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The Media Continues to Paint Bodybuilders as Bad People

  • 6 min read

by Matt Weik

I’m not going to name names in this article because, quite frankly, I feel the use of the term “bodybuilder” is overused today. But apparently, there was a young man who went to his parents’ Long Island mansion on Christmas morning and shot his dad in the back and his mom in the head. Luckily, as of the time of writing this, both individuals are recovering in a hospital which is miraculous. But it, once again, leads me to believe that bodybuilders are targets for the media, and these so-called “journalists” only focus on the negative things they do.

If You’re a Bodybuilder, Apparently You Walk Around with a Target on Your Back

Now, shootings happen every day and nearly all day throughout the US. So, how in the world would I come across a news article that talks about a guy shooting his parents on Christmas morning? Oh yeah, it’s because the media had to call him out for being a bodybuilder. Mind you, this individual isn’t even a professional bodybuilder — to my knowledge, he doesn’t even compete. I did everything I could to find information about this guy, and I’m coming up with nothing. So, the media has seemed to see a muscular guy who posts images of himself in the gym and immediately considers him a bodybuilder.

The interesting thing is that they call out that he’s a personal trainer. Why not say, “Personal trainer shoots parents Christmas morning!” Probably because no one is looking to demonize personal trainers. What if this guy was a trash truck driver? Do you think the media would say, “Trash truck driver shoots parents on Christmas morning!” No. Why? Because no one cares what the person does for a living. This is a normal person who, if you walked by them on the street, you wouldn’t recognize them or think twice about it. So, why is there a need for the media to specifically call out bodybuilders these days?

Many of the articles on this story also call him (on top of being a bodybuilder) a “muscleman” and “musclebound.” Can you imagine if the shooter was an overweight or obese individual in this scenario? Do you think the media would say, “Fat man shoots his parents Christmas morning!” Or “Extremely overweight and blubbery son shoots his parents Christmas morning!” If so, you can bet every organization will be going after them for fat-shaming when in reality, all they are doing is calling out the person’s appearance, which is no different than calling out the individual in this story for being a bodybuilder because he has muscles.

Am I the only person who sees a double-standard here? Pretty hypocritical, no? Let’s call it like it is.

Journalists and Mainstream Media Toady Are Honestly Nothing But Agenda Pushers

I can only speak for myself, but I know many people feel the same way I do about journalists and the mainstream media today. All they do is push their agenda according to what side of the fence their company sits on. I don’t care what you say about being unbiased, Fox News leans right, and CNN leans left. That just the way it is! If you think any differently, you’re only fooling yourself. When something happens in the world, I look at both news sources (if that’s even what you want to call them), and you can clearly listen to each side report the news and speak in a manner that is very much one side of the aisle or the other based on how that party thinks and their positioning on a topic.

There is no REAL news these days. It’s all doom and gloom when you watch the news because that’s what gets the viewers’ attention. They want people to always be fearful that something may happen. They want people to get engaged with something terrible that happens because that’s where the attention goes.

Don’t believe me? Post something positive on social media and then post something negative on social media and see what gets picked up in the algorithm and gets the most engagement. I’m willing to bet it’s the negative post. I’ve experimented with this myself. I have been posting a helpful health, fitness, nutrition article online every day for the past five years, and they get minimal engagement. As soon as I post a rant or something negative, the engagement blows up. And this isn’t a once in a blue moon that it happens. It’s literally every single negative post gets exponential engagement compared to a helpful or happy post.

Bodybuilders are Demonized Because They Are Different

People (for whatever reason) feel that bodybuilders are freaks. It’s like an act in a circus where as soon as the show starts, everyone wants to see the freakiest things to get their money’s worth. Look, I get it. Bodybuilders look different than most people. But you know what? To bodybuilders, overweight people look different because they aren’t taking care of their bodies and walk around at 40+ percent body fat instead of being ripped.

Know what the difference is between a bodybuilder and an overweight individual is? A bodybuilder doesn’t care what you look like and minds their own business. They don’t voice their opinion on an individual’s weight or appearance. An overweight individual or someone unhappy with their body (body image issues) looks at bodybuilders as self-centered, egotistic, narcissistic, conceited, and only caring about how they look — and they voice their opinion. Meanwhile, (actual) bodybuilders (not simply gym rats) are staying in their own lane, eating, sleeping, and training. They don’t really give a rip what others are doing or what they’re saying.

The media paints bodybuilders as nothing more than a needle full of steroids being injected. They envision roid rage. They envision everything bad that could possibly exist. They look at bodybuilders as being uneducated and only being able to pick things up and put them down (like what Planet Fitness portrays bodybuilders as). Meanwhile, if they actually sat down with pro bodybuilders (like Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Ronnie Coleman, etc.), they would see that not only are bodybuilders kind and gentle individuals, but they’re incredibly intelligent as well.

So, can we please stop with painting the picture that bodybuilders are these terrible human beings? It would be nice if the media actually reported on the news and left their biased opinions out of their reporting.