WHY WOMEN HAVE IT HARDER
So, it’s not your imagination, or an excuse. If we look at the standards of today’s society and what we consider the female body should look like- then yes, women have it far harder than most men when it comes to personifying the modern, often misguided ‘ideal’ of health. To add to that women also have it harder when it comes to losing weight biologically. In this post I will discuss the misguided standard that makes it harder on all of us, in the next post I will discuss the scientific reasoning behind female weight loss hardships.
So, before we even get to the science (see next post) lets discuss the modern standard.
You see, the way I see it women are battling a very real epidemic – that of a misguided, misleading body image. Societies unrealistic ideals of what ‘health’ looks like is debilitating and it does not help that its projected on us constantly. Consider this, a health ad for a new supplement can often create more harm then good. After staring, listening to and living with these ads many people believe that everyone should be stick skinny, have a gap between their thighs, have tight skin, every female can have a six pack naturally, have absolutely no cellulite and have the most perfectly proportionate curves, long legs and no fat.
This is a purely fabricated ideal placed upon us by commercials and ads, it is important to acknowledge this. If we don’t we will buy into it. Once you buy into an ad campaign of a picture you will shortly become discouraged and misguided. All of this leads to a derailment of your progress.
Think about it, society expects us to look a specific way in which biologically most of us can not.
The Modern Ideal vs The Modern Reality
The first problem women face? Our societies ideas on what fit, healthy and beautiful should look like are altered.
You see most of the cover models you look at on magazines, in fitness and figure competitions, on diet pill/ protein bar ads have a far greater story behind their bodies;
Air brushing (see a few images & examples of your fav celebs below)
Genetics & Age
Dehydration & other one ay diet tricks
The factors above are often the reasons many of the celebrities, cover models and figure models look the way they do.
Airbrushing, Lighting & Makeup: I have personally worked with countless magazines, choreographed ads for beauty and fitness, and myself have filmed DVDs and done photo shoots. What you get is not often the reality.
I have personally NEVER been airbrushed, but lighting has often helped me look more rested, it has helped underline muscle definition and just over all help me look better. I have worked with companies that I know have airbrushed models and actors i their ads, its not that they did not look amazing prior, but the smooth skin, extra lean, perfected look we see on the covers of many magazines, billboards and ads is a whole different ball game of ‘fit and healthy’. It’s a level that is pretty much impossible to reach for anyone. Why? because its not real. Imagine yourself with no pores, lines, scars, skin tints- impossible right? It’s just like imagining yourself with no personality.
Just take a look below:
The women in these ads look amazing in real life, but society calls for a greater form of beauty- perfection. After all, thats what ‘sells’ magazines and products;
I am not saying that all magazines airbrush, many like SELF do not. But they still use top photographers, lighting, make-up, wardrobe to get the job done.
Another cover model secret, drugs. Drugs? yes, drugs! There are countless celebrities and models that take the harmful drug clenbuterol to lose pounds, and while it works, the drug literally drains the life out of the body. It’s important to note that this drug is not FDA approved, and using any medication for purposes other than those intended is dangerous. Clenbuterol and countless other fat burners and steroids are harmful to the body, especially the kidneys and liver. They are also not sustainable, you can’t take a drug or diet pill for the rest of your life. Testosterone patches, growth hormone an other steroids and harmful fat burners are also common in the fitness, model and celebrity industry.
Plastic surgery is another part of the ‘perfection game’. The curves we all idolize are often an unrealistic bi-product of breast and butt implants, liposuction, skin resurfacing, Botox, nose jobs and so on. There is nothing wrong with plastic surgery, nothing. But to place the same standard on a natural pair of breasts as you do on breast implants is also not fair. The key here is to understand what is attainable through clean nutritional eating, life activity and exercise and what can only be attained by a plastic surgeons design. If you want to get a procedure thats okay- go for it! But know that it can not replace your health, your strength, mobility or longevity. It is important NOT to mistake the two.
Quick note: the celebrities pictured above have nothing to do with the last two paragraph, and are not the ones associated with clenbuterol.
Ticks of the Trade: Figure models and fitness competitors use dehydration and other such tactics to get ‘cover ready’. It is important to understand that the results of this ‘perfect’ look only last a day or two, and the women you see on the Fitness magazine covers typically walk around looking a bit more ‘humanly’ their amazingly defined six packs. Yes, these women have incredible bodies that are truly the result of their hard work- but the superhuman definition you see on covers and in ads is the result of dehydration and other ‘photo-shoot’ tactics that only last a day or two. The same goes for their looks on stage during competition. The result of their look is a part of the sport and is made for the day of competition, not for a day to day look.
Genetics is another uncontrollable factor. I worked with a model who had a fully defined six pack, when I asked her what she did to workout prior to training with me, she said with a smile- nothing! She told me this was the first time she ever did an ab exercise. Thats genetics, the girl was 22 and a cover model from Brazil. Just like some people are born with a high IQ , others are born with an incredible body structure.
It was very important for me to explain that the things we see in magazines, on television and on the internet are not often the full story. Nor do these things represent women, strength, beauty or health. In a world of sales it is vital to understand that it’s in a companies best interest to keep you hooked on trying to attain a specific result based on an ad campaign. Companies create unrealistic standards all the time, and we buy into them, thats just the truth. It might seem legitimate that in a world of space travel, computers and geno an all out easy ‘answer’ and ‘cure’ for fat loss is possible. But unfortunately fitness and health have to do with old fashioned stuff like moving, working out and eating correctly. Especially in the beauty and health industries there will always be a fabricated ideal to play into an insecurity or a new standard -as long as it sells something that we can pay for.
It is important to be real with yourself and identify the things that do not seem ‘right’. If things seem too good to be true, like a cream- they are. If perfection is what you are looking for, you will never get it- because there is no such thing in life. The better you’ll look, the more weight you will lose the more you will want- and that is okay so long as you want the right things, the real things, for the right reasons.
To help you through this, I believe it is important to set a physical ability or health goal next to a weight goal. So not only do you want to lose 10 pounds, you want to be able to hold a plank for 1 minute with perfect form, or do three full push ups. This way you will also have a reality based reference.
Now go on- set your KB body goals for your next workout:
1. How many swings do you want to achieve in one minute?
2. With what weight?
3. Set a goal for everything; squats, push-ups, sprawls, presses – then achieve it! Its amazing to feel your body getting stronger! And guess what? strength and fitness wont come without good healthy body composition- a fit and firm body is a bi-product of your training! So set a standard for your Kettlebell Kickboxing Body Series DVDs and GO GET ‘Em!
And to en this, here is another example of airbrushing I found on the internet:
While she is a beautiful women, the airbrushing is clear and provides a clear example of what type of alterations we see on a daily basis.
This picture and the few above are taken from the female world website.
Now look at this beautiful fitness figure competitor. And look at how much thinner and leaner she looks with a tan:
Now ladies, the rest is up to you! Go and make your own reality, your own ideal. Yours and yours alone.