Body Image in the 21st Century

You don’t have to be in Hollywood to know that as a woman, slim and toned is the ideal, and as a man, big strong muscles – and possibly a six pack – are the ideals.

And in my opinion – what great ideals they are.

Nowadays all I see is a whole lot of people complaining about having to live up to expectations. What a load of crap.

Nobody has to live up to anything. Never have, never will.

Fact is, for those who choose not to live up to the ideals life goes on as usual. Couples meet, have kids, live life as normal. Grossly obese men and women will attract partners who would be seen by many to be way out of their leagues. It doesn’t matter; it happens. You don’t see people stopping procreating because they can’t find anyone who matches what they saw in a magazine or on TV or in a film… so… what universal pressure is there, again?


What bugs me is, people who choose to keep in shape are often labelled as obsessed or somehow unhappy or deficient in some other way. Why? Because we choose to keep ourselves in better physical health and shape than most? Because we actually enjoy it as much as the cake they enjoy shovelling down their throats?

Besides, these aren’t simply media creations which have brainwashed everyone into thinking that wobbling mounds of fat aren’t beautiful and toned and muscled is. It is what it is – and these ideals are desirable by nature, and, have been revered and celebrated since time immemorial. (For instance, take a look at any Greek statue, male or female and tell me what you see. Celebrating such physiques is nothing new, so people should stop pretending it is.)

People won’t like this and will cry foul, but, it’s the truth. Anyone who stands out as physically exceptional in any way is going to get positive attention – and particularly if it’s something they’ve earned through hard work and dedication, well, they deserve every positive comment or glance they receive. They deserve to feel good about themselves.

It doesn’t even matter that the people who protest loudest about how much stress they feel from magazines and the television showing bodies beautiful constantly. Most of these people won’t, and have no intention of ever getting themselves in shape… it’s simply a case of them wanting others to stop being in such good shape to make themselves feel better.

I have a few strong words for such individuals: Get off your ass and do something.

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