June 2014: Social Fitness and Surface Glamour
By Claire Brooks, President, ModelPeople
Continuing our light-hearted comparison between celebrity approaches to health and beauty, ModelPeople’s global Millennial City Correspondents explored a more Gwenyth Paltrow, clean-living approach to health and beauty. In June, the GlobalCultureBlog℠ looks at fast fitness and surface glamour, as epitomized by Madonna and her new global gym brand, Hard Candy. We also examine how workouts have gone social. Across global markets, health and fitness are more than lifestyle choices for inner well-being, as we saw last month, but are also core to the way Global Millennials want to socialize and express personal style in public ways.
Community grows in importance as a motivating factor as well as social activity. In San Francisco, online platform Fitmob organizes group fitness classes in neighborhood green spaces. In São Paulo, a major thoroughfare is opened to outdoor exercise at weekends. In Mexico City, intensive training groups, like Lady Intensive Fitness Training, connect via social media.
Striking a Pose
In London, Voga takes inspiration from Madonna to strike a (yoga) pose, which has in turn inspired a new trend for 80s-style workout wear from brands like Sweaty Betty, American Apparel and Topshop. In New York, apparel and shoes that go from workout to evening out are aspirational as a way to show off membership to the Creative Class, who work to their own schedules.
In Moscow, teeth whitening and straightening have become a top-priority for looking good, while in ever-rebellious London, having a gap between the two front teeth is considered sexy. Despite a focus on organic living in Beijing, the focus on being a “baifumei,” or a beautiful woman, still hinges on whitened skin.
Busy New Yorkers embrace DIY biohacking, using tech devices and guides like The 4-Hour Body, to maximize health potential fast through self-imposed tests, activities and meal-tracking. Berliners are urged to get fit in 20 minutes a month via EMS in micro-fitness studios, like Body Street. In Bangalore, brands like Olay Natural White Facial Cream reflect the frantic pace of life in modern India with promises of seven skin benefits and instant skin whitening.