I got the above message in a recent cheat meal fortune cookie and immediately thought about how the words truly applied to the endless struggle to meet the media’s ideal of physical beauty.
– 90% of all women 15-64 worldwide want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance (with body weight ranking the highest).
– 67% of all women 15 to 64 withdraw from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly about their looks (among them things like giving an opinion, going to school, going to the doctor).
The study also indicated a wider acceptance among young women for plastic surgery to permanently alter their appearances. (Speaking of plastic surgery, am I the only one who is appalled by the calf reduction surgeries being performed in Korea that either involve the physical removal of calf muscle tissue or the severing of a nerve in the calf to cause the muscle to atrophy? I’ll just keep my big Asian calves, thanks.)
It’s a shame that more women don’t share the attitude of our German sisters who equate beauty and confidence with their level of physical fitness. Fitness is something that every woman can improve, regardless of what she’s been dealt genetically. Most of us don’t have the 6′ height or the blank porcelain doll features needed to be fashion models, but ALL of us can feel more energetic, tighten up our physiques, strengthen our muscles, stave off the creeping fluff of fat, improve our medical stats, and face the world fully-confident that we can handle any physical challenge with just a small daily 30 minute investment of time.
How many women who say they don’t have time to exercise spend 30+ minutes every morning trying on five different outfits to figure out which one makes them look thinnest or hides the largest number of perceived flaws?
I’d rather use that time to knock out a quick workout and be pretty darn sure that as a result of my regular efforts over time, everything in my closet just automatically fits properly and looks flattering.
I believe in working with the body I was issued at birth–but taking it to its maximum potential and caring for it properly. Hopefully one day all young women will stop pining for an external ideal and realize just how much they can achieve with what they already have.