Healthy role models – with Kim

As a female fitness professional, the recent uproar regarding the ‘ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?’ ads by Protein World has really got me thinking. I completely understand how this would cause some people to think negatively about the image which has been used and portrayed as ‘beach body ready’, as anyone is ready to set foot onto a beach regardless of their image. If you are happy and feel confident in the way you look, then your image should not matter.

However, I do feel strongly about the fact that a healthier image should be used within the media. I do not mean those who are underweight or ‘thin’, but the ‘female fitness’ look is becoming increasingly popular due to the level of strength and confidence you achieve from this way of training and lifestyle. I can safely say that I have never felt so healthy, strong and driven in my everyday life since I changed my lifestyle to a healthier one.

I completely disagree with how this advertisement was done in regards to making this seem like the ideal beach image. However, with alternative wording, this advertisement would have been received completely differently and not seen as the way you should look in order to be beach ready. I feel the statement written by the model used in the ads, Renee Somerfield, was the perfect response to the negativity she has received:

“I am a real person behind the image. I work very hard and live a healthy and active lifestyle which is why Protein World chose me for their campaign. I couldn’t work every day as a full time model by starving myself, dieting or not looking after my body. Nourish your body, be kind to it and it will love you right back, no matter your size. I agree that all bodies are ‘beach body ready’. Skinny, curvy, muscular, petite, tall, short, young and old. Confidence is beautiful no matter what size you are…. Your reflection doesn’t define your worth.”

I am not suggesting that we should all become athletic and abide by the images we see portrayed in the media as ‘beach body ready’, but I do feel very strongly that the healthier image should be used as a tool to educate those who do need to make a positive change to their well-being in order to better their quality of life.

I am currently revising for an exam on the special populations and am covering a unit on obesity and diabetes. During my research on this subject it just brings home how important the healthier lifestyle is, not only for the development of self confidence, but also improving your health and wellbeing. Although this is slightly off topic from the Protein World ads, I thought I would share a few facts with you:

• 2014 figures showed that 67% of males and 57% of females are overweight or obese
• The UK’s NHS is currently spending £1 out of every £10 on diabetes
• 9 out of 10 type 2 diabetes cases being linked to obesity
• Obesity cost the UK £44.7 billion in 2012
• Claims that ‘obesity will bankrupt the NHS’

How crazy is this? I am not too hot on politics, but with the recent complaints on cuts within the NHS following the elections, I can see straight away that there would be room for improvement here! This is something which we can change as a population just by changing how we live. You may disagree with my view, but I just feel strongly about bettering our lives and I do not feel that an image of a healthy looking female should be called offensive to the female population. I find it crazy that fast foods, alcohol and other unhealthy products are splashed across TV and media on a daily basis, with minimal complaints! But when a healthy female appears on a nutritional banner, it receives a huge surge of negativity.

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