P.C. in P.F. (Physical Fitness)

Posted: June 16, 2017 in Social Commentary
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By R.C. Seely

THIS YEAR I MADE THE DECISION TO improve myself and went back to the gym. It had been awhile, so I have been going for the high intensity workout and the results have already come quickly. I’ve also learned some lessons about athletes. To outsiders they may appear vain and self-absorbed–some simply are–but it’s also more pride in their accomplishment. Getting yourself to your prime physical condition is hard work–in my case a couple of hours at the gym, 5-6 days a week. So when the topic of “body-shaming” comes up, I don’t see it as a harmful thing. 

    Even before my rededication to a more healthy version of myself, I never really bought into the idea that body-shaming was all that bad, but in fact it can be beneficial. 

    Shame is a powerful social tool that should utilized and some people are just plain lazy. I’m not addressing those who work and work, spend their available time at the treadmill or elliptical, and have no results to show for it. That can be frustrating, and to them I say don’t get too discouraged; the world is full of superficial people. Don’t waste your time or energy on their opinions. What I don’t consider an acceptable excuse is when someone claims they have a lack of time for exercise, everyone wastes time, I do as well. We have more time to spare than other generations, just like they had more spare time than their previous generations, that’s what happens with technological advances. And that’s a cycle that is sure to continue.

    I work a full-time job and run MOJO Publishing alone, sometimes writing a couple of articles a week  and researching subjects for future articles and books. I joined the gym, in part, so that I could do this more easily. This gives me more time to use for practical purposes. But let’s look at the “lack of time” argument a little closer. With a full-time job, you work 40 hour weeks, 8 hour days (generally speaking) that only takes away 8 out of 24 hours in your day. Don’t want to do a two hour workout? Fine, let’s go a modest fifteen to thirty minutes. Even with the longer workout you still have most of your day available. Include sleep for–if you’re extremely lucky 6-8 hours, you still have a few hours left, if you wanted or needed a second job or simply wanted your “leisure” time. So time is not a real factor, what about desire?

    A lack of desire is the other leading excuse. The culture also makes sure to lessen desire by dismissing it with a claim of victimhood. One of the more tame was from CNN, citing, “These days, any signs of body imperfection, particularly being overweight, will bring down the wrath of society.” These days? We are told that our society is difficult for little girls–because they are constantly being bombarded by images of “the perfect woman” everywhere they look. On TV, in movies and magazines. That’s valid, or is it? You ever checkout the Men’s health magazines or clothing products packages? It’s men in their prime condition as well, so are men just more secure? And if so, why? Are women being handicapped as little girls by this well-meaning agenda to end body-shaming? Another demographic reportedly susceptable to this cultural epidemic is that of the gay community. Apparently the same issues of suicide attempts and bulemia affect them as well. So the same questions apply.

    Who knows, I don’t. What I am sure of, is that the current course of action in fighting body-shaming isn’t the right one. When former Playmate Dani Mathers was involved in an “invasion of privacy” incident, the internet considered it a “body-shaming case.” Mathers was wrong and she admitted it but her crime was secretly recording an elderly woman in the shower of the gym. Let’s keep that in perspective. I get worried about that when the attorney handling the case, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, says in an interview with KTLA: “This case is really important to me … Body-shaming is humiliating. It devastates its victims. It tears down their self respect.” It’s feeding the idea that those who can improve themselves shouldn’t even bother, because you might hurt another’s feeling. It’s another push for a participation award. It encourages jealousy of others, rather than individual determination and drive. Instead of trying to shield little girls from these images of physical perfection maybe it would be better to tell them–work hard and you could have it. If you’re willing to put in the effort, and if not feel good that you tried. Failure is a part of life, and it’s always an option but it is what happens afterwards that truly defines us.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He also has written books at pop culture, the most recent, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon. 

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