My short shorts are not for your PR

Currently in South Goa visiting friends with my gorgeous new husband (we got married a week ago, in case I hadn’t mentioned it enough times), and had planned to go to a local morning yoga class. 

That was until I got a message down the grapevine that somewhere along the line the Shala had decided that there would be a photographer at this class, for marketing (obv).  Feeling super grateful for this information, but also a little upset if I’m honest. 

So first of all, in the wedding madness I forgot to pack yoga pants (imagine!) so I have purchased a very cute but somewhat short pair of shorts to practice in this week because, let’s face it, no one knows me here and we’re all a little more relaxed about our bodies when we are away. 

So I was looking forward to a good yoga class in my new shorts, cellulite and all, with my ‘not-quite-hairy-but-definitely-overdue-a-shave’ legs and still sporting last nights hair do, but apparently not. 

The problem is, I can’t relax when I know that there is a camera around (don’t even get me started on the ones I don’t know are snapping away!!) so I cannot do my practice justice. I am more concerned about whether my alignment is correct or you can see my arse cheeks or if the angle is unflattering than I am feeling connected to my body and breath. I’m not moving with my soul, or with the algorithm. 

I am not a model, nor am I part of your marketing plan, you do not have my permission, this is exploitation. 

There are better ways to do this! You could set up a special class specifically for photographing and videos, even offer students a photo in return for using their image for your own gains.  You could even ask some regular students to join for a photo shoot and mock up a class – neither are ‘authentic’ but definitely more ethical and even, dare I say it, respectful. 

Waivers? People who have mentally prepared themselves and travelled to a class are likely to sign it so they can still practice and not use til they get home later, they feel used.  Don’t pressure people into allowing you to use their bodies, if you want to do the waiver thing, give people notice so they can make an informed, well considered decision. 

In a world obsessed with image, with instant gratification and approval from a world we’ve never met, should we not focus more on creating a safe space, an inclusive space, for people simply looking for yoga. Not for PR, for likes, for sponsorship deals or promos, people looking for dopamine hits from a traditional practice of reconnecting with their body and mind?  I’d go to that studio any day… 

Taking my short shorts on a walk on the beach instead, cellulite and all, with my handsome husband. 

4 thoughts on “My short shorts are not for your PR

  1. Totally agree feels like too many yoga pics are staged/photoshopped and they can put pressure on you. Not what yoga is meant to be about. I embraced yoga on the beach in Thailand (bikini and all 😱) camera a safe distance natural shot – nothing like other Instagram yoga pics, but more to record a moment, set myself my own goal. More natural/real moment yoga pics are needed (if we are to have them).

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    1. I agree! I also take photos of myself from time to time, for sharing, marking a point, progress and sometimes for promotion, if there is anyone else in the photo, they know and agree to it, I just think that as we become more visually driven we should be mindful to be respectful of other people 🙂

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    1. Part of me in hindsight wishes I’d gone but also this topic (and attitude) does need challenging when it does happen. In the world where the visual becomes more and more important, we need to make a better effort to respect other people as people, not marketing tools! 🙂

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