I’ve vented about the potential toll social media can have on relationships and pre-teens, but perhaps its most vulnerable victim is the twenty-something female. Despite growing up in an era devoid of social media networks, a large majority of us find validation in the number of likes or retweets we can accumulate. We live an online existence that’s only as good as our last backside selfie. In short, quantity is quality. Even I’ve fallen victim to deleting a photo from my timeline if no one’s liked it (don’t judge me).
The only thing more frightening than this millenial mindset, is seeing it in action. Jen Selter, once a relative unknown, now makes a career out of her online identity. Labeled the woman with “the best butt on Instagram,” Jen saunters around each day in yoga pants, posting what she thinks are relatively tame shots of her bodacious bod.
“I’ll never post a raunchy pic. There’s a difference between a porn-site picture and gym wear or bikini wear. Everything’s usually yoga pants,” she recently told The New York Post. “Yes, it can be showy, but I’ve seen a lot worse. And if it motivates people to get their butts up and go to the gym, why not?”
Naturally, the first thing I did after reading up on Selter was visit her Instagram page, followed by over 1.2 million people, including celebrities like Rihanna. One cannot deny that her body is incredible; a prototype for what most women want: washboard abs, perky breasts and round derriere. In addition to photos of her body are snapshots of the 20-year old Long Island-native mid-workout or in a pose that shows off her ASSets. No wonder she’s an Internet sensation.
Photo Credit: Instagram/Jen Selter
Prior to building her online rep, Selter was pursuing a career in cosmetology and working at a gym, both of which she’s ceased doing since achieving such notoriety. Today, she hopes to launch a workout clothing line in addition to the numerous spokeswomen gigs she’s secured. Sounds like an expected plan for someone looking to turn their 15 minutes into an hour, but is it inspiring?
I’m a relatively healthy woman, working out several days a week and eating a pescatarian diet for 6 years this month. When I think about what influenced my decision to ditch the meat and hop on a treadmill, it hardly includes looking obsessively at someone’s ‘perfect’ body, especially celebrities who spend copious amounts of money on fitness training. It’s their job to look good; not mine.
There’s a thin line between inspiration, jealousy and admiration; often blurred on social media networks when we can’t tell what the postee’s intention is. Does Jen really want to motivate young women or is she simply showing off her goods? While I do think seeing another woman’s fit body can be that extra push you need to get in shape, it is also unhealthy to see girls like Selter’s on our Twitter feed everyday and think this is what we should aspire to look like, no matter the cost. I also hate to think what she will do once we’re onto the next Instagram model with an even bigger following.
We can’t blame social media for all it does to those younger than us, but as the people who fuel it with our actions, I find it necessary to say that inspiration is more than skin deep. It means looking past the facade, event or picture and discovering the motivation behind it. If it’s not there, it’s not worth your time.
Vixens: do you find those who post their fit bodies online both influential and inspirational?
Photo Credit: Instagram/Jen Selter