Model -noun 1. a standard or example for imitation or comparison. This sentence sums up a model.
If you look at any magazine, poster or TV advert the models are all from a gene pool which has given them height and the attributes required to be affective clothes horse/ display stands. They are employed to sell a product. These people have been deemed to be the prime of our species, the superior specimens that we should all aspire to look like, where did this come from? Who says we should? Why do we beat ourselves up so much if we don’t think we look as perfect?’
The model on the Beach Body Ready poster has inadvertently started a war. The message is being interpreted by some that if you don’t look like this then stay off the beach. Others don’t get what all the fuss is about. Sit in any town centre and people watch; I guarantee that most of the women who walk by will not look like the girl on the poster. They will be all shapes and sizes and probably won’t be employed by any organisations to sell their products any time soon.
To look like a model in a photo you a) have to have been born with the right genes and b) have a good airbrush technique. (oops did I just write that!) My hairdresser mate Kenny will back me up, he has women come in to his brilliant salon brandishing a cut -out photo of a celeb with long locks insisting this is how they want him to make them look when all they have to begin with is three hairs and a nit, it aint gonna happen! What he will do is to advice them of the best hair style for their hair that they have been given, in this case a plait…
The model in the advert is depicted as what women should look like if they want to put a bikini on. Who made the decision that this is perfection? Listening to comments from men some said yes, this is what women should look like, others said she is far too thin. So why do women strive to look a certain way just because the media say they should?
Working in the Leisure industry I have met thousands of women over the years. All real women, who have real bodies. But, many of these females have hang-ups about their appearance, they don’t conform to how they are ‘meant’ to look.
You may think that the leisure industry exploits women, making money out of them with empty promises that we will get them slimmer and turn them into super models. The truth is that we’re more interested in what’s going on inside them. I can’t promise someone that I can give them the body that they are comparing themselves to in a magazine but what I can promise them is that if they eat healthy and do regular physical activity their visceral fat (fat surrounding internal organs) will be at a healthy level which will prevent them from developing diabetes and heart disease in later life, their bones will be healthy which will help them to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, their muscles will be strong which will keep them independent in their old age and their mental health will be improved as being physically active helps with stress issues. I can make those promises without keeping my fingers crossed…
Men are insecure too
Over the years I have seen that body insecurities have now spread to men. Men used to come into the gym and train for a sport of some kind or just for general fitness. There have always been free weight trainers but this area of the gym has increased hugely and there are a lot more younger men who want to get ‘ripped’ This is now the fashion for men and women, not just to be slim but to be heavily defined too. This requires a very dedicated lifestyle and food choices are very limited. Protein shakes will be top of the shopping list for sure.
David Beckham has an athlete’s body; he has achieved his look by training and playing football. He has worked hard to be an extreme athlete but interestingly he is being criticised by fitness models who say that he wouldn’t get anywhere in a stage competition! Being judged on the symmetrical size of your lats is very different to being a powerful athlete.
There was a video on the media networks of David Beckham and James Corden, they both are wearing boxers. (All that money DB earns and he only ever wears his knickers…!)The comments were interesting, some said that DB was gorgeous; others said that he didn’t do anything for them, they preferred James yet he is not ripped, he is overweight and not what we’re meant to like, how has this happened???? I’ll tell you why, he makes them laugh.
The greatest female runner Britain has produced, Paula Ratcliff, record holder of the London Marathon for years. You’d think the media would not have a bad word to say about her right? Wrong! She doesn’t look like Jessica Ennis. So the fact that in the media’s opinion she’s not as attractive as fellow super athlete Jessica has somehow taken precedence over her amazing sporting abilities! In the immortal words of Catherine Tate’s Nana , “what a load of old s***!”
My team promote a complete health and wellbeing package; we don’t want people to be clones or some sort of super race. We want their body composition to be within a healthy range, we want people to be active and enjoy the benefits of being able to move around and live an active life, we want them to eat a varied healthy diet but enjoy the odd naughtiness, we want them to feel confident and happy within their own skin. So what if they may have a bit of body fat, as long as it’s within a healthy guideline, so what if they have stretch marks, cellulite or even a wrinkle or two, they are human beings not plastic dolls.
What drives me insane is that we are told what we should think is perfection; we should be free to make our own minds up.
So, look at what you’ve been given and be realistic. I would love to have long slender legs but mine are more comparable to a football player than a super model so that’s never going to be possible! As my Mum used to say, you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, thanks Mum that built my confidence!
Why would you want to be with someone who looks amazing but has so many restrictions on their food, finds socialising impossible because it might interrupt their training regime and basically is as fun to be with as a giraffe with a sore throat?
Isn’t it better to be healthy, do regular activity and enjoy the odd naughty blow out from time to time?
What I’m trying to say is, be happy with what you’ve got and who you are. Everyone’s idea of perfection is different, if people don’t like it…. they can do one!
Rant over.Back to Blog