This past weekend I was wandering around my local fitness convention. It was a somewhat rare experience for me; I tend to go to Pilates conventions and, honestly, they’re really quite different. Instead of my usual “Be kind to your spine,” I saw much more “How hard can I beat you?” during the sessions. There is also a big difference in what attendees wear and how their bodies look. I was truly surprised by what I saw and wonder if this will be the looks that we’re striving for in the coming year.
What’s so different? For one thing, at a Pilates convention it’s pretty much wall-to-wall lululemon. And I admit that even I have bought a new pair of “lulus” so I’d look “fresh and cute” when attending a convention. You’d smile knowingly at anyone else wearing the same top or bottom you had on.
That’s no longer as true anymore in Pilates-land; there is definitely a more diverse set of outfits and activewear brands like Prana and ALO sneaking in. But at the fitness conference, it was less than 50% lulu, making me wonder if they’ve finally lost their stranglehold on the upper-end leggings market. I saw a big mix of both high and low-end styles such as ALO, Marika, Margarita, Zumba, Target’s Champion line, and so on. I think that’s a good thing … we shouldn’t look like clones!
The thing that surprised me the most though was arms. Men, as usual, wore their resumes on their sleeveless torsos; guns popping out everywhere. It’s been this way for a long time, but what I wasn’t expecting was how many women are now sporting a similar look. This conference was ALL about the arms. It wasn’t the sleek, toned Hollywood arms either; it was way more “GI Jane” than Keira Knightley.
I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I know how much work these women put into getting their arms to look this way and they were stacked into the hardcore Tabata, HIIT, and Kettlebell classes. No sissy workouts for these females, thank you.
On the other hand, it really didn’t look, well, feminine to me. Am I just old-fashioned about body types? Will I be embracing and striving for “guns” myself in a year or two? Maybe, but I doubt it. I’ve always liked a sleek body and I’m pretty sure I’ll stay in that wheelhouse. I also don’t see very many Hollywood starlets trying for the old “Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2″ look, so it will be interesting to see which direction the general public trends towards.
Preferences for beauty are so individual that I know there will be a lot of opinions on this. I definitely think to each their own; if you want guns (man or woman), go for it! If you think well-defined biceps and triceps looks awesome, then, heck, wear tank tops all winter. It’s your body, do what you want (as long as it’s legal).
What do you think? Is fitness fashion changing? Are you more focused on looking sleek or looking strong? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.