Millions of women say seeing 'unrelatable' fitness images on social media has a negative impact on them
Posted: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:00
This Girl Can launches powerful new ad campaign showing the raw unfiltered reality of women exercising
• New insights from Sport England reveal that 63% of women who see slim, toned bodies on social media sites say this has a negative impact on them, while nearly a quarter (24%) who follow fitness influencers, say they make them feel bad about themselves
• This Girl Can is calling for influencers, media and brands to feature more realistic and diverse imagery of women to promote sport and physical activity
• The poll coincides with the launch of a new campaign and TV advert from This Girl Can, featuring relatable women and focussing not on the way they look, but the way exercise makes them feel
New findings from Sport England have revealed that almost two-thirds (63%) of women who see 'slim-toned bodies' on social media say it has a negative impact on them. Nearly a quarter (24%), who follow fitness influencers, say they make them feel bad about themselves, and less than a fifth (18%) of these women find fitness influencers relatable.
There is a clear appetite for more relatable content with nearly a third of women reporting they would feel positive about seeing women on social media posting about exercising without make up (31%), sweating (20%) and discussing how they overcame challenges to keeping active, including not being very good (42%), lack of time (30%), menopause symptoms (26%) and periods (18%).
At the same time, the survey also confirmed just how powerful a tool social media can be in changing behaviour, with more than half of the women who follow fitness influencers saying they find them motivating (53%) and informative (52%).
While 89% of women don't post about the exercise they do on social media, the This Girl Can campaign is encouraging women to share their own experiences of what its looks like to get active with nearly a third (32%) of those who don't post saying this is because they don't think it would interest other people.
The new research comes ahead of the award-winning This Girl Can campaign's returns to
TV screens on January 17th to help close the stubborn gender gap in sport and physical activity.
Currently nearly two fifths (39%) of women aren't active.1 The new advert aims to tackle this by
showing the raw and unfiltered reality of women exercising and shining a light on issues and barriers
rarely seen in sports imagery, such as dealing with menstruation, continuing This Girl Can's groundbreaking
formula which has already inspired almost four million women to act since it launched in
2015. The campaign also features out of home and social media advertising.
For more information about This Girl Can, please visit: www.thisgirlcan.co.uk
About the Survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1962 women in
England aged 16+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 20th December 2019. The survey was
carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).
About This Girl Can
Since 2015, Sport England has been working to address the significant gender gap found in sports and
exercise, to build women's confidence around being active, and help them meet the Chief Medical
Officers' guidance. The campaign was based on the insight that 75% of women say they want to do
more sporting activities or exercise, but one of the unifying barriers found to be holding them back is
a fear of judgement. This Girl Can's objective is to encourage women to engage in physical activity
regardless of shape, size, age or ability.
This Girl Can Community Fund
This Girl Can are launching a fund for great ideas – supported by Sure - within local communities that
encourage women to get active. We are asking for local organisations and community groups to
submit their ideas through a simple online form available at
https://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/community-fund/ . Funds from as little as £300 to up to £10,000