Health

This Woman Was Used as 'Fitness Inspiration' and Wanted No Part of It

You may have heard of "thinspo," short for "thinspiration." It's an unhealthy form of motivation in which women, typically, post photos of thin people to "inspire" themselves to be thin too. 

"Fitspo" is the latest iteration of that, with women who look fit idealized and their photos shared across internet communities. When lifestyle blogger Sophie Gray found herself being used in this way, she wanted no part of it.

 

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

"You no longer see pictures of my body this way on @Instagram for this reason," Gray posted on Wednesday.

Gray is referring to a photo of herself in a crop top that was posted by "gramoursfitness," an Instagram account. They posted her image with the caption, "Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels," a twist on the popular thinspiration quote, "nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels."

That's when Gray clapped back in the comments:

Actually, from experience and seeing as I'm the person in the photo.. I know that pizza and cookies taste way better.

Gray posted the exchange on her page to highlight a key point: "Having a six pack and thigh gap doesn't make you happy. Pizza and cookies are fucking delicious. And I'm sick of women being told they have to be anything other than themselves to be happy. I know I was in the #fitspo industry for years, and I still want you to care for your body—but 🖕 this bullshit."

 

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

She also posted her revisions to the photo on Facebook, where it has well over 1,000 likes and supportive comments:

 

 

As Gray told ATTN:, this episode speaks to a larger issue than just the misuse of Instagram photos. 

"It makes me mad that my images are being used by other accounts and even by companies (illegally to promote their products) as a way to make women feel like shit," Gray wrote in an email.

 

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

"I understand I have a 'privileged' body—and with that, I need to be aware of the fact that women compare themselves to me," she continued. "That is why I share what I do on my @wayofgray Instagram and Facebook. I want women to know that they don't need to look a certain way to be deserving of their own love. My own experiences with anxiety, depression, self harm and self rejection wasn't stopped because I look the way I do."

"Happiness and thinness don't have anything to do with one another—and that's why I'm so mad and frustrated with the #fitspo images we're seeing today," she wrote.

 

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

"It's telling women they have to be someone other than themselves to be happy," Gray concluded, "and that's totally bullshit."