Examining Motivations

I follow a bunch of fitness Instagram pages, and I’ve noticed some things. Most of the time, when scrolling through pics the comments tend to be positive, though every now and then a comment jumps out at me. It might be an overly familiar comment, an overly sensitive comment, or an overly sexual comment.

Most of the comments are on women’s pics, and usually the pics are of scantily clad women; though it might be more accurate to say UN-clad women.

I started thinking about these comments and the pics they’re on, and it occurred to me that the people making the comments are probably reading too much in to the motivation of the person doing the posting.

When I look at these pics, I am looking for motivation, so I’m thinking of it from a fitness point of view. How much work have these people have put in? What kind of dedication did it take? If I do the work I could look like that! Yeah!! Lets do this!!

I admire the physiques, but not from a sexual point of view. (There is a bit of that, sure, I’m only human, but thats not why I’m looking.) Many of the comments I’m talking about come from, I think, a sexual point of view.

One of the comments I remember specifically was on a group shoot of several women in thong bikinis, from behind. The caption was “which of these ‘peaches’ do you prefer?”, and the comment was “what are you trying to promote here?!?” Obviously the person commenting was looking at the pic and figured that the page posting the pic was just posting “eye-candy” and was objectifying the women. I genuinely had to stop and look at the pic again and rethink before realizing “I suppose it does look like that, doesn’t it?” (In retrospect, with a caption like that, it’s probable.)

Showing off her hard work, or just showing off? It’s sloppy thinking to assume it’s either.

I didn’t see it because that wasn’t why I was there, and I wasn’t looking for it. Which, I suppose, means I fell in to the same trap as the commenter, only from the opposite side.

A woman posting a pic of them self in a tiny bikini might be doing it to get attention, but maybe they’re only doing it to show off all the hard work and dedication it took to get there. Assuming they’re just doing it for attention is sloppy thinking on our part, just as sloppy as assuming they aren’t posting it for attention. Its easy to think that people are saying and doing things for the same reasons we would. Far too easy….. and lazy.

In this day of social media, we should all try to assign motivations less and be much slower in judging people based on minimal (or assumed) information.