Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

#fitnotthin – the Sunday Times Style’s rebranded summer workout section

Fitspiration may be the new thinspiration, but is it all just a way of telling us we’re not okay as we are?

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 13:19


If you’re anything like me, your weekends will revolve around two things: food and the newspapers. On Saturdays, that’s our own Irish Times and the Guardian, and on Sundays it’s the Sunday Times and sometimes the Observer (depending on what magazine it’s got going on). And yes, I am of the old-school, newspaper-buying variety.

The Style is one of my favourite sections, not just because it’s where you find the fashion but because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and there’s plenty to laugh at as well as lust after. What I don’t love are its diet pages, which this season have taken on a different tone, thanks to their #fitnotthin campaign, attempting to promote fit bodies rather than just thin ones.

Great news for Nike, Adidas and the other big sports names then: finally a chance to scrape some of the change from the purses of those who have until now been spending on diet products and gimmicks (a multi billion dollar industry). But really, isn’t this just another way of telling women that they “should” look a certain way? Sure, it’s a healthy slant on an old dictatorship, but let’s not pretend this is what liberation looks like, because it sure ain’t.

For my part, I love a bit of fitspo – even if the most fitness I do is walking to the O2 and back (and wondering when it’s set to become the 3 – or will it be the 3? I think they should call it the Point 3, myself). I’m currently ogling Instagram’s fitness queen, @mo_lllly (those are four Ls), a nurse who lifts weights for fun.

I harbour no high hopes of achieving the same muscle definition, but it is incredible what the human body can achieve. Point to note: Molly’s 5ft 9in and weighs a tiny nine-and-a-half stone, so most of us can knock this off our to-achieve list.

Do you like your prescribed physical ideals fit or thin – or have you found a way to look past it all? (Please, do share.) Oh, and comments that in any way attempt to body shame any of the women pictured in this post will be deleted. You don’t want abs? Fine, don’t get abs – but each to their own.