An Obsession With "The Look"

by jazzzz

We live in a society obsessed with "The Look". There are some people walking around this universe with really great looking bodies. Some of them have trained long and hard to maintain that look. There is absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining optimum health, and if doing so so enables you to look great physically, Wonderful! On the other hand, some have went through artificial methods and or practiced some unsafe methods in order to have The Look that society deems as the norm. What is disturbing though, is the manner in which some pursue these measures in order to obtain The Look. What kind of exercise regimen are they doing and is it suitable for them? What about eating habits? Starvation and binging are popular fads. Is this a realistic approach?

Many things are to be considered when determining what's appropriate for us in order to stay fit while looking and feeling great. First of all, in order to be healthy it does not require thinness. Body mass, metabolic rates, genetics and a host of other factors determine what the ideal body weight should be for each individual.

Next, men and women differ somewhat on how each feels about weight. With both, there is a degree of social stigma. An overweight man is still warranted a certain amount of respect from society in general, whereas an overweight woman is looked upon as a woman as someone who is not taking care of herself. She is chastised because of her weight. In comparison, her opposite counterpart, an overweight man, is seen as strong and aggressive. We would not dare call him fat in the same breath as we would a woman with the same amount of weight or even less. Yes, a double standard indeed!

We can get even more specific in terms of how different cultures have perceptions about how much weight is too much. There is the myth that people think that Black people are naturally big boned. A size 14 for a Black woman is considered the norm by many African Americans, and not as fat, as some Caucasian women view it. A lot of Caucasian women believe anything over size 5 is big. To them, the thinner, the better and the closer they can come to The Look. It is ironic they would even feel this way, considering their cultural icon image is Ms. Thick herself, Marilyn Monroe, 37-23-36. This lady was endowed!

Why all the hype with The Look then? For starters, the fashion moguls and self-made clothing designers are partially responsible for the frenzy surrounding The Look that is mostly unattainable by the average person. The clothes they design are for a super size Barbie. What they're ultimately saying is that hip hugging hot pants, off the shoulder shirts, backless blouses and drop tops don't look good on women with flesh on their bones. I beg to differ. Let them take a tour in my walk-in closet. They will be amazed not by the many clothes I have, but by the depth of greatness in how they look on my size 18 body.

It's amazing how we bend our bodies to get The Look. Some may never get any closer, even with the methods they're using. Others will never get there by any means that they try. Some get there and don't stay unless drastic unhealthy measures are taken to maintain The Look and who is to say that they will, in fact, stay with The Look they frantically pursued. A few will succeed, but even so, how happy are they with The Look, knowing how hard it can be to maintain for most.

The world is a rainbow of people of various shapes and sizes. Are we so shallow that the way we look has to be validated with a label that is determined by egotistical fashion designers and media giants? Has anyone of us ever seen Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein or The Fubu Crew at the gym with us, sweating it out on the treadmill? The Guess and Gap Corporations do not care if we tummy tuck ourselves to death. And for what? A figment of ones imagination, a false reality. You are what you are, and that look belongs to you, and you alone. It's not a mistake. Live with it.

An Obsession With "The Look" by jazzzz

© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page