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Healthy Bodies and ‘Perfect’ Bodies Are Not the Same

Idealization of the ‘perfect’ body is as old as civilization itself. From ancient master sculptors to Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion week shows, the image of an ideal female figure is constantly reminding us how imperfect and unwieldy we are. Tabloids and talk shows encourage open comments about people in politics and the entertainment industry alike. Even those whose profession is not related to their appearance are scrutinized for their curves or for even lacking those curves. However, in many cases, visual aesthetic of the human body has nothing to do with health.

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Idealization of female beauty

When it comes to beauty standards, the fashion industry is a big cogwheel. However, if we look up to fashion celebrities as a model for healthy look, the results can be disappointing. An average fashion model is 5’10” and weighs only 120 pounds. To achieve those standards, an average American woman weighing  169 pounds at 5’4” needs to be subjected to ridiculous dieting, and some women completely exclude some of the essential nutrients.

Mission impossible

On the top of that, when we check out the Playmates with big breasts, preferably blonde hair, and a slight tan, it gives an unrealistic ‘ideal’ look to most women. . The truth is that only a fraction of women are genetically ‘blessed’ with what media and society promote as perfect features. As a result, millions of women are trying to become perfect and shunning their natural physique by developing a negative body image. By allowing superficial standards to set in, we are becoming more obsessed with how other people perceive us rather than with what is healthy, and more importantly, how we feel in our skin.

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Dire Straits of the perfect body

It is normal that all of us want to be healthy. There are countless tomes of studies on obesity and its health-related risks. However, what the popular creators of a perfect body image fail to admit is that the ideal body isn’t necessarily healthy either. With the height to weight ratio, an average fashion model has a BMI of only 17.2. Most nutritionists agree that anything under 18.5 is underweight – in other words, lacking nutrients for proper functioning. If overweight is unhealthy, being underweight is unhealthy just as much.

Risks related to being underweight include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Anemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiac problems
  • Lower immunity
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Slower wound healing

The list certainly threatens to overrun the list of risks that overweight people are facing.

Healthy and Happy in your skin

The only way you can truly feel good in your body is to know that you are healthy, and physical activity is a perfect way to achieve that. As one fitness instructor who works personal training in Dubai once told me, “if people took half the time they spend in front of the mirror and spent it doing any physical exercise, they would feel much better”. Health is not what can be seen on the outside. One aspect of staying healthy is developing a positive body image.  You can gain this through exercising with joy, growing stronger, and pushing your limits.

While it is true that people of all sizes and shapes can be attractive, only those who put trust in their physical look can be healthy and happy at the same time.


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