The Quest For The Perfect Body
“The perfect body”. Something we all want, but only see in movies and on social media. The quest for the perfect body is one we can all relate to. There’s only one problem, though.
What exactly is a “perfect body”?
I’m going to let you in on a secret — well, less a secret, more just a chunk of wisdom that took me forever to learn — there’s no such thing!
If you’re looking to find your happiness in a dress size or on the weighing scale, you will remain forever miserable. Your body shape and size is determined by multiple factors — genetics, lifestyle, diet, ethnicity. You know what the idea of the ‘perfect body’ is determined by? Society.
There was a time when women compromised their breathing in order to corset their insides into a teeny tiny little waist. Then came the era of Marilyn Monroe, a gorgeous Size 16 whose curves were the subject of many male (and perhaps a few female) dreams. Years later, along came Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Cara Delevingne.
All gorgeous. All different.
But here’s where I feel the media — social media included — plays with our self-esteem and our body image. Every day, we’re bombarded with tonnes of visual information, and every day, it etches its way into our brains. We see images of sculpted abs, bulging biceps, slender waists, and jiggle-free thighs. And we start to believe that that’s the way we should all look.
And yes, men are affected by the myth of ‘the perfect body’, too! And no, they don’t deserve it either.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying that people who have worked hard to get their bodies toned and muscular are doing anything wrong. Nothing of the sort. What I do feel is wrong, is how everyone else is made to feel inferior. More often than not, this isn’t even at the hands of the aforementioned muscular people. Rather, the bullying and bashing comes from a nameless, faceless entity whom we can neither pinpoint nor identify. Because it’s within us.
We have been so intensely conditioned to believe we need to look a certain way to be attractive, we automatically believe we’re unattractive. After all, let’s face it, how many of us look anything like Angelina Jolie or Chris Hemsworth?
When I started TwitterGetsFitter, I received several messages from participants, telling me the reasons they were doing this. While a few of them simply wanted to get healthier and stronger, the vast majority were fighting body image issues, some of them crippling. Several are still not comfortable taking or sharing selfies, because they hate the way they look.
And it pains me. So much.
So to everyone reading this, I want you to know — Please, please, love and accept your body. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it matters what it can do! Are you healthy? Hormones, digestion, everything works fine? No joint issues? Can you hold a plank? Or climb 5 flights of stairs without feeling out of breath? Are you happy? Not depressed? Have good relationships with your family and friends?
These are what’s important!
Remember, your body will never look the same for all your life. It’s normal, it’s natural. Things will get saggy, or a little dimply, or a little squishy. And that’s okay. As long as you’re healthy, and happy.
That’s a perfect body.