As I scrolled through Pinterest innocently looking for inspirational quotes and affirmations to share, I noticed how every other image was “belly fat begone” or “get-that-sexy-ass-he-wants-you-to-have workout”.
I finally figured out how to remove these images, and I was a little saddened that it meant removing the topic “health and fitness”, the exact industry I work in. Except I work on the other side of it, waaaaaaaay over the side. On the side which empowers women and allows them to choose how they live their lives.
No sooner had I removed this topic, I was being shown these pins as suggestions. Frustrated but willing to accept the Pinterest algorithm I continued scrolling…and then there was this.
Let me start by saying, I get it, because I’ve been there.
For most of my teens and twenties I covered my arms up in cardigans, long sleeves and the oh so fashionable ‘bolero’. I’ve spent more summers sweating because I felt the need to hide my arms and “armpit fat”, so yes I get it and I understand why this a thing.
What I can now see, is that women are picking their bodies apart on a daily basis because of shit like this on social media!
When I grew up, social media didn’t exist. My self esteem was instead bashed to pieces by magazines and television shows. Magazines which only depicted one type of girl and provided what I now know to be somewhat scary sex tips. Shows like Sweet Valley High and Saved by The Bell, my young brain absorbed these images, these young men and women. My real life was never going to be this glamorous and I stopped being able to differentiate between real life and TV life.
By the time I hit my teens I’d mentally noted down exactly where I fit in amongst this social ‘norm’ of beautiful people — I didn’t.
My friends seemed to understand being a teenager more so than me. They knew where to shop, they knew how to act, even at that young age I thought the whole thing was pretty exhausting – but I played along.
Until I got tired. Each year of high school I had a new group of friends, I thought I was faulty and disliked, but I wasn’t showing up authentically. I was constantly playing a role to be someone else’s friend, and let me tell you I was good at this. Seriously, I’m surprised I didn’t try out for drama class. Inevitably, I grew tired of the charade and moved along.
So, yes I do truly understand why it is that we are searching for “armpit fat workout” on Pinterest, but what I want you to know is that it’s bullshit. The workout provided with this image isn’t “bad” in fact it’s a resistance workout which I love, but it will not in any way shape or form reduce your armpit fat.
If the person who posted this knows their stuff, then they are doing women a disservice.
“Armpit fat” is not a condition, it’s not a disease or something you can fix. All women, unless training for incredible levels of lean, will have this. It will show up differently on each person, and in some outfits it will be more visible.
This does not dictate your self-worth and it is not something we should be measuring our success against.
If you are struggling to implement compassion, and see yourself in a positive way, this is okay. It’s not something that comes easily because we are not taught to have compassion.
We are taught to blame our body. We are taught to say “he doesn’t like me because I have stretch marks” or “I haven’t got any friends because I’m not a size…”
My body is not for picking apart. It is not someone else's measuring tape of success. Click To Tweet
Yesterday, after getting fired up by “armpit-fat-gate” as it shall now be known, I recorded a quick video. It received some great traction over on Facebook, and if you’ve ever felt like your body just cannot conform. Like no matter how hard you try, nothing works, then I encourage you to watch this video:
If you too feel fired up, please join me on Instagram and share the hashtag #myarmpitsmyrules – xo Melanie xo