Strong is the New Skinny (and Fit is the New Thin)

Bodies – and the effect they have on self-confidence – have been a topic of hot debate in the UK lately.

While the contentious so-called Protein World ‘fat shaming’ beach body campaign has stirred emotions and sparked protests in recent weeks, campaigns like This Girl Can are filling media space with stories and images of personal inspiration.


Against this backdrop, the Be:Fit London event held last weekend was never likely to be a quiet affair. Created for women, by women, Be:Fit is all about empowering people to become the best version of themselves they can. Having launched in 2014 as a successor to the Vitality Show, an impressive line-up of high profile experts were on hand to give inspirational talks. More than 100 health, fitness and nutrition brands were looking to engage their core target audience to get advice and learn about new products, and the show delivered a mix of inspired stand creative, ambassadors and community outreach:

  • Nutrition trends outlined by Amanda Hamilton included more of a focus on digestive nutrition, scrutiny of gluten-free as consumers become savvier, fasting rather than dieting, increased personalisation and a focus on childhood obesity
  • Focusing on her journey to health and happiness in her 40s, TV presenter Amanda Byram highlighted how there can sometimes be information overload when it comes to food and exercise, making it difficult to know what to do. An interesting point for brands to take on board by keeping communications simple and adding value to consumers
  • Denise Lewis, Olympic gold-medallist, super mum and businesswoman, was passionate about sports at grassroots levels, and how visibility is key to selling sports and encouraging participation. A big fan of Psychologies magazine for inspirational tips, Denise talked about how she keeps challenging herself, the importance of having something to aim for and making goals realistic

We are going to see more and more interest in this sector from a communications perspective and shows like this are only going to get bigger and better.  With communications campaigns stirring conversations for better or worse, it will be interesting to see which paths other brands take and how their communications strategies evolve in an age of consumer empowerment – particularly when it comes to self-confidence and bodies.

The resounding verdict from the event seems to be that strong is the new skinny – and fit is the new thin. Watch this space to see how the health and fitness industry embraces this mantra.