A few weeks ago, Nike launched a new campaign aimed at women with the message that working out a little bit is better than nothing at all. The company says its Better for It initiative was created “to inspire women to be active, take on new challenges, and conquer personal goals.”
The campaign is utilizing short films to tell the stories of five different, and fictional, women in pursuit of a unique fitness goal. From running a marathon to mastering a yoga class, each scenario allows the audience to hear the women’s less-than-enthusiastic inner dialogue during these especially grueling workouts.
Some of these thoughts are funny, like when the person in front of Yoga Woman slides their foot close to her face and she thinks, “Focus on something else.” Others are thoughts that we have all had at one time or another when our workout was a tough one and we needed reasons to keep going with it. Cue a woman in plank position reminding herself that exercise lowers stress.
My favorite video features a woman walking into a spin class. She sees a group of attractive females grab the bikes in front of her. She thinks to herself, “Oh, good, a bunch of models... right in front of me.” Then, at some point in the spin class, we see her looking at the models’ behinds as she thinks to herself that it is strangely motivating. I love this one!
The videos are encouraging women to push themselves harder by acknowledging the struggles they face when committing to a workout. There is doubt that the workout is worth it and doubt that they will make it through it. In each video, the women push through their internal struggles, finish the workout, and feel pride and accomplishment from getting it done. That is a struggle that all of us have felt at one point or another.
We hear about women fat shaming and fit shaming each other constantly. All this shaming is really about insecurity that women are projecting onto others. If another woman is in great shape and you are not then use her shape as motivation to get into shape. That is an empowering idea and I am thrilled that the Nike Better for It challenge put that out there.
As women, we are constantly putting ourselves down because we are not in perfect shape. This “perfect shape” could be anything that we decide it is at any moment. We might see a woman on T.V. with the perfect set of abs, and if we don’t have the exact same set of abs, we may instantly put ourselves down for it.
The media is constantly giving us a fresh set of images of perfectly photoshopped women.
Ignore them. Seriously, ignore them. Our bodies are all different. There is no way that we can all look the same as these photoshopped women. It is not a possibility. We are able to look at the women around us in the gym and appreciate the shape they are in and use it for our personal motivation. Think about how much happier you will be when you look at the world through the eyes of appreciation and motivation, instead of judgement and negative projections.
Try this the next time you see what you feel is the perfect female form. Look at it and think to yourself, “she looks really great, I would like to look like that so maybe now is a good time for me to get to the gym more often.”
Do you feel like less of a woman compared to her, or do you feel you have the same potential as her and you just haven’t unleashed it yet? You may not get the exact same body as hers, but you will have a healthier mind and body for getting into the gym and eating better, and that alone will boost your self esteem and love of your body.
Plus, you won’t feel like crap for not looking like her anymore.