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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 Kennesaw chapter.

During the COVID-19 quarantine, TikTok exploded in popularity. Young people were heading to the platform to learn how to occupy themselves during a difficult time. However, FitTok has evolved to become dangerous in many ways, particularly for young women viewing the platform.

Safety Concerns

FitTok promotes many ideals for women, encouraging many young women to try dangerous exercises with little to no coaching. These compound lifts, designed to “thicken” women up, are not beginner moves, and can even result in horrible injuries if done wrong.

Additionally, a 30-second to three-minute video is not ample time to show beginner lifters how to execute and exercise. Many young women see these short tutorials, go to the gym and try it, and end up injured. If not injured, people take a glimpse of information and assume they can radically change their body based on one TikTok.

The best way to know what is and isn’t safe is to do your research! Don’t just rely on one source, and never try something alone for the first time.

Encouraging Body Insecurities

Additionally, FitTok seems to promote body trends, which leave many young women feeling insecure and self-conscious about the way their body looks. My main problem is that FitTok seems to objectify women, rather than encourage healthy habits for a stronger body.

A prime example is the “barbell challenge”, a challenge where someone would roll a barbell over another person’s backside, and if the barbell didn’t get caught on their glutes, they “failed”. This challenge is a testament that influencers view growing their glutes to be the most important part of working out.

Example of the barbell challenge

The best way to navigate around the bad parts of FitTok is to self-educate.

  1. While not all of FitTok is bad, and many influencers/posts are actually helpful, it’s important to filter through the information.

2. Try to ignore posts related to body trends. There are far more important benefits to working out that don’t involve having the largest glutes and the smallest waist. A hobby meant to make women feel strong and confident has instead left them ridiculing their bodies even more.

3. Have fun and don’t take social media so seriously! Influencers create content for money, it’s up to us to protect ourselves and ignore the toxic side of FitTok.

I’m a college senior, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Spanish. I love writing about politics, mental health and fitness. I’m a huge book worm and love to go to the gym and Pilates in my free time!