From intricately constructed chia-seed bowls to professional-level photos of fit influencers on Pilates machines, much of today’s health industry is being documented on social media, Instagram in particular. But health journeys are hard – they involve sweat, dedication and discomfort. By nature, they’re not picture perfect – and that’s OK.
On top of that, we need to be mindful of how the influencer model works: people with large social media followings regularly monetise their posts through sharing photos of products or businesses they are paid to endorse.
For many health influencers, their jobs are to work out and eat nutritious Insta-ready food – then produce a stream of supporting content that shows that off. This is hardly a realistic model for, say, a 9-5 office worker or busy parent.
Rachel Service, founder of training company Happiness Concierge, says, “It’s important to note that individuals who have had success on social media are also brands, and they represent a portion of their life, not their whole life.”
Just how we tend to share our favourite images or moments on social media, a picture can never reveal what’s going on under the surface. “We’re most likely to share the highlights – our personal show reel – than perhaps the lowlights,” says Rachel. “It’s about not comparing yourself to somebody’s curated profile.”