The Daily ZEITBITE: Sweating for the ‘Gram

Consumer Trend Thursdays — January 31st, 2019

Have you been at the gym these past few weeks working off those extra pounds from the holidays? You may have run into some delays getting onto an elliptical or the bench press, while waiting on the person in front of you to snap the perfect selfie for social media sharing.

Why Do We Need to Look Good While Working Out?

  • Our always-on-always-connected world also bestows us with the pressure to be always presentable. Underscoring this trend is the growing market for gym friendly cosmetics that can hold up to a spin class or hot yoga session. Clinique and CoverGirl are among the makeup brands capitalizing on this demand, with a recent survey by Pittsburgh polling firm CivicScience finding 25 percent of women who said they put on some makeup before working out.
  • The trend is similar to the growth of athleisure, when workout clothes went from the rattiest t-shirt at the bottom of your drawer to high fashion items that people wear on a daily basis, with or without workouts. Dri-fit shirts and yoga pants aren’t just comfortable, after all, they also pull the trick of making it look like we could be on our way to the gym, even if we’re just on the way back to our couch (as parodied by this SNL sketch).
  • Beyond what we wear, where and how we exercise are being shaped by insatiable demand for Instagramable workouts, which means showing off that boutique exercise studio where you can afford to shell out $50 a class. (Here’s Refinery29’s take on the best workouts “for the “gram” if you’re curious.)

The Must-Have Conversation

So, is there any benefit to showing off our workout, and looking good while doing it, online? The answer to that question has a lot to do with our reasons for posting. For some, it creates an additional pressure that can lead to bigger health problems. “The vast majority of gym selfies are oversexualized, and that’s where the body image pressure comes in and becomes toxic,” says trainer Elysia Cronheim.

For others, these gym pics can be a way to keep track of their own fitness goals and connect with a larger community to stay inspired. “We all struggle with feeling discouraged,” says fitness instructor Mark Ribeiro of FitHouse. “Interacting with other people who are battling the same woes … can exude positivity.”

Whenever you are ready … here are 4 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Get our Quarterly Cultural Almanac membership if you haven’t done so already. Enterprise packages available too.
  2. Sign up for one of our Culture Club groups where we meet virtually each week and learn what we need-to-know.
  3. Come to our next WeWork partnered ZEITGUIDE live Crash Course on February 28th on all the trends impacting the year.
  4. Have us build a cultural intelligence program for your organization.