What do you typically notice as you scroll through images of fitness models on social media? They seem to be living quite the grand life, aren’t they? They’re looking great, and often appear to be posing in their ultra-cute sponsored outfits, in settings with some form of clever product placement, simply enjoying the fruits of a privileged life, right? Wrong. They’re just like the rest of us, and battle their own demons in terms of insecurities and struggles. There’s a lot of hustle behind each of their successes, especially when it comes to upkeep. The upkeep itself is similar, yet also different from that of bodybuilders, as seen in the infographic below by Boston Mobile Dance:

According to a feature on Shape magazine, there’s so much more that goes into being a fitness model. An NYC-based fitness model, Chelsea Aguiar, says that she has been working on loving her own body her whole life, but things were rarely ever rainbows and butterflies. She said that “For every 100 casting calls you go to, you may get two jobs”. A common misconception is that it’s easy for a fitness model to land their gigs because they look so perfect, but many companies don’t necessarily think so for their own set of reasons. Fitness models do get rejected and although at times it can be hard, they learn to get comfortable with this rejection.

Fitness models have their share of insecurities and are not resistant to harsh comments or bullying that they regularly deal with on social media. Fitness models also have to be able to perform like athletes so there is a lot more pressure on them than meets the eye. Aguiar says that it can be both “overwhelming and scary”. There is also no such thing as short-term dieting for fitness models because they always have to consistently stick to a very healthy diet since they can be called for a job ion short notice.

Aguiar also says that “It’s important that as the fitness industry continues to expand, we don’t reinforce misconceptions of what ‘ideal health’ looks like.” She thinks it’s very important for the fitness industry to promote models of all different sizes for more women to become strong and confident. It takes hard work and dedication for a fitness model to earn their success but at the end it’s always worth it, because ultimately their goal is to inspire others to strive to become the best version of themselves.