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Cultivating Body Positivity And Self-Love

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Plenty of fitness challenges have been brought into the social media spotlight, but just as quickly as they came, they also left. Recently, on a few social media platforms the 75-hard and 75-soft challenges have grown in popularity at a rapid speed. With the challenges along with individuals’ journeys through them beginning to spread more and more, I wanted to tell you a little about each!

So… what are they?

These challenges were created for people who want to look and feel their best for the upcoming summer season! To contrast between them, the 75-hard is a more difficult version of the 75-soft. The main premise of each is to each healthier, exercise more frequently and to overall become healthier. With this, the hard version has some tasks that make this challenge truly challenging, such as having to work out twice a day with at least one of the exercise sessions being outdoors, drinking a gallon of water a day and taking progress photos daily. I personally believe some of these conditions to be a bit excessive, but that’s exactly why the 75-soft exists.

The less difficult, and what I would call the more attainable challenge, allows for some leniency with these strict regulations. Here, you are not required to take so many progress photos, work multiple times a day and so on. There is room for each individual to set goals that pertain to their abilities! A similarity between the two though, is that you must follow the challenge for 75 consecutive days.

What are the implications?

Social media is a great way to spread new and useful information, especially in the world of fitness! Whenever I scroll through my feed, I see video after video of new exercises to try at the gym or healthy recipes. Despite many users posting exercise content with pure intentions, there are many people that post with the hopes of hurting others’ feelings.

With every new fitness challenge, a room is created for anonymous users to make fun of others’ bodies and goals, when in reality, they have no reason to. Consequently, the mental health of people trying to achieve fitness goals is often tarnished, leaving them to forfeit the challenge due to online hate.

Another implication that I see within the fitness challenge trends is mental health deterioration, but not at the hands of others. In 75-hard, it is necessary that the individual must take progress photos every day and track exactly what they eat. In some cases, this can help to instill motivation, but in others, it can lead to unhealthy habits.

What now?

New fitness trends will come and go, just as they have in past years; however, insecurities and goals will not. Through each new challenge or journey, it is crucial to understand that keeping up with these trends is not the way to achieve happiness.

Every social media post regarding these new challenges stresses the importance of getting “beach body ready,” but what many fail to realize is that everybody has a beach body! Loving yourself and your body is a step towards being happy, and this doesn’t only have to be derived from challenges. Only you can determine how you feel happiest, and if that is following a challenge and making progress toward your specific goals, then do so! But if these are not your goals, that is okay too. Don’t let social media determine if you love your body, love it no matter what.

Hi! My name is Hazel Polanco and I am a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in political science on the Pre-Law track and am minoring in legal studies and journalism! In my free time, I like to go to the gym, read, write, and experiment with different hobbies.