Monday 16 July 2018

Does this look healthy to you?

I was going to post a completely different blog today, however I take health issues seriously (I have to). As someone with two daughters and who has seen a friends sister die of anorexia, I am painfully aware of the problems young women have with body image and the dangers of eating disorders.

This morning, this advert appeared on my Facebook timeline.

It was posted by a "health club" which operates in Totteridge. My first thought was "Actually as a man, I think I prefer week 1" and posted a message accordingly. Soon the timeline had a whole host of other messages posted by female friends. Here are a couple

"To be honest, this type of promotion is dangerous, worrying and one of the reasons why healthy people are given hang ups about their body image. I think Blueprint Fitness might want to reconsider what they think is an attractive body and the shape and tone real, busy people should aspire to"

 "I prefer week 1 to the rest! Takes all sorts and all shapes to make a world !"

"I’d love to look as good as week 1! Week 22 looks awful,in my opinion"

I am all for healthy lifestyles and if you are overweight then it is good to exercise and eat healthy. I take exercise seriously enough to organise a weekly five a side kickabout and we try extremely hard to eat healthy. But to me "week 22" is an extreme look, at the other end of the spectrum. Whilst it may just be a very unflattering picture of a very fit person to me it looks unhealthily thin.  Week 1 certainly does not look unhealthily fat from the picture. For anyone suffering from anorexia I am sure that this sends completely the wrong message. In Mill Hill we have one of the countries leading centres for treatment of anorexia and we are staging some music therapy at the studio for one of the patients, trying to help them get balance and positivity back into their lives. The head of education at the centre is a schoolfriend and he has told me many times just how hard it is to change the perceptions of people with anorexia that any look which is not skeletal is bad. I really think companies promoting healthy living should be aware of this. 

I'm sure that everyone who uses the training service at Blueprint will benefit and that all will emerge healthier. I do however agree with the comment above that they should be more circumspect in their advertising.. Maybe they should also employ a better photographer and advertising agency as I really think that these pictures are quite unappealing. 

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