When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, the fitness bloggers you follow for a dose of motivation can often feel more discouraging. With perfect six-packs, cellulite-free skin, and zero bloat all day, these superhumans convince us that if we just ate a little “cleaner” or exercised a little bit more, we too would be immune to the insults of poor lighting, ill-fitting clothes, and bad angles.
But one fitness blogger has set out to let us know that nobody’s perfect — and that even her stomach has rolls when she sits down. In a recent Facebook post, Ashlie Molstad shared side-by-side photos: one of herself looking svelte as usual and another of her seated, with belly rolls.
“Same girl. Different angles,” she wrote to her 63,000 followers on Nov. 11. “If I’m going to show you the posed, put-together, professional sides of me, I’m gonna make damn sure you see the not-so-flattering sides too. Because, contrary to what society has taught us to think, our worth isn’t measured by how many belly rolls we have, or how many dimples on our booty, or how much jiggle hangs out on our arms.” In the post, which has been shared more than 59,000 times, she called out the bloggers who perpetuate the idea of perfectionism. “Loving ourselves exactly as we are is hard. Because we’ve been told for years that we’re not good enough until we [insert any of the thousands of ideas of perfection that has been fed to us over the years]. But I call BS. I say that the real magic happens when we embrace who we are, at every angle and size.”
Molstad said that she was scared to post the photos but knew how important it was. “I know it was a message that people needed to hear,” she told Us Weekly. “When I share my struggles publicly, it helps me realize I am not alone, it helps other people realize that they are not alone, and, because there is strength in numbers, it helps us all heal a little bit, together.”
Molstad isn’t the first blogger to show us how deceiving and well crafted a fitness blog can be. Read on for the inspiring women who bring blogging down to earth.
One blogger showed the power of great lighting after receiving questions about how she got rid of her cellulite.
Yesterday I got many questions asking how I got rid of cellulite and I just wanted to share that I still have cellulite! These pics are SIX days apart!! It's not a progress photo! I mentioned this in my caption yesterday. I was in really favorable lighting at the time of my recent photo that didn't make cellulite as apparent. Yes my cellulite has diminished significantly, but it is still there!❗️LIGHTING MATTERS!! It is absolutely key in how the image quality turns out. BUT here's the most important thing ☝????️ regardless of lighting and how I look or what shows or doesn't show, I do not think any less of myself!! I used to criticize myself for having cellulite but now I'm just like it is what it is. I shouldn't even care because it doesn't define my worth. If anything, they are beauty marks reminding me of lovely late night conversations with friends while having pizza, both which nourish the soul ???? I care even less in this instance because cellulite is so very common and such a natural human characteristic! You are not your cellulite and you are not your flaws! #uncoverediamnotmyflaws because we all are flawed and that's what makes us unique individuals. There is a beautiful vulnerability to being flawed so just embraced the imperfect YOU! Today I am starting a body positive series I am calling #uncoverediam ???? join the conversation in learning to love and appreciate yourselves in a positive manner. Tag me so I can see your posts and use hashtags #uncoverediam (and mention a positive word like "smart" or "strong" or "persistent") and #pizzaplankbopo ????It's time we remove the metaphorical cover ups that hinder us from being truly seen!! So rock that bikini and let your natural beauty shine through and realize uncovered you are FAR more than what your body portrays. You are imperfect. You are important. You are human. You matter ❤️ Uncovered, WHO. ARE. YOU?!
A photo posted by Jess (@plankingforpizza) on Oct 12, 2016 at 9:17am PDT
Even fitness bloggers get bloated.
LET'S TALK ABOUT BLOAT, BABY. So last night I went out with some friends to one of my all time favorite restaurants, and I had some fried crab rangoons, an egg roll, and some fried rice. Then I went and had 3 drinks while out, and this was what it looked like when I came home. This is NOT a transformation. This is a #30secondbeforeandafter and I guarantee that this morning I look 87% better than the second photo because my body has had time to digest. A lot of people follow me because they want my abs/ want to know secrets to getting them, and they think I'm like this magical unicorn that walks around with a 6 pack all day. Trust me, Not true. I bloat like a MF just like everyone else! Bloat is natural and literally happens to EVERYONE. The only way you can avoid it is to not eat ????DO NOT DO THAT PLEASE EAT FOOD. But I just wanted to put this out there that I'm not perfect, I bloat, and I don't look ripped all the time (ps my grandmas bathroom lighting Is not as good as my old bathroom as well ???? but whatever!) PS currently have 2 phones so this is my American one and the iPhone 6 is my British, in case anyone was wondering why I downgraded. You will see them both on photos. – #bloat #notatransformation #foodbaby #foodcoma
A photo posted by Hailey Bettencourt (@haileybettencourtfitness) on Aug 20, 2016 at 6:09am PDT
Jess Rae King
This curvy model proved what a booty pop can do for your shape.
Really wanna commend straight size models @laura.henshaw and @stephclairesmith for using their platforms to promote a positive body image to their followers. ???? The girls started a hashtag #misconceptionkic to highlight how a lot of the imagery we see on Instagram is unrealistic and unattainable. So what is the difference between these two pics? No I didn't lose five kilos or photoshop the shit out of myself- instead of standing relaxed on the left- I sucked in, pulled up my pants, pushed my hips back and stood with my legs apart to give myself a thigh gap. I even positioned my collar bone to the light to make it stick out more. Crazy. ???? We are all guilty of taking a million photos and uploading one that highlights our supposed "best angles"- myself included. So it's just a little reminder to not base your #bodygoals on anything you see online. We will only ever see someone's highlight reel, and not the 50 pics they took to get their "best angle". Be your own #fitspo ????????????????????
A photo posted by Jess King ???? (@jessraeking) on Aug 4, 2016 at 3:15am PDT
Nobody is immune to a belly roll.
I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see so many women taking a stand and daring to show their so-called "imperfections" which actually aren't anywhere near imperfect. They are human, they are normal, and they are beautiful. In the time since I began sharing my own "belly rolls" pictures, I have received a variety of responses, some of which were negative and downright mean. While those people may think these types of images are pointless and do nothing to help young girls, I can say for sure they don't hurt any more than the perfectly photoshopped images you see in the media practically everywhere you turn. These pictures can't possibly do any more damage than what is already done so why not try and help by showing what is REAL? To the many young girls struggling with body image, THESE images help show them just how beautiful they are, that they don't need to go to extreme measures to get that little last bit of fat off their bodies in order to meet society's impossible beauty standards, and last but not least, that we can love our bodies even if we're NOT totally happy. We can love our bodies and want to change, want to improve. Dissatisfaction with one's self does not need to equal self-hate. And I see nothing here that would warrant hatred from any side. All you ladies are beautiful and strong. Thank you for taking part in this movement, for being transparent, courageous, and standing with me to make a difference ???????????? Who else is with me?? ???? #fbggirls www.annavictoria.com/guides
A photo posted by Anna Victoria (@annavictoria) on Jun 12, 2016 at 2:31pm PDT
Six-packs are almost always flexed.
My Meal + Exercise Programs????????Link in my bio! ~ My 3 second transformation! ???? . – The left pic is with my tummy pushed out – the right is with my tummy flexed. ???? . Your posture, angles, posing & lighting makes a big difference! Next time you look at a photo of someone who looks "perfect" online or in a magazine remind yourself that the person in the photo doesn't walk around looking like that! They're posed, in their best angles with a tight or flexed tummy in "good" lighting. Nobody is perfect! Nobody has the perfect life, body, face, relationship or family etc. We're all just imperfect humans. . Don't strive for "perfection" or compare yourself to anyone else – just focus on being your best and embrace being YOU! ???? . We all need this reminder at times I think. ☺️???? . . ????Outfit: @reebok @reebokwomen . ???????????? Workout Videos: @emilyskyefitness . ????Beauty page: @emilyskyebeauty . 2️⃣ Backup: @emily_skye2 . .
A photo posted by Snapchat ????????emilyskyefit ???? (@emilyskyefit) on Sep 25, 2016 at 5:41am PDT
“No I’m not 6 months pregnant. It’s just my food baby. These two photos are 12 hours apart, left before bed and right when I woke up.”
These photos were taken minutes apart.
New blog post up debunking some fitness myths that have been annoying me recently (link in bio). Number 1 is how easy it is to fake a fitness selfie! These two photos were taken 3 minutes apart but could be mistaken for a 'before & after' shot. Don't trust everything you see… #fitfam #fitspo #fitness #fitbride #fitasfuck #selfie #transformation #fitnessblogger #ukfitblogs #personaltrainer #abs #muscles #strength #girlswholift #strongnotskinny #quads #thick #blogging #fitology
A photo posted by Sophie Kay (@fitology_uk) on Jun 11, 2015 at 6:25am PDT