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Social Media and Social Pressure: Physical Pressure, Happiness, Misconception?

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Creating a fitness brand and developing my social media platform was always a dream of mine since I fell in love with weightlifting. While I always seek improvement, I know I came an incredibly long way. From physically working my ass off (on) and transforming my body, posting my journey, and then took the next step of starting to compete in national bodybuilding shows, the response, and support I continue to get is overwhelming – and I mean that in a good way – but sometimes it has its drawbacks. If we’re keeping it real, we must accept the fact that nothing is always totally positive and social media is built on highlight reels.

Even though I got this question many times when I would post Q&A tags-it was always one I shied away from – just because at the time, I myself did not want to accept that I was actually experiencing low points when it came to something I love to do and to share.

Do you feel pressured by your Instagram-looking a certain way?”

I think regardless of who you are or what you do – women especially – feel some sort of pressure to fit a physical look – because society. I see so many women lash out against this these days and that honestly makes me feel so good. When it comes to fitness though, people tend to expect perfection – but even for athletes, there is no such thing.

Let’s talk about the Physical Pressure

It exists.

“You are body goals- I want legs like yours- How to get a butt like that-Perfection-I want to look just like you!”

So now you’re asking yourself what is wrong with receiving those compliments that anyone would be happy to hear that. Right? The thing is, the feeling of gratitude dies down shortly after, and sometimes it can suddenly turn into the most anxious overwhelming feeling.

Because now the pressure is heavy.

This has become the 24/7 expectation of you.

We hold so many people and ourselves to unrealistic expectations without even knowing it. I fought with my body so many times (and still do) to uphold an image that was expected when the reality is-I’m constantly fluctuating- and that's so damn normal. What people don't seem to understand is that Instagram is good lighting, angles, and flexed photos. When it comes to bodybuilding, while we look like that, we also have our moments of not being lean, holding more water, and just a plain old lack of motivation to stay on track. Yes, we can fall off the bandwagon too!

Don't tie it to your Happiness

This is the part where I urge everyone who posts content and spends hours on social media-whether it’s for business purposes or just for fun-to take time to step out of that zone as often as needed. It can easily be the most toxic place to be. I sometimes feel like I’ve entered a war zone with opinions I didn’t ask for, questionable compliments (ladies you know what I'm talking about) as well as idolizing people while putting my own self down. I’m always open for discussion and want to put information/ content out there that can be beneficial. One thing I’ve learned which I’ve actually mastered the art of, it letting a lot of things roll off my back and knowing that regardless of what you do, how good it is, there will always be people who don’t agree, people who like it, those who are completely against it and some that probably like it a little too much lol. This is where you need to keep reminding yourself-this isn’t about those people-this is ONLY about you.

Yes! The goal is to “stick to the plan” but also staying relatable. Trust me, this is a fine line to walk on.

It's easy to get caught up trying to stay on trend and creating likable posts and forgetting to stay grounded to who you are. I'm not saying to not stay on top of the game of things and your business- I'm saying don't live to please a bunch of people who don't even know you- when you focus on being your authentic self, the real ones come to stay.

I'm only speaking from experience where things became a little stiffing to me. What I'm allowed to do, and say-I actually hate that word-but for lack of better- as a businesswomen, don't post this. As an athlete, don't say this. As a trainer, do it this way. While our brands and business are important so are our personalities, who we are at the core and peace of mind.

Filtered Energy- Social Media Misconceptions

“Her body is perfect!”, “Her life is perfect!”, “She is always so positive, I wish I can be that way too!”

“Her body is perfect!”, “Her life is perfect!”, “She is always so positive, I wish I can be that way too!”

If you ever came across my page and that’s the first thing you said to yourself and it brought you down, I apologize if I joined the rest of the fitness Instagram girls that made you feel like we live in this untouchable bubble. We don’t. This is exactly the fine line I’m talking about-the business side of things and the reality. Yes, I want to show you it can always be done, my job is to motivate you and give you encouragement. However, over the years I realized that what gives people hope is just being honest and transparent.

It’s “If she can have all these bad days and still get it done, I can too” “If she gets bloated and have bad body image days, I don’t need to beat myself up about this so much” “If she can fall off and get back up, I surely can” This is what I want people to feel when they visit my platform. Because-reality is- we're all doing the best we can and holding ourselves together. Every day won't be a positive one. Showing up for yourself in those moments regardless is what makes you progress.

Never let social media make you feel less than yourself-we're all providing an image of life in the fraction of time it took us to post-never in real-time.


Kaylah M


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