Sooo, yeah, let me just say up front, this one is gonna be a little judgmental. Not in a super obnoxious, I know better than you, Dr. Phil kind of way. More of a wtf are you doing, please stop, best-friend keeping it 100 kind of way. Cause, girl, why the hell are you wearing a full face of make-up to the gym? Fuh whet? Is that highlighter? Did you contour to come use the stair climber?
Listen I get it, gang. We live in a new era–the era of social media, selfies, and the constant need to stunt. And no, I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s the end of the world and millennials are going to be responsible for the demise of humanity. (I mean, I have thought that but only in fleeting moments when horrible people are elevated to celebrity status via social media for simply being horrible. Y’all know the ones. I will give them no shine here.)
In general, though, I think social media is fine if you approach it with a certain amount of levity and don’t allow it to consume you. In some instances, social media has shone a light on important issues and it has certainly revolutionized the way we communicate. HOWEVAH…it has also turned some of us into raging narcissists who can no longer function in any capacity without being camera ready. Why? ‘Cause their camera is always ready. (How many gym selfies does one person really need?)
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel confident. Heck, that’s part of the reason, (or perhaps the only reason,) we workout in the first place. Health schmealth, am I right? But this new trend of having to look amazing while you work out is just kind of…well…stupid. Like, what the hell is ath-leisure anyway? You mean to tell me I’m supposed to pay $85 for a pair of spandex leggings because they have a 44 cent piece of mesh sewn into them?
I’m sorry, what? Is that mesh enhancing my workout in some way? Am I going to be able to sprint faster because that mesh is ventilating my leggings and somehow reducing the amount of lactic acid build up? Or perhaps this day-glow sports bra with the cut-outs is going to keep my heart-rate at the optimal level for fat burning whilst I sit on the workout bench and text.
Sound silly? So does $98 for workout pants when I can get ones of equal quality from Ross for $14.99 because they’re “out of season”. As if black spandex ever had a damn season. (Consumerism. Oy!) And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that people are actually buying exercise clothes that have special paneling and stitching built in to lift, shape and tone our bodies while we’re at the gym…to lift, shape and tone our bodies. I don’t know about you, but that shit makes me wanna smack somebody. JUST DO THE DAMN SQUATS!
Now, add to that the horrifying trend among young women these days that one’s face must be “beat” at all times and we have a full-on situation. Namely, that I gotta work out next to Baby Jane as her face literally melts onto the treadmill. Gross! I’m about to lose my protein shake over here, sis.
And fellas, don’t think you’re exempt from this judgment. I see you with your plunging tank top and neatly coiffed man bun. Is that gel? Did you put GEL in your hair to do hammer curls? Not to mention the cologne! ‘Cause sweat and Axe body spray smell so great together.
I’m just saying, people, let’s all get a grip, could we? How about we let the gym be a safe space, where people can come in their mesh-free leggings, old t-shirts with the sleeves cut off, fresh faces, sans Dakkar and put in work! So many of us live every day for our next selfie and miss out on a lot of the actual living part. And listen, take your selfies, post your vids, enjoy social media. I’m for it. Just chill. A little.
Do we really need to be “flawless” 24 hours a day? Can’t we just BE sometimes? And what better place than the gym–where we get to go de-stress and sweat and breathe and push and maybe cry a little. But so what? Sometimes progress is hard. Personally, the last thing I want to have to worry about is if I sweated off my eyebrows doing that last set of burpees. Let’s save the make-up and the hair gel for our bottomless brunches and red carpets. Cool? Cool. And when you see my concealer-free dark circles and pencil-free struggle brows at the gym, give me a head nod. I promise I’ll give you one back.
Former Fat Girl…gone.
PS: Make-up at the gym is also not ideal for maintaining healthy skin. Here’s a quick article if you want to know more. xo