Flash forward almost 20 years and these ads have morphed into something entirely different.
Nike still plays it relatively safe, but commands hard work and harder bodies.
Others have a more radical tone. Following in the footsteps of thinspiration, fitspiration (nicknamed "fitspo"), offers internet images and slogans designed to motivate us toward our fitness goals. Popping up on social media sites are images of women with toned, muscular bodies and especially chiseled abs accompanied by inspirational messages evoking themes of discipline, failure, and pain.
Charlotte Anderson of the blog (and book), The Great Fitness Experiment, writes about fitspo:
Looking at rock-hard body after rock-hard body it occurred to met hat fitspo may be in thinspo in a sports bra. After all ,the problem with thinspo is that the images represent a mostly unattainable ideal that requires great sacrifices (both physical and mental) to achieve and I daresay that most of those "perfect" female bodies, albeit muscular instead of bony, are equally as problematic.What do you think? Do fitspo images and slogans motivate fitness behavior in the masses or promote an unhealthy relationship with exercise, food, and weight? Are these ads just more socially acceptable forms of thinspo?
Strong is certainly a healthier goal than skinny, and I'd love to see images of strong women of various shapes and sizes. But if strong really is the new sexy, then why are these women all so skinny?