Sjana Earp, at the forefront of the fit model movement.

In a world where we are constantly surrounded by media images of beauty, sometimes it is important to step back and see how the style and message has changed. Every generation has been imposed with a different ‘perfect’ body image.
Where women once envied the curves and sex appeal of Marilyn they were replaced with a new era of tall, slim models like Twiggy and Moss. With summer approaching, HALEY GRAYDON asks: is there really nothing as tasty as skinny feels?

This question is being approached by a new generation of ‘fit fashion’.

Social media is filled with new fit role models. Set on achieving muscle tone, eating well and respecting your body, these women advocate protein powders, not cigarettes. Brands are capitalising on the fitness movement by using girls with bust, strong cores or a passion for yoga as their muses. This relatable and attainable ambassador is better for business and better for the girls who look to it for inspiration.

According to Do Something About It Org, 91 per cent of women surveyed said they were unhappy with their body image. Of those who participated, only 5 per cent had the body criterion supported in American media, and even they had something they were not happy with.

While ‘body image’ is often portrayed in a negative sense, a new group have emerged to promote a positive spin. In the Youth Awards For Body Image, groups such as Sportsgirl and Girlfriend magazine have taken the initiative to get the new norm to be well, normal. Where Elle as ‘The Body’ was once a single beacon of healthiness, a new wave of prominent fitness gurus (like Sjana Earp of Smyle blog fame) is emerging. With mini-tutorials on their blogs and healthy eating recipes, the world is swept up in a healthy euphoria.

Although these are by definition ‘healthier’ role models, most of the time people don’t see or understand the effort that these people go to when achieve their goals. Strict diets, lots of exercise and infallible will power is not natural or healthy for all. As a result, girls are constantly exposed to the end result, without seeing where these fit role models came from. Sometimes it’s just down to genetics, other times it’s a lot of behind the scenes work. The summer pressure to be toned, tanned and healthy has lead to some extreme fads including ‘teatoxes’, a potent natural laxative blend that promotes weight loss.

I am not denying that there are disadvantages to promoting fit fashion, but if we teach ourselves, our daughters and our friends to take the positive messages out of it we could be on the right track. Away from the catwalk scene, these girls promote balance and reaching your own personal fitness goals. Be inspired by their healthy recipes, be encouraged by their start out stories and be empowered by their advocating of balance.

Step away from the diet shake and go to yoga, laugh a little and learn to blend greens into a smoothie. Love, be selective of your role models and empower yourself by choosing your summer message.