with the world.
THAT’S GREAT! Congratulations.
I’m genuinely pleased that you set your goals and stuck to them, and had great success.
I applaud you for your dedication to your own health and wellbeing.
It’s amazing that you’ve now got so much energy to run around with your kids without getting out of breath, and needing to sit down to rest every ten minutes.
That dress you fit back into looks amazing on you. Good on you!
Your blood pressure is down? High five!
Ok now stop. Wait a minute….
I’ve ‘liked’ two of your photos and now you’re DMing me??
“Hey girrrrl. Thanks for the love on my feed. I really appreciate it. All girls together! Lift each other up!
Were you looking to find out more information? I think you’d be ideal for this and I’ve got just one spot left in my programme…”
Backup. Firstly, when you followed me I knew full well that one of two things would happen.
- You’d unfollow me within four days (yes you sneaky f/uf people – you’re so predictable!) once you can see I’ve been actively liking your content. Or…
- You’d soon be private messaging me to get me to join or buy something.
The Rise of The Fitness Fanatic Instagrammer (for me anyways)
This month has seen a huge rise of 13%* in new followers of the fitness variety on my account (which is @twinningathome by the way…).
It seems like Juice plus and Le-vel are having some sort of uprising again.
First of all, I don’t understand WHY you followed me… Not once have I mentioned the need to lose weight, exercise, or diet, in my Insta posts. Not once.
Never have I ever exclaimed that I’d love to have more energy, fit in old skinny jeans, or be able to stick to a healthy eating plan.
So why have you followed me when we ultimately have barely a thing in common….?
Oh yes of course – I’m a mum!
It seems that being a mum on Instagram automatically places you into the ‘needs to lose weight’ box.
If I’m a mum I’m a prime target for the Instagram fitness fanatics. Ripe for the picking. Obviously up for shifting a few hundred pounds.
It seems like it’s almost a given that I need to be physically saved. Like I probably can’t give my all as a mum, when I’m carrying some weight.
Or that as a mum I’ve probably neglected myself, and I should spend time (and money!) on getting back to my pre-mum ways. For ‘me’, you understand.
No, you don’t genuinely care – because you don’t know me!
Pure and simple, you want to make money, by peddling your fitness programme, or your fruit and veg capsules, or your weight loss protein shakes.
I get it!
I do. We all want to earn a living. I myself share affiliate links to products I recommend, in some of my blog posts, so that I can hopefully earn a small commission.
But! I would never ever DM someone on social media that I’ve never interacted with before, out of the blue, just to say “hey, I use this product to make great crafts for my kids and I think you should check it out. You would really benefit from using it too. I can give you more information?”.
Because that would be craft shaming. It would be me saying ‘hey I’ve checked out your profile, it looks like you’re really crap at crafts, luckily I’m here to totally recommend this pricey item, so that you can be a better crafter too’.
I mean that just sounds shitty doesn’t it?
Do you see where I’m going with this??
When you randomly DM me, with the SOLE purpose of selling me your weight loss programme, or your weight loss products – you’re not uplifting me. You’re not empowering me. You’re not encouraging me to be a better me.
You’re saying that you took one look at my profile bio and put me straight into your ‘potential to make money because she’s a mum and probably wants to lose weight’ box. You’re telling me I’m inadequate as I am. You’re telling me that I can be a better person or a better mum, by doing what you’re doing. You’re telling me I’m fat.
You’re basically body shaming me, and mum shaming me. You likely don’t realise it, but you are.
At least, that’s how it makes me feel (or actually, how it WOULD make me feel if I didn’t see right through you, and have thick (or fat) skin!).
But I can’t help wondering how other mum’s must feel, when they get the exact same messages from you… As I’ve no doubt that they do.
Mum’s who perhaps are already struggling with themselves. Mum’s who have low self esteem, who need to work on those issues within them, without being hassled by you about their weight and fitness (which may not even be an issue for them until you make it one!).
It’s called SOCIAL media. Get to know people through interacting with them and their profile, before you ‘weigh’ in with your sales pitch. Because actually, you may find that many many people other than me – are actually – (shock horror) – happy as they are!
(and yes, I’m putting you in a box, because you put yourself in a box by all having the same flipping tactics!).
So please fitness fanatics of Instagram – just stop. A follow or a photo like from me, isn’t an invitation for shame.
When I’m ready to work on any weight issues I may have, I’ll be working on the plan I’m already signed up for (which I found all by myself without having to be pitched!), that is dedicated to my issue of diastasis recti.
Want some info?? 😉
Are you a mum and get the same as me?? Let me know in the comments.
*a totally made up statistic