A couple of days ago I saw the following photo on Facebook.
It was posted by a company that I go to on occasion to get military shirts for tribute photos. I ‘ve seen this posted before and I like it so I left a comment. The administrator wrote back saying “you look like a very patriotic swimmer” which was a reference to my current profile photo.
I thought the comment was nice so I returned the note and let them know I liked the selection of shirts they offered. A while later the administrator told me to feel free to post any photos I had wearing one of their shirts. I chose one, posted it and then…then….nothing. Not one like, not one single comment.
Now this page has over 6500 people who see what’s posted there. I contemplated the possibility that I’d recently become hideous, misshapen, somehow horrible to look upon and then I decided to try an experiment. The next morning I posted the very same photo on my own Facebook page. I only have about 200 people who see my page but in one hour I had 23 likes and many kind comments. Just as I suspected, the audience makes a huge difference in response. The vast majority of the people who could see the photo I posted on my page are fitness enthusiasts. They run, bike, lift and eat with good nutrition in mind. They know what it takes to create and maintain a lean physique with a bit of muscle on it…especially for a female….year round… who’s over 40. I do know what type of female physique the majority of the population approves of. It looks something like the following couple of photos.
These pretty women are smooth, slight and a little wispy. That’s certainly nice to look at but my goodness, what you see there is God-given, a genetic gift…and hardly ever earned. Incidentally, many models chain smoke cigarettes, take diet pills and starve to maintain that figure into their late twenties. This look represents the wonderfully alluring, irreplaceable bloom of youth, the sort of physical beauty that ripens, shines and then rather quickly fades away. Look carefully at the women around you who are over 30. Look critically (and surreptitiously of course…I don’t want to get you into trouble). Study their physiques. What do you see? You’ll find the vast majority are very soft and completely lacking definition. Even the thin women tend to be skinny-fat meaning they appear slender in clothing but they are still carrying a high percentage of body fat. Don’t tell me about the one woman you know who doesn’t fit the description, there are exceptions to every rule, just concentrate on the majority of the population. Not such a pretty picture is it? Ladies and gentlemen, lean muscle is the antidote to the sagging , bagging, loose flesh look that starts showing up at about 30 if you’re not exercising regularly. I find the human body, male or female, much more pleasing when it’s being challenged physically on a regular basis. Give me firm over flab, muscle over jello. If you think like the majority of the population I guess you’re relegated to thinking a female physique is only acceptable or appealing if it looks like the typical model. By extension this means a tight but definitely not muscular, thin female between the ages of say 18 and 28. I think that’s a fine look but I hold even more appreciation for women with a little muscle on their frame, who have a beautiful physique they’ve sculpted with sport or intensive work and attention. To me it’s a timeless sort of appeal, rare and lovely to behold. I love the look of the following women. Isn’t there room to appreciate both the prototypical model physique AND a more fitness oriented physique?
I guess the upshot of it is I’ve learned yet again that I’m a bit out of step with the mainstream (and quite happy about it). I have a certain orientation toward exercise, the human physique and muscle. I’m delighted to have made friends here, on Bodybuilding.com and at the gym who share my vision. It’s a wonderful thing to have a little company on this fitness journey of mine.
Just for grins, I decided to take a couple photos to horrify Mr and Mrs John Q Public while I was at the gym this morning…