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PORN OR FITNESS?

I think it’s time as a fitness community that we address the “pink elephant” in the room. In this case our pink elephant is rocking barely there thong bikini- which makes this really interesting.

When I take a look at images from the porn industry and then I compare those images with those from the fitness industry- I see no difference except muscle. For an athlete that has dedicated their life to the art of exercise, this phenomenon has become an insult. Furthermore, I am embarrassed to claim my career in the “fitness industry” because of it’s raunchy and extreme reputation in the mainstream market. 


I get regular emails from aspiring fitness models wondering how it is that I was “discovered”. These girls are already buying into the notion that taking their clothes off is the only way to being noticed and ultimately sponsored. Without mentioning names, there are a few stars of the social media world that have upwards of millions of followers they have obtained by running a soft porn show on their pages. This is speaking to young athletes that in order to become a “name” and inspire people with their athleticism….get naked.

Early on in my career I was on set with a well-known fitness photographer that wanted to shoot me for a glamour fitness magazine. When I refused a proposition to get undressed and be featured in this publication- I was told “you won’t ever get anywhere in fitness being so modest”. A few months later, I was approached by Playboy and a few years after that Playboy came knocking again to be turned down.

I haven’t always had my moral compass on true north and there have been a couple instances where looking back I would have made different choices but throughout my entire career I’ve preached ability above aesthetics. I think that trend is beginning to catch steam not because of my attempts but because peoples stomachs are starting to turn. I believe that most people don’t want asses in their face when their hope is to be inspired to become better versions of themselves. I also know that for as long as we validate these people with “follows” and edifying comments there will be no end to the ever-growing pornographic fitness industry.

Even more concerning is the implication this poses on our youth. I received an email from an 18-year old girl essentially crying out for help because her fitness coach was encouraging her to take photos to put up on sketchy social media sites dedicated to “fitness”. She was confused because the feedback on her posing in a thong in the mirror was so positive and wondered if this was the only way to becoming someone in fitness. I mean am I the only one looking at these situations saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!”

More than anything, this is a call for those who do not believe in the “sexifying “ of fitness to actually take a stand. Nothing will change as long as people are willing to reinforce the fact that nudity=success. If I were a parent, I would fear my child wanting to make a career in fitness. This is heartbreaking considering this should be a place for athletes to come and put their talents on display without being coaxed into a soft porn exposition.

As a brand this is something we are attacking head on. The athletes we sign, the branding we release and the message we put out will not fit in, and this is 100% intentional. Got guts? Let us know your hashtag ideas to create a movement and stop the sexualization of our industry.

AMBER DODZWEIT

85 comments

Apr 10, 2015 • Posted by Kay

I agree with you! The amount of people that exploid their bodies to feel accepted is crazy, love your bodies, be fit, be successful and happy with your bodies but be humble at the same time.

Nov 17, 2014 • Posted by Catherine Hunt

I just read your blog and really appreciate you putting this out there. I am so proud of my body and the fact that I am 43 years old and had 3 children after the age of 35. I am in the best shape of my life. Yes, it was hard and No – I am not where I want to be, yet. I don’t want to be looked at as a sex symbol. And posing in a thong is not my idea of a good thing. Being modest is more my style. Classic and in good taste. I would shy away from articles of people with next to nothing on. I wouldn’t want to convey that to my 3 children. #modestyistasteful. Keep up the good work and thank you for portraying a healthy image!

Nov 03, 2014 • Posted by Vanessa

I love this entry. Thanks for bringing it up and addressing it. I was following several fitness models that were exposing more than I desired. My a-ha moment came when I was on the subway looking at my IG and felt embarrassed when their photos came on my screen. I quickly unfollowed that bunch.

Oct 15, 2014 • Posted by Revocycle

We fully support your message and as a business we refuse to resort to objectification/sexualization in our marketing practices and encourage everyone to exercise for health and happiness.

We’ve been using these hashtags to highlight

#thisisfitness healthy approaches to exercise
#thisisnotfitness unhealthy fitness marketing and sexualization

Sep 30, 2014 • Posted by Abby Hatch

Great post! Thank you for describing the problem so clearly.

Sep 29, 2014 • Posted by Vance

Balance people.

America is so sexually oppressed it’s scary. Yet we have a thriving porn industry. Talk about duality.

Guess what? Fitness is sexual.No surprise there.

Let us separate predictors.

The fitness industry can be just as sexual as it is about fitness. Both can co-exist. So unless you are about to put all of these fitness models in MOMOs, relax a little.

There are enough publications and media opportunities for people to make a choice.

You are never going to get rid of the sexuality that is US.

Sep 29, 2014 • Posted by Kory Richmond

Wow. Are you serious? This entire post WREAKS of jealousy and insecurity. Seriously Amber you are a great disappointment. The fitness industry is what… exactly? It’s about your BODY. And no one should be ashamed of showing every inch of your body if you worked hard to achieve an amazing one. Just because you didn’t become that successful because you are overly modest doesn’t mean the women who are more successful are suddenly sluts or “porn stars” because you’re jealous of their success. Cry to someone who cares, you’ll get no where by complaining and bringing people down. This is extremely immature.

Sep 07, 2014 • Posted by Hector Febres

Amazing message! As someone who is striving to live a fit lifestyle I try to follow and learn from those that have put in the work and have results to show for it. Unfortunately, as someone who is trying to follow Christ, I am finding fewer and fewer female fitness personalities whose photographs are appropriate for inspiration without invoking… well to put it plainly lust. I’m also a single father to a little girl who I hope will emulate my passion for fitness. I can’t be her only role model, we’re built different; she needs female role models of noble character to serve as her inspiration. These oversexualized fitness pros don’t cut it. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue. Current and future generations of people aspiring to the fit life will be molded by decisions we make today.

Sep 06, 2014 • Posted by Dee

Haters will hate, nothing but diahrea coming out your mouths. You wish you looked half as good n fit as the bodybuilders and bikini models, the guys who talk shit talk because the girls won’t give them the time of day or lack the cojones to approach these fine women. Women just hate because their men admire these ladies. We love haters cause that confirms we look that Damn good!!! Hi Haters!!!

Aug 16, 2014 • Posted by Lindsey Pollard

Could not agree more! I follow a lot of fitness people on IG, but am really disappointed that I see so many boobs and booties all up in my face. I was raised to be modest. And I’m an athlete. I think you need to respect your body with what you put it it and what you do with it. What I see makes me think that there are sooo many women who just want to be “fit” so they can get attention, not just to be healthy. Admittedly, a fit body is a beautiful body, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be on constant display. Thank you, Amber! This is why you’re my favorite.
#coverup
#strengthisbeauty
#easyisugly

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