Body Image.. While blogging I realized how body image is a very important topic between the themes of Diet and Fitness. With ‘body image’ I mean a lot of things: how we see ourselves, how we get influenced by the judgment of others upon ourselves, how commercial industries influence us, movies, celebs, barbies (but do they? ; ) ) –the list can go on and on. The influence the outside world has on our own views of how we see ourselves in the mirror is a popular topic for discussion.. and moral high grounds. It has been for a very long time.
I have been raised with the knowledge that it’s the inside that truly counts. Not only your heart, but also your brain. Be an independent woman (educated). Feel strong, good and happy within yourself. That’s the beauty that shows on the outside. And I really believe that to be true (bless my parents ; ) ).
But shallow vanity tends to creep up on you.. it can be hard to keep the balance between knowing what truly counts (that ‘inside happiness and beauty’), but also having certain esthetic goals in the meantime. Especially when you work hard at the gym ; ); everyone looks in the mirror all the time. It’s all about the look of your body. Yeah, OK, and health (a lot of people will argue that heavy weightlifting and the diet that goes with it is in fact unhealthy, but hey, that’s another topic).
Fitness is a very vain occupation, to be honest. But I love it. And I love to see results (yup, in the mirror). I love having goals and reaching them, setting new goals, etc. I love to feel fit and lean. It makes me happy, makes me feel satisfied and in control, so.. wait a minute.. oh, it does actually feed that inside happiness too! (win-win! Yay!)
So I guess there’s nothing wrong there, it can all be balanced: inside and outside. Brains and beauty. Even having a blend of shallowness and sophistication.
Nevertheless it doesn’t make this whole body-image topic less interesting. I do wonder if I would have the same discipline and satisfaction with eating huge amounts of apple-biting-pig and growing fatter (“Check my arm flabs! How they’ve grown flabbier!”) if I’d been living in a different time in history. Instead of an I-phone self-pic, I would’ve asked a painter (Rubens!) to ‘paint me a pic’.
Trends in body-looks are nothing new. Now we blame capitalism -> mass consumption -> the money making commercial industries -> commercials on tv and ads in magazines, for the bad and ‘twisted’ view we seem to have on our own natural ‘body-sleeves’.
You know what? I think it’s true. But I know it’s part of us being human. It’s part of cultural and economical trends. Standards of ‘the ideal body’ existed since we existed. We’ve always been creating this superficial body image to adore (even worship).
And I’d love to tell you more about that (ah, here my studies in social history and art history come in very handy). Ohmy, I’m really starting to get into this blog-thing lol.
To be continued!
October 7, 2013 at 20:53
Wow that’s deep! Love it! And so true; your body image is determined by cultural, social and economical factors. Like in some countries in Africa, what we call ‘fat’ is there a sign of fertility and wealth. In the Phillipines and India people are washing themselves with special soap to create a lighter skin, as they perceive the darker the skin, the poorer the person. Here in the West we burn ourselves in the sun because a tan looks sexy and healthy. That being said; in the West in de middle ages having a white skin colour was also a sign of wealth, as was being curvey (rubens women). Interesting heh! Love your writing keep up the nice work 😀
October 7, 2013 at 21:03
Ah, you so TOTALLY get what I mean! Yes, exactly! There’s so much interesting things to think about and say about the topic ‘body image’. Thanks for your reply, youre giving so many good examples here 🙂
October 7, 2013 at 21:43
Cultural trends are very interesting indeed…in the Far East women strive to be very pale (high status), very thin and delicate. Having been born and brought up in the West I do love a sun tan and my outdoor activities of swimming (in the summer!) and cross country running ensures I am bronzed, fit and strong. The older ladies in my family don’t get it and I am quizzed about my lifestyle choices!