I hope all you Zoolander fans got that one..
Now I’m not trying to have a little toot on my own trumpet as it were, but..
Im kind of a big deal
(Stop with the movie quotes Jade)
Anyway, I’m pretty fit.
No, not the cockney cat-call ‘she’s well fit’ fit
As in decent fitness, fit
Here’s been my life-long track record of excerise in a nutshell:
– Dance since the age of 3 (and yes I still do it now)
– Competition level swimmer (up to late teens)
– Regular yogi (last 3ish years)
– Gym goer (last 4ish years)
– Charity & Obstacle races (3 years)
– Small things like P.E GCSE etc..
(I think I got everything)
Because I have always exercised from such a young age, and basically have done ever since, over time I have built up quite the fitness level. Alongside this, I have the eagerness for exercise embedded so far into my brain, I’m pretty sure I may have been ‘chipped’ as a kid.
Exercise and fitness to me is my drug, my addiction. Sure my patterns have hit peak and troughs throughout the years, but collectively, executing an hour or so of some sort of exercise calms my cravings faster than you can say ‘crystal meth’.
I’ve never been one to feed my own ego, I never really thought highly of myself, neither have I stood in the gym mirror flexing my muscles until I’m blue in the face, pretending that I don’t want everyone to be looking at me
So, when someone passes me some sort of compliment, I never tend to believe them. This may be down to my own insecurities and critiquing myself for so many years, or maybe being in an industry where rejection and criticising is the norm. But while writing this post I couldn’t help but recap the comments I’ve gotten over the years;
Me, Myself & My Ultimate Gym Buddy, Tony – he has a lot of nicknames for me while I’m dumbbell and deadlifting (not at the same time)
‘‘Jade, you’re a Tank/Beast/Wedge/Machine’’
He’s a nice guy..
..but seriously, he’s actually the nicest guy – which shows a lot about any other men in my life *word vomit*
Some other’s comments;
‘Jade, can you help me train?’
‘Jade, you’re the fittest/healthiest person I know’
‘Jade, I can’t keep up with you’
‘Jade, why aren’t you a fitness model?’
Ding ding ding!!
After being scouted and dumped by modelling agencies as a teen because I selfishly gained some ‘tits ‘n ass’, this little lost light at the back of my mind lit up again and I thought;
‘THIS must be my path’
I LOVE fitness. I LOVE exercise. I LOVE knowing that I can or have inspired people
However, I didn’t know why I thought this time would be any different.
To walk into a casting call for one of the UK’s leading sports modelling agents, with my head held high, FINALLY feeling some form of confidence, FINALLY finding my feet again, FINALLY feeling my life had a purpose again…
…it was a difficult moment when the agent practically LAUGHED IN MY FACE as I stepped through the door and into the spotlight.
I didn’t get it right away
The whole train journey home to Watford, I picked away at every piece of the puzzle, trying to solve the configuration as to what went wrong and what I could have done better..
The voices in my head got to work and repeated the words that were spoken during that casting process;
‘You’re not quite ‘right’ for our agency’
‘We tend to take people more on the ‘athletic’ side’
‘Have you ever tried ‘cutting’ before?’
At this point in my life I was still rather fragile with regards to my body image and being put down for it was still damaging.
So minute by minute, the teeny parasite of self-doubt was gnawing away at me, just enough to start affecting my mental health, but not enough for me to notice right away.
Once I got home, I decided to check out their website again, you know, just to compare – see what your competition is (which is always helpful…not)
My fingers scrolled, and I watched the Super HD beautiful photos of these models float up my page to fitness heaven. And then I suddenly (and finally) realised something.
Every. Single. Human on this page is considered a ‘fitness model’. But NONE of their fitness is actually measured.
I walked into that casting call, and they all judged me on how I LOOKED, NOT on my fitness?!
I went to this casting, because I really, really hoped it would be different than the fashion side of the industry. That I would be ACCEPTED, or that I even (heaven forbid) BELONGED somewhere – but IN FACT, it turned out to be just as corrupt!
**Since when is fitness measured on the number of abs showing?**
**Since when is fitness measured on your body fat percentage?**
**Since when do we need models to remind us that the sports bra they are wearing only goes up to a C cup??**
**Since when is there an aesthetic criteria to becoming a ‘fitness model’?**
And the more you look for it, the more you see it.
–> The Channel 4 off-air infomercials with the vibrating ab machine thats being used on people WHO ALREADY HAVE ABS
–>The Victoria Secret models who just got re-used to promote their new sportswear (I don’t know, maybe there are budget cuts) claiming they have all been doing boxing and/or ballet for many years – girl, don’t insult me
–>‘That’ Protein World billboard asking YOU if you are bikini-body-ready next to a girl with a svelte size 8 hourglass figure – IM ALWAYS BIKINI-BODY-READY THANKS!
Don’t get me wrong, there has been some progress recently, especially with magazines like Sports Illustrated and Women’s Health. But there’s still that fundamental idea that there is (yet again) a certain CRITERIA for using your body to advertise something to do with fitness.
There are also some brands that use Olympic athletes. I love this and I have a huge amount of respect for them – they are incredible humans.
And if you think about it, they don’t CARE abut how they look
Whether they’re looking ‘lean’
Whether they’ve ‘cut’ enough
Whether they’ve drunk their protein shake and made sure they’ve tagged themselves holding it on Instagram first…
(holding, not drinking it … obviously. That’s how Instagram works)
They turn up, they perform, they get the job DONE!
Michael Phelps lived off a diet of over 12,000 calories a day, it didn’t matter what he was eating or whether he looked ‘lean’ enough. He did what he did to WIN those gold medals
And THIS is what should be shoved in our face more often. The REAL inspiration. Not the ‘fitness models’ who have put themselves on a strict diet plan for 2 weeks because they ‘have to be as lean as possible for the shoot’ – and ends up taking away the WHOLE IDEA of promoting fitness and health.
Your fitness comes from within. It is fuelled by the fire of burning passion, it is executed by the power you pass to your fibres, it is endured by your energy, and performed mind-over-matter..
Having a 6-pac won’t help you run 12 miles including mud obstacles (thats gonna be me in September *gulp*)
Having a low body fat percentage won’t help you climb any faster or with any less ease
‘‘Oh, look another brand’s sports bra doesn’t do my size again. But that’s ok, at least the model looks super happy and comfortable in hers…even though I’m unsupported and I NEED IT unless I want to get knocked out by my own assets!’’
‘‘Hey muffin top, I see you over my leggings a lil bit there! But you know what, I’m still going to smash out an incredible workout’’
Huge brands are putting out these photos of ‘fitness models’ in the hope that by ‘society’s standards’ this will change everyone’s mindset; that THIS is now the figure you should be aspiring towards, because it’s healthier than the ‘heroin-chic-barely-there’ models.
But it is ACTUALLY healthier?
By placing a bunch of fitness models over a dozen billboards for different companies who have similar figures, your sub-conscious is telling you one advert at a time that THIS is what you should be looking like, and if you DONT, you’re neither healthy nor fit.
Let’s get REAL guys.
We need to start seeing MORE men & women on covers of magazines and billboards just as they are, without feeling the need to be ‘ripped’. And when brands finally HAVE put someone different on the covers, it always has to be a ‘special edition’, or ‘look we’ve put a size 12 on the cover aren’t we clever! p.s. the inside is no different’.
And this is exactly the problem, we are changing the covers, but not the content. There needs to be an inspiration factor to what these brands are trying to sell. A model’s job is to look so good in clothes/items that they sell whatever they are wearing. But what is the content??
There is no content
**File was unable to download**
That buffering wheel of doom just keeps spinning round…
The whole industry is an aesthetic goal. Especially with the rise of bodybuilding and comps within the last few years. Their workouts, diets and regimes have become more and more popular – alongside the steroids…
Your fitness, your health, your body, its all from the inside. THATS what matters – THAT is what is going to look after you in later life.
Chances are, these people who are ‘cutting’ or ‘leaning out’ or whatever you want to bloody call it, are most likely NOT healthy with their dieting as they will be in a larger calorie deficit, whilst cutting out large amounts of essential food groups.
So next time you look in the mirror and may pick out something you dislike about your image (there will be moments!)
Turn it on its flip side!
‘I may not have a really pert bum, but I ran 5 miles today!’
‘I may not have a 6 pac, but I made sure I used the stairs to work today…my fastest time yet!’
‘Theres a sports bra I really want that doesn’t make my size, but I learnt some new weight lifting techniques today!’