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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019

Poll: Do you think Sarah Michelle Gellar's 'overeating' post deserved its backlash?

‘Is it bad to be anything but slim?’

THERE ARE FEW among us who don’t follow at least one health and fitness-focussed social media account.

shutterstock_515132671 Source: Shutterstock/Paul Biryukov

Whether they’re a qualified personal trainer or simply an individual dedicated to maintaining a strict exercise and nutrition regimen, it’s likely your social media feed regularly features photos of their most recent gym session or meal prep.

Over the course of the last three years, I have followed and unfollowed a number of #FitFam influencers based on their attitude and approach.

If I’m left feeling guilty as a result of their online narrative, I ultimately make the decision to unfollow them. If, on the other hand, their feed inspires me, or at the very least piques my curiosity then – from a personal perspective – I consider their content worthwhile.

Recently, I realised that the individuals I follow have one particular habit in common.

They consistently acknowledge that there are some occasions when restraint isn’t easy, shouldn’t be enforced and that indulgence is just part and parcel of being human.

And perhaps, most importantly, this narrative does not seem contrived.

While this approach may not be what everyone is looking for, it suits me, and it means I’m more likely to internalise their more practical day-to-day advice on health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, a Bank Holiday weekend or a personal occasion, I respect the accounts of those who remind their followers that maintaining a healthy lifestyle often requires days when the fridge is a free-for-all.

And it seems a number of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Instagram followers may be on the same page if their reaction to her recent post is anything to go by.

Yesterday, the 41-year-old actress shared a series of photos taken during a lingerie shoot, which she said she intended to use as a reminder to curb her eating on Thanksgiving.

PastedImage-31571 Source: sarahmgellar/Instagram

I’m just going to pin these up all over my house as a reminder not to overeat on Thursday #thanksgivingprep.

While this particular approach is adopted by countless people when it comes to achieving their goals, response to the post from Sarah’s followers, who number in excess of 2,000,000, has been mixed.

Some social media users took issue with Sarah’s contribution.

One day of eating good food and enjoying tradition with your family and friends won’t change your body. And even if it did… is it bad to be anything but slim?
I freakin love you, but this messaging (esp for young vulnerable girls) is crap. What about someone who can do both? What about considering your messages through a body-shaming/adding to shitty culture filter before posting? Your body is gorgeous, but so are all bodies – chubby, fat, curves need lifting up, not more demonising.
Even if you did gain weight you’d still be gorgeous, talented, and brilliant. All bodies are beautiful and all women are beautiful, you included. Enjoy yourself for the holidays you deserve it.

And then there were her supporters.

Ignore the PC Police. Great message and great post. Since when is a goal an insult!!?? You do you.
People take everything offensively nowadays, it’s getting ridiculous. What’s the issue with saying you don’t want to overeat? You’re meant to eat until satisfied, not until you’re hunched over in pain.
I just got home from the gym and saw this. Thanks for the post and the motivation to stay on track.

Personally, I understand using photos to spur you towards a goal, but I also think there’s an importance in allowing yourself to indulge if you want to avoid a total burn-out.

However, it’s clearly a divisive issue; so where do you stand on it?

Do you think Sarah’s post warranted backlash?

Poll Results:

It didn't bother me, but I see how it might have been triggering. (911)
No, I think she was right to remind people to exercise restraint. (802)
I think she was wrong, and contributed to a fat-shaming narrative. (178)

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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