Sex sells….I get that. Beautiful women and scantily clad bodies have been used in product promotion since it became socially acceptable in the 60’s. In an industry like health and fitness this is to be expected. I’m not expecting pictures showing a bunch of nuns doing clean and presses, but I am beginning to question the real impact these over-the-top images and fitness personalities are having. Could it be people are more drawn to an image, or an “ideal” body type, than to the workout or content itself? If so, the wool has been pulled over the eyes of consumers yet again and millions are simply falling victim to clever (and not so clever) marketing campaigns.
I’ve been wondering for some time if people are simply more attracted to the person leading the workouts than they are to anything else. If so, the problem here is obvious. Quality and safety of workouts can be thrown to the wind…as long as the person leading the workout has six-pack abs and (in some cases) a lot of silicone, rest assured people will be hooked. When combined with the fact the average person will NEVER be able to achieve this body type, a monumental set up for burn out and loss of motivation occurs.
Let’s take a look at one of the most glaring examples of what I’m talking about; BodyRock.TV. BodyRock.TV is lead by
Susana Spears, Zuzana Light. She’s got a great body, lots of plastic, and a nice Russian accent. It’s easy to see why both women and men are attracted to her. But when we really get down to it, Zuzana is an ex-porn star (Susana Spears) who decided to start videotaping herself doing exercises at home wearing next to nothing. I’m not going to knock her right to do this…based on her number of followers and supporters, it clear is working for her.
That said, the camera angles are usually shot from behind, or overly zoomed in on her butt, stomach, and breasts. How is this helpful when someone is trying to learn proper form? Zuzana is clearly using the “sex sells” approach to get her message out there and attract impressionable viewers. You need to ask yourself, is an ex-porn star with a great body really qualified to be giving fitness advice AND is said fitness advice going to do more than waste my time?
I’m not here to say whether BodyRock.TV works or not. I’ve done the workouts and they are solid, I’ll give respect there. I’m here to remind you to open your eyes and look past the glitz and glammer. Starting a new workout program simply because the girl in front of you has double D’s and a flat stomach doesn’t mean you’re going to totally transform your body into something resembling hers.
Of course there are countless other internet trainers who are using over-the-top outfits and angles to emphasize their sex appeal, BodyRockTV is just a well-known example. If half the workout is shot from an angle like the one to the left, you may be getting all fluff and no substance (no pun intended).
The Good Guys
Now, please don’t take this as an assault on all the pretty and fit trainers out there. There is nothing that gets my blood boiling more than the out-of-shape, overweight trainers commonly found at places like 24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, etc. These companies expect top dollar for training sessions led by people who don’t even know how to get themselves in shape. Absolutely ridiculous. But that’s another story for another day.
The sex sells approach isn’t necessarily what is at issue. If you’ve got a great body and the FOCUS of your videos and workouts isn’t on your body, but on the quality of your workouts, you’re on track. More power to you if you want to show off your body and hard work while you’re doing your workouts. I think a perfect example of this is found in the Tone It Up girls. Karena and Katrina are obviously both fit and beautiful, which they emphasize, but not in a sleazy and over-the-top way that BodyRock.TV does. Further, Katrina has overcome some weight issues of her own, which she proudly displays on their blog.
With all things, consider the source of your information. Whether its news, recipes, or workouts, you’ve got to consider the person delivering it and how they portray themselves. Personally, I’d rather get my fitness information from someone who has been through a weight battle of their own, as opposed to an ex-porn star who groans, moans, and rolls around on the ground and calls it a workout.
At Share It Fitness, you’ll never see me in a string bikini rolling around on the floor grunting and groaning using a sex sells approach. (For those who don’t know, I’m a dude, so that’d be tongue in cheek).
Me….Anyone still dying to see me in a string bikini doing deadlifts?
The point is, we like to give you the best possible advice we can, from the best (and most qualified) trainers we have on our team. We’ve never said the Share It Fitness way is the only way. We appreciate and support all of the quality trainers, bloggers, and healthy living guru’s out there who sell themselves and their product based on quality, not sex. Big shout outs to Tone It Up, Nerd Fitness, Workout Nirvana, Roman Fitness Systems, Play a Good Knife and Fork, Fit Bottomed Girls, the team over at Greatist, and all of the other people out there who are putting in the time, effort, and dedication to improve the lives of their readers…often without any recognition.
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