What Is Toxic Fitness Culture?

Posted by Ilya Parker on

So a couple of years ago I coined the term: "Toxic Fitness Culture" (also known as Dominant or Mainstream Fitness Culture). It is important for me to name this, as often the work of Black and Trans folks gets co-opted, erased and whitewashed within paradigm shifting movements as the movements begin to grow. In this current moment the world of Inclusive Fitness/Wellness is beginning to gain momentum and it's very important for me to make sure I carve space and let folks know that I am one of the pioneers of this movement. I firmly believe that we need to celebrate the lives and work of Black Trans folks while we are living especially considering our life expectancy is so low. So make sure when you are engaging with and sharing this term that you are specific in honoring that a Black trans person (Ilya Parker) is the creator. 

Here is the definition:

Toxic fitness culture consists of two binary groups situated on opposite ends of the fitness spectrum. One group consists of folks who carry intersectional and intentionally exploited identities that mainstream fitness culture negatively impacts. This includes bodily agency which perpetuates harm thus limiting access to resources and representation in ways that feel inclusive & supportive.

The mainstream group consists of the traditionally accepted, racialized, non-disabled. thin/toned attractive, young, cisgender, heterosexual people who are often represented as the gatekeepers of theoretical knowledge and inclusion within defining an embodied fitness culture.


Check out some examples of Toxic Fitness Culture HERE

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