Joining a gym can be very intimidating. HeavierÂ people often feel as though they don't "belong" in a gym, or as though they don't have the same freedom to go for a jog or a bike ride as a fit person.
What a double-edge sword! People feel intimidated to go the gym, so they don't exercise? which only further makes them feel more uncomfortable in their bodies, and more likely to skip working out.Â Thankfully, that is starting to change. Body positivity is becoming en vogue across the nation, both in Hollywood and beyond.
Now, a new stock photo collection is helping to promote the body acceptance movement. As covered by Self magazine, Real Body Stock Fitness is devoted to making sure that everyone feels welcome in the gym, whether they are a size 2 or a size 22.
Founders of Real Body Stock Fitness, Michele Burmaster and Danielle Lohman, say that they were inspired to start the photo service because so many trainers had similar feedback about typical stock fitness photos. They simply didn't reflect the reality of most of their clients' bodies!
Here's what a standard stock imageÂ of a woman working out looks like:
Trainers and gym owners wondered: How can we make our clients feel welcome and motivated when they are surrounded by images of fitness models that represent goals that are unattainable for most people?
In fact, not only are most traditional fitness photos of very fit, thin people, but they are also of very young people. How can a 53-year-old woman who has had four kids feel motivated to work out if she is surrounded by pictures of a thin ,18-year-old model with a "perfect" body effortlessly holding a plank? Or, how can a 40-year-old man with a bad back and health concerns feel inspired by pictures of a man with impossibly huge arms and ripped abs? It simply isn't realistic, and this can make people feel hopeless and ashamed (pretty much the opposite of how you need to feel at the gym!).
Real Body Stock Fitness solves this dilemma, providing beautiful, inspiring images of people of all ages, sizes and abilities working out.
Given that the average American woman is a size 16, these photos are certainly a welcome addition to the stock photo landscape that surrounds us!