I feel like talking about something a little more serious today and probably something to which everyone can relate: body image. Now I can only talk about the female perspective on this, and honestly I think women are more affected by body image issues and disorders, but I am NOT saying that men are not. Maybe men are just better at hiding it - who knows, I don't have a penis so I can't even begin to unravel the many mysteries of men.
I don't want to go around pointing fingers or anything but I think a lot of female body image disorders stem from the media. We look at magazines (where everything is airbrushed) and celebrities/models (many of them are severely underweight) and compare ourselves to these women when most of the time, they are not even presented how they really look in real life. The only way I can even show this is to link a Candies ad done by Britney Spears. Now I know that BSpears is a little (ok very) crazy but there is no denying that she it hot. Even after she had babies and went nuts and was allegedly chubby (ie: normal weight) she still looked hot.
So here is a before airbrushing and after airbrushing photo shoot of Britney for a Candies ad.
I saw this and it was just completely shocking. I honestly give her a lot of credit for demanding that Candies release both sets of photos. I think that something like this is great for young girls (and women my age!) and maybe it will help them maintain a healthy body image. And I know that a huge percentage of Americans are overweight (this is a whole different issue) but there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between being a healthy weight and being freakishly skinny. I still think Britney is hot in the before photos, but she is more normal girl hot with "body imperfections". The after photos are just unrealistic, unattainable, and plasic-looking and that is STILL what women want to look like!!! I say women and I include myself in that generalization although I'm sure that there are women who are totally happy with how they look, and kudos to them! Seriously!! But there are tons of women like myself that see these photos and are just completely delusional by thinking that real women look like that. So it's just a never ending cycle of the media playing up flawless/photoshopped photos of women, and women thinking that real women are supposed to be flawless AND thinking that men only are attracted to women like that.. and body image starts to go south. Realistically I think most men like women who are healthy and curvy but there are always jerks out there who call anyone over 105 lbs fat. These men deserve to be eaten by rats.
It makes it even harder being in a sport like triathlon where there are SO MANY ultra-fit women, and we are all running around in completely skintight outfits. It makes it easier to see our own flaws AND compare ourselves to other women (guilty!!!!!) rather than focusing on what we like about ourselves, or just the fact that our bodies are allowing us to do a freaking Ironman. I bet Kate Moss couldn't do an Ironman! And if we're worried about whether our thighs are jiggling while we are running, we probably aren't running to the best of our abilities!
I have no solution to this problem. I struggle with it just as much as the next girl. Even though most of the time I KNOW I am being irrational, negative thoughts still creep into my brain. It doesn't matter that I just rode 6 hours on my bike or that I can run a 4 hour marathon, man I need to lose the chub! Completely ridiculous!
On a totally unrelated note, I had a super crappy swim on Tuesday. So crappy that I gave up halfway through. I was tired, dizzy, and my arms felt like jello. I was swimming like 15 seconds off my 200 yd time. Perhaps that's what prompted this post because I always feel like a chubby, lazy POS when I scrap a workout. Like I should have fought through it and that this one messed up workout is going to be what keeps me from finishing Placid. I know that this is not the case, but I am bad with the negative thoughts. Once they get in they are hard to get out!