In the last few years, we’ve been hearing a lot about diversity, inclusivity, and representation, mostly for minorities and underprivileged groups. But can the same be said for the health and fitness industry?
It doesn’t matter how far back you go, the fitness industry always seems to promote healthy, fit, able-bodied people, making the rest of us feel bad about ourselves and things we can’t control.
If we want to promote a healthier lifestyle for all, it’s best to include everyone and anyone we can into the conversation. Here are some reasons why the health and fitness industry needs to embrace diversity.
Fitness isn’t just for the fit and able-bodied
Contrary to what is shown and promoted in fitness magazines and social media, fitness, and health isn’t just reserved for the fit and able-bodied. People from different races, ethnicities, and people with various body types have every right to work out and stay fit.
The notion that you need to look a certain way to be considered “fit” needs to be eradicated, making space for more and more people to join in.
The fitness models you see in magazines and on social media aren’t a true representation of what an average man or woman looks like. It only further perpetuates the idea that being fit and healthy is synonymous with looking a certain way and being a certain size.
Representation can make a world of difference
If you’re a white man or woman who constantly sees people like them on TV or being promoted in sports magazines, you might have no idea about the power of representation, mostly because you get more of it than any other race or body type.
However, people who’re not used to seeing other people like them in fitness magazines and fashion runaways will always be discouraged. It’s important for thick black women, and others to see themselves on the covers of fitness magazines, creating a more diverse and inclusive fitness and health industry.
Offers learning and growing opportunities
Without diversity and representation in the fitness and health community, you run the risk of group thinking and miss out on opportunities to learn and grow from others.
Constantly being around the same kind of people, limits your ability to develop an extensive variety of opinions and perspectives. Including people from different races, ethnicities, and body types allows you to open up new conversations, learn more and grow as a result of the exposure to new ideas.
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