A blog by runners. For runners.

#Selfie: Proper fitness selfie etiquette

Fitness selfie etiquette Ahh. The Selfie. It’s ubiquitous in today’s culture. And while the actual act of snapping a picture of yourself is innocent enough, it’s the posting of those #nomakeup #flawless selfies all over the internet that creates a divide among the social media masses. Today, our pro-selfie writer explores a specific niche of the selfie phenomena: the fitness selfie.  The washboard abs, sans face, in the gym mirror.  The coy “Don’t I look sooo sweaty and gross after that run!” (spoiler: you don’t).  The pics with #fitspo, #fitspiration, and 17 other fitness hashtags. And she shares her selfie etiquette tips to ensure you don’t take all that snapping and tagging too far. 

You’re wearing those fancy leggings you ordered three weeks ago and have – by sheer chance and laundry luck – matched your socks to your crop top. Obviously, this confirms you are simply a natural born fashionista.

Well done, my friend.

So you’re feeling fab, empowered, and oh hey, look! There’s a full length mirror – with lighting that would make any Instagram filter envious. So you swipe the camera icon up and “ka-ching”, that’s the left. “Ka-ching” and the right. Slightly higher this time, “ka-ching”, face on, dead center for the ultimate progress shot.

Taking a selfie is personal – the only person truly affected by the picture is you. What prevents many people from taking their cameras out and having a one-person photo shoot is the fear of judgement. So instead we try to disguise taking a pic of ourselves by making it look like we’re texting. Don’t kid yourself: you’re fooling no one – plus those pics never come out right (hello, four chins!).

I say, if you want to take a selfie, own it and take selfie. You do you! Don’t apologize for it.

But that said, it is important to consider the following “selfie etiquette”:

  1. Working out is often a very private thing and many people won’t be comfortable being in the background of a photo. I dread to think how many times I’ve been caught off-guard in the background of a gym selfie mid-press up, pulling a facial expression I’d never known to exist. So don’t be that person – make sure the coast is clear before you snap.
  2. While I think there’s nothing wrong with a bit of self-appreciation – it’s good for the soul and not to mention for tracking and sharing your progress – if you’re snapping more than you’re crunching, it might be worth putting your phone down. Remember you’re a the gym, on the road, in the studio to first and foremost workout. Not to take pictures.
  3. Don’t overpost. I fully support posting a selfie or two every few days but if you’re posting multiple selfies a day, all at once, or that’s ALL you’re posting, then stop. (Or don’t stop – because once again – you do you. Just know you might not be everyone’s favorite sharer.)
  4. Don’t get caught up in making a selfie look perfect. Sure, there are a whole range of enhancers available such as wide angle lenses, lights you can attach to your phone, and of course, the infamous selfie stick – but while helpful, all these gadgets can be a bit much. The best selfies are the ones that look and feel authentic – not the ones that look professionally photoshopped.
  5. Selfies shouldn’t define you. You are still you, with or without 192 Instagram likes. It’s easy to become absorbed in the thrill of gaining likes and comment on your posts, but focusing too much on what others think of you, is not healthy. Remember: you’re awesome. No #selfie required.

As long as you don’t go to the gym or on a run with the sole intention of taking photos, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your hardwork and wanting to capture and share it. Happy selfieing!

Now we want to hear from you: fitness selfies – yay or nay. Let us know in the comments below (or snap a selfie and tag us!).

Selina Swift is a freelance writer based in London. She covers a range of topics, writing for a number of websites including her own personal blog.  In her spare time, she is a keen horse rider and fitness fanatic, and makes any excuse for an adventure.