‘Fitness Is Not A Look’: Calif. Gym Owner Markets Photos Of Real People, Not Models

By Courtney Perkes
The Orange County Register.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) We love Women in Business who are creating products and or services that are empowering women to be REAL! Gym owner Michele Burmaster is one of those women. After seeing the endless stream of unrealistic photos of fitness MODELS  for sale,  she created her own  fitness stock photo collection with photos of REAL PEOPLE for use by gym owners, personal trainers and fitness bloggers. Realbodyfitnessphotos.com launched in February, and more than 200 images have sold so far.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.

When gym owner Michele Burmaster looks at stock photos of fitness models, with their chiseled abs, oiled skin and revealing attire, she imagines they would be bored working out with her. For one, she would insist they wear sensible shoes.

And frankly, she’s tired of them, saying the unrealistic images so ubiquitous in fitness industry advertising discourage most people from joining a gym.

At Burmaster’s Surf City Fit Club in Huntington Beach, Calif., her members come in all ages, shapes and sizes. So she decided to make that realism available for download, creating a fitness stock photo collection for use by gym owners, personal trainers and fitness bloggers. Realbodyfitnessphotos.com launched in February, and more than 200 images have sold so far.

Her photos show all the expected poses: Men and women lifting weights, hanging from pull-up bars and swinging kettlebells.

But some also include features not normally seen in stock fitness photos such as gray hair, fleshy arms and thick bellies.

“On a lot of levels, fitness is not a look,” Burmaster said. “It is what you can do; it’s your health.

“When you see a picture of a woman with a six-pack, that six-pack is largely hereditary. It has a lot to do with genetics. It’s selling them on something that’s not attainable and drives them to unhealthy behaviors.”

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