This post was contributed by Leila; a 27 year old body confidence and fitness advocate. She says: I’m passionate about making all women feel confident and find their inner girl power in tackling body image issues. I am also extremely passionate about keeping things real through my social media. I’m your average girl next door that is simply wanting to empower, inspire and educate women around the world.
So let’s have this discussion… I think that it needs to be had; if you have an open profile and a following on social media you have a responsibility. You are responsible for the content you chose to share with your audience, you have the responsibility to provide content within your scope of knowledge but most importantly within the scope of your qualifications.
A few weeks ago there was an uproar on Instagram because a Personal Trainer with a huge following posted that “there’s no excuse for not being motivated just get it done you’re being lazy” (or words to that affect).
A number of professionals including myself were extremely taken aback from such a comment! The harsh reality is that there are many people who do have an “excuse” for not being motivated or engaging in exercise! This harsh nature of pushing people and hard talk isn’t right for everyone. There are people with mental health illnesses, eating disorders that simply can’t “get it done” but aren’t being lazy. It’s just not that easy and it’s just not that black and white.
“Fitness, health and exercise is more than a physical ability.” – Leila
However the Personal Trainer in question had a huge backlash from Nutritionists, Mental Health Professionals, other Personal Trainers and Eating Disorder Specialists. With this huge backlash the Personal Trainer who in this case we will call “Bob” then issued a public apology, however my thoughts behind that ‘apology’ was that it was more of an ‘let it save my image and personal brand.’
“If “Bob” hadn’t had the backlash and comments from all those qualified professionals then he would have got away with generalising society!” – Leila
Now onto the responsibility, yes he publicly apologised, but shouldn’t he have known better in the first place? Shouldn’t he be more aware about what he’s posting on his profile that has nearly 1/4 of a million of followers? In my eyes I have always said and will always say that if you’re not qualified then you are not in a position to give out content on that topic. End of.
As social media and blogging grows I truly believe that the individual holds the responsibility of what they post. We need to cut down on the few irresponsible individuals who believe they can make money from social media but inform followers without being qualified! Imagine being a qualified Nutritionist but writing content about being a doctor; this is not ok!
I hope you understand where I’m coming from by now? So if you’re someone that has a following, please ensure that you know the facts, that you are qualified enough and that you understand and take responsibility for what YOU are writing and posting. Remember what is in your scope.
If you’re someone who’s a follower, be mindful of who you follow, make sure that the information you are being fed is correct, accurate and that the person publishing that information is qualified.
Exercises and health is more than just physical, it’s mental too! Let’s always remember that.