Internet fitness star Sophie Gray recently made a big change in her social media delivery. While her reputation and status were forged by posting pics with exposed six-pack abs and lots of make-up, she's gone cosmetics-free and is now promoting a natural look and a body-positive vibe.

As a result, she lost 63,000 followers, but gained self-respect and the respect of others.

Staying in shape can be a challenge, especially when you're on TV, where the expectations and judgments from the public can be severe. So, we asked some local TV figures for their opinions on this story, and received some compelling feedback.

WKTV news anchor Katrina Smith applauds the change. "Its nice to see a public figure using her reach to promote what's important," adding "it's a courageous move to pull away from what sells. Good for her!"

WUTR chief meteorologist Rachael Witter says "I love this! No one is perfect, but our view of what we think perfect is definitely stems from sources like Instagram...which has so many 'perfect' pics, our view can be distorted."

Witter says there's extra pressure in television media. "One of the first comments I ever got online here in Utica was 'she's fat.' That hurts, when you work so hard to get a degree, cut your teeth in the business and finally work your way to where you wanna be. The emphasis on appearance can definitely be one of the downsides to this business."

WKTV meteorologist Jill Reale says she thinks "Sophie Gray did a smart move by becoming a role model. Social media as a whole has put a filter on what is reality and what is fake. Many fitness models use special lighting, angles and tanning lotion to look they way they do."

Reale says her perceptions have changed as she's grown in the broadcast industry.

"In the beginning," she says, "being in the public eye was tough. People would critique my hair, my body and my clothes. But after being in this business for a while, at the end of the day it is all about doing my job right and not about how I look. I'd rather have people judge my brain than my butt."

WKTV reporter Joleen Ferris had an interesting take, saying "if you're a fitness guru and you spend endless hours to be and FEEL healthier and to look a certain way, I don't see anything wrong with posting pics of the inspire others."

Are you inspired by Sophie Gray (before or after) and by these local women? What do YOU think of Sophie Gray's big body-positive move? Do you think the 63,000 followers she lost are no longer interested in fitness? Or, were they never interested in fitness to begin with?


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