Athleisure: Beneficial or damaging to society?

Ellie Tattam gives us  an  insight  into the growing Athleisure trend and its  increasing impact on society. 

Who could doubt the latest fashion fads positive impact on society? Athleisure strikes most as one of the best trends to infiltrate the fashion industry, encouraging a healthy, balanced lifestyle in aspiration to the trends. Eat clean, look lean, right? However, Athleisure undoubtedly is a questionable impression on todays’ society, particularly when considering the impossible images of fitness gurus and Instagram celebrities plastered all over social media. Thus again, fashion follows its reputation by introducing an impossible appearance society strives for, and possibly taking unhealthy measures to do so. 

To first consider the initial positive aspects of the trend dominating society for the last few years, social media is becoming an accessible way for those aspiring for an improvement on their diets, their exercise routines and their appearance, whilst taking on these fabulous new lifestyle transformations, to find the resources they need without paying extortionate prices for a personal trainer or other exclusive guidance. Several stars taking over social media such as the likes as Steph Claire Smith (Adidas and Clinique ambassador) and ‘Lauren Fitness’ (Lauren Tickner, StrengthFeed), from one perspective, really are encouraging healthier lifestyles across society. Steph Claire Smith introducing her Keep it Cleaner programme and regularly posting encouraging content to inspires people to achieve a healthy, muscular physique in the right way, just as Lauren similarly encouraging followers to be body confident and embrace and enhance their strength, an issue sometimes particularly conflicting for women afraid of becoming ‘too muscular’.  Therefore, on the one hand, said ambassadors such as Steph and Lauren really strive to make a positive impact amongst society and demonstrate a healthier way to achieve body confidence and desirable physiques in the right way. 

Saying this, there is also an array of negative attachments to this rising trend that stay hidden beneath the surface. Firstly, Athleisure has become something grossly over spread with even value retailers such as Primark. Although, of course, inspiration to collect your gear to start getting active is a positive aspect, the spread of those stocking and chiefly promoting Athleisure fashion is becoming very repetitive and, in a way, losing the purpose behind the fashion trend. Focus should remain on promoting better lifestyles through this whilst retailers also reap the benefits. However, this view point is taken from the idea that Athleisure is deeper than a standard fashion trend, although many would see it as solely just that. 

Moreover, we need to consider the reverse side of the plastering of social media fitness gods and goddesses all over our screens to unhealthy measures. Despite what we see, what we read, all the advice we are given by these gurus of health knowledge, society is accustomed to one thing, appearance. As well as the reality of knowing to obtain such a sculpted and desirable physique, there comes a lot of hard work which is another aspect society tends to struggle with and instead tries to promote quick fix fitness. Thus, the athleisure trend leading to the opposite of what it is promoting and many people will develop eating disorders, unhealthy exercise patterns and obsessions with self-image, all to obtain that goal figure and flaunt the latest Athleisure gear. 

However, this trend can only come to more good than wrong. It’s a promotion of a healthy lifestyle more than anything which is an incredible improvement from much of the previous trends we have seen. The days of gaunt models look to be moving to the history books and the beginning of active wear promotion hugging the curves and muscle definition we need to love and aspire to are here and hopefully to stay. 

Ellie Tattam