I read a quote from a journalist today saying that apparently we should all (by which I assume she means women) by rights hate Jennifer Aniston because she’s so thin.
Why, why, WHY is this myth perpetuated? It’s a two-fold lie – first, that women are constantly on the verge of a cat-fight if we see someone who’s thinner/prettier/has nicer accessories or a better boyfriend than we do. The second is that the thinness achieved by ms Aniston is something for us all to aspire to.
Why are actresses and slebs like Cheryl Cole, Jennifers Aniston, Lopez and Love-Hewitt held up as role models? And why aren’t we given physical role models like Beth Tweddle or Kelly Holmes? I think its because we all know how Beth and Kelly got the amazing bodies they have – sheer bloody hard work. So they can do phenomenal gymnastic moves on various pieces of equipment, so they can win medals and run and jump and tumble harder and faster and better than anyone else. And when we see them, that’s exactly what they’re doing. We see their bodies in motion and none of us (or very few of us) think – hey, I could or should be doing that.
They’re not sexually motivated. Unlike the lollipop actresses who are put on display for men to desire, and women to envy and emulate. We know intellectually that they’ve worked hard to look like that, but we never see them using their bodies in a sporty way – its either posing for cameras or lying around in a bikini. The most we see of their physical activity is a grainy pap photo of a baseball hatted star jogging, ie working out so they can look thin.
Meanwhile, we’re surrounded by unattainable images and being told that we ordinary gals could look like that if we only took ourselves in hand and tried really hard. And if we don’t look like that we’re failing, somehow.
It’s a lie. A big fat photoshopped lie.
Let me tell you who I’d like to emulate; Krista Scott-Dixon of Stumptuous. She’s done more for female empowerment than twenty fake popstars, pallid models or insipid actresses could ever hope to achieve. She inspired me to pick up big fucking heavy weights in the scary boys bit of the gym, and I love it. I’ve a long way to go, but I know I can get there.
Want some inspiration? Visit Krista’s site and look at these photos of amazing Olympic athletes, medal-winners in all sorts of disciplines. I love how their bodies are so different, how the swimmers and runners and ice skaters all worked with their natural strengths instead of trying to squeeze themselves into some cookie-cutter image of female beauty and acceptability. Oh, and read Krista’s article too – she says it far better than I do!