‘There has been a momentous shift in thinking about women’s bodies…Women have got fed up with starving themselves to size zero’

Notice the exhortation to bake in the top RH corner (cue eye roll)

…so proclaims Sally Williams in an article in this weekend’s Times magazine (29.10.16)


The new standard of airbrushed perfectionism is no longer skinny. 

it is, apparently, strong.

Weight lifting, squats and ab cracks (yes that is a thing) are the new Beauty.


This movement, which brands itself Fitspiration, is clearing setting itself up as some kind of shining knight on a whiter-than-white charger, galloping to the rescue of not just women’s waistlines but their health and body confidence.

Williams’ article is not 100% slavishly promoting fitspiration in this way. There is some balance, a little questioning of the whole craze as some kind of philosophy – but it is pretty muted.

Let’s turn up the volume on what is really going on here.

Fitspiration is an attack on women’s curves.

Let me be clear – I have nothing against the gym and weightlifting if that’s your thing. I myself have some 4kg handweights sitting about 30 cm from my feet right now that I use 30 minutes every other day, and they give me a very pleasant hit of endorphins. I feel mentally stronger and emotionally more resilient afterwards, and that hit is more powerful than the one I get from cycling.

It is the extremism, the all-or-nothing, give 110% gung-hoism of fitspiration that makes it in essence no different from the size zeroism championed by Kate Moss and other supermodels.

So let’s just take a pinch of fitspiration and use it to our advantage.

Can you cope with the idea of starting with just ten minutes a day light handweights? Once you align yourself with this moderate goal (and by aligning all I mean is actually picking the handweights up for ten minutes 3 days a week instead of making overambitious 2 hours- a-night in the gym plans for future you to carry out), you can build on it as suits you.


This starting from where you are and honouring the beautifully imperfect body you have right now – not another new Instagram-friendly craze – is the real momentous shift in thinking about women’s bodies that needs to take place.