There’s one big problem with gym culture and it’s the same reason those who want to make big improvements to themselves end up not pushing through with their plans. In an ideal world, everyone goes to the gym with one goal in mind: to work out. No one cares about what they wear or how they look.
In the real world, however, those who don’t look like stars or experts while they’re in the gym may get the weirdest stares. When you already have health issues due to a heavier weight, the last thing you want is to feel insecure in front of everyone.
It’s Hard Not to Judge
It’s not just a problem with Seattle residents. Everyone finds it difficult not to stare when they see something they’re not used to. There are plenty of underlying issues that can be discussed here, but it’s taking a long time for people to realize that staring–and in that very judgmental way–is not appropriate. Women who want to be comfortable with the clothes they’re wearing to the gym have to deal with looks and comments on their appearance. If they look good, they might get catcalled; if they don’t look good, they get demeaning comments. Men, too, have to deal with remarks that call out their weight and how they might be improperly using gym equipment, regardless of whether it’s their first day at the gym.
Strength in Numbers
Lucky are those companies who can schedule private Crossfit lessons for their teams. This means everyone knows each other and will show respect for employees they will need to work with every day even after gym time is over. Those who are surrounded by strangers, however, get that false strength that comes with their identity being hidden. You don’t exactly walk around in the gym wearing nametags. It’s this anonymity that people use way too loosely to make negative remarks, and because they see other people doing it, they think it’s not a big deal.
You may have given just one quick stare at someone, but think about how many they’ve had to receive from several people. For someone with anxiety or people who are feeling gymtimidated, every look may be dissected several ways, none of them good. This does not help them get over their self-image issues. Chances are, they will stop going to the gym, which means they might not reach their weight goals.
All for the Sake of Entertainment
It’s common enough to see posts on social media about how a person encountered someone who was struggling at the gym. It’s not even just about gyms. You could go anywhere and see something you think worth sharing with your followers. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your life, but if you’re sharing someone else’s day, and have taken photos as proof, you’re turning someone’s struggle into a form of entertainment for others to consume. You get some validation through likes but you don’t know what you’re doing to the subject of your jokes.
Everyone should be able to go to the gym without being judged. If everyone stuck to their own routine and didn’t offer unnecessary stares that make others uncomfortable, the gym can fulfill its role–a place where everyone can improve themselves.