In Defense of the Gym Selfie

Someone I know once wrote on their social media account that taking and posting photos while at the gym was “just no.” I found myself raising an eyebrow while reading it.

The gym I go to has no mirrors, except for a small one in the dimly lit bathroom. Plus, it’s usually crowded and workouts can get especially intense, at the end of which I’m sure I end up looking like a crazy hag. So I’m not guilty of taking selfies at the gym, but I do take videos when my boyfriend and I reach certain milestones and achieve personal records. And, yes, we post them on social media.

For those who have the same thoughts as the aforementioned individual who posted negatively about fitness-related posts, here are my thoughts:

  • Why the hell can’t we post what we want? My timeline/feed, my rules (as long as I don’t do anything illegal). You have full freedom over your timeline, who are you to dictate what’s allowed on mine?
  • Are we not allowed to post about things we’re passionate about? Ask anyone at the gym who has been working out for a long time. Going to the gym isn’t just about showing up and just winging it. Getting fit and staying fit requires passion, determination, and a whole lot of hard work. It might be hard to believe, but maybe there are people who display the same level of passion for fitness the way you do for the things you post on your timeline, whether it be travel, food, music, animals… Why is the gym so taboo?
  • We aren’t hurting anyone. When someone posts a workout video or selfie, I don’t think a dolphin or a cat gets murdered or hurt. Unless it’s your ego that’s taking a severe beating?
  • People naturally like to post their achievements on social media. Don’t you? I’m pretty sure the last time you felt fulfilled about something, one of the things you wanted to do was share it on social media so your friends could celebrate with you. I guess gymgoers aren’t allowed to do that when they do their first pull-up or accomplish their first PR. After all, gym photos are so offensive (see how ridiculous that sounds?).
  • We’re not the only ones who humblebrag. Admit it, a lot of your posts are actually forms of humblebragging. You don’t need to be inside a gym to be able to humblebrag. Pot, meet kettle.
  • That gym-selfie? It took a lot of work, buddy. You might think all it took was the simple tap of the shutter button on a touch screen. But that #TransformationTuesday selfie was probably the result of months (even years!) of hard work, a proper diet, and good lifestyle habits (not to mention gym and supplement expenses). You don’t get those gains or lose those inches by putting on makeup for 30 minutes and throwing on a cute outfit. Those results came from long term genuine hard work and discipline. Think about that for a while.

My point is, if the sight of people trying to improve themselves and lead a better lifestyle is so offensive to you, then adjust your newsfeed settings to make sure they don’t show up on your feed again. Better yet, unfriend them because who needs all that healthy bullshit in their life, right? Then maybe take a seat and figure out why it bothers you so much that someone you know is trying to be a better version of themselves. Your reaction to a simple gym selfie says more about you than the selfie-taker. Just saying.



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