Health, Health, Health Care, health Habits health Snacking Health Technology Why Fitness Stock Photos Are Failing Us All
Earlier this week, we launched our #LoveMyShape body pos, anti-body shaming campaign. The goal of #LoveMyShape is to highlight the strong, beautiful, badass women who inspire us and continue the complex and nuanced conversation around body confidence. We have no shortage of story ideas that we can't wait to share with you, but finding great images to accompany them? Now, that's another story.

Why Fitness Stock Photos Are Failing Us All

As digital editors who spend countless hours in stock photo databases searching for the perfect photo of a kettlebell swing or downward dog pose, we already knew that the options in the wellness and fitness realm can be limited, to say the least. The bottom line is, if you're looking to find body types outside of very thin or extremely chiseled women with six-packs and bulging biceps, you'll be looking for a while.
Why Fitness Stock Photos Are Failing Us All
And don't even get us started on photos of women eating. You might already be aware of the alarming number of pictures of skinny women laughing alone while eating salad after a gallery highlighting the hilarious stock photo trend became an Internet sensation a few years ago. But search for something like 'woman eating hamburger' and you'll be just as shocked at the way larger women are shamed and stereotyped in almost every photo. Often, it's sitting in front of enough french fries, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs to feed ten people, or literally stuffing their mouths with junk food. (Because apparently you have to be a certain weight to eat a salad and if you eat fast food you must naturally be a disgusting slob with no table manners!)
Weight loss photos are just as bad. Search for any combo of 'woman' and 'weight loss' and right away you'll see a skinny woman who doesn't need to lose weight standing on a scale with a shocked expression on her face, pinching her non-existent stomach fat (otherwise known as skin), or with a tape measure around her tiny waist. And again, you'll see heavier women depicted in unflattering and straight-up insulting ways—trying to button up a pair of pants about three sizes too small, trying to cut her stomach with an actual scissor ("fat woman trying to get rid of excess fat," it's called), or with a liposuction syringe sticking into her. Enough is enough.
So where are the photos of strong, healthy women of all shapes kicking ass in the gym? Why are larger women only portrayed as either unhappy, unhealthy, or trying to lose weight? And why should the quality of images depend on the size of the model? The fact that stock imagery falls seriously short at depicting fit women who don't look like well, fitness models, is frustrating for us, and we know it is for you too. 
Ghulam Haider Blogger

Ghulam Haidder

Ghulam Haider is a Pakistani Professional Blogger, Online Entrepreneur, Internet Celebrity, YouTuber and Social Media Activist.

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