The Lion's Roar

More than one way to look good

Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

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Imagine a guy with a perfect smile, a perfect body, a perfect height and a perfect life.

If you are like me, the stereotypical vision is someone who has pearly white teeth with a straight smile. You are thinking of someone who is about 6’ 2,” 190 lbs, smiling a lot in public, and earns more money in a month than most of us will make in the next five years.

Other than actors and actresses, professional athletes, people who sell fitness programs, or a combination of those three, almost no one fits the criteria listed above. The ideals of a perfect body must come to an end. It is often accepted that a media-generated perfect physique will serve as a remedy for every aspect of the person’s life. This is beyond incorrect, and people without the “perfect body image” are fine without it.

Yes, people who exercise experience physical strengthening and stress relief. But, what is not included in the protein package are the mental, financial and emotional supports. Some people become a bit too proud with themselves and boastful about their body. People who post constantly about their gleaming physique come off as boring and obnoxious.

Additionally, the time and money that’s invested in fitness and nutrition is absurd when it comes to gym memberships, protein powder, and eating a ton of organic foods daily. From the athletic people I know in high school and college, most rely heavily on their parents and relatives to finance their lifestyle, which can turn into a burden.

Even if someone is considered fit by many people, that person can still have insecurities about themselves. Fitness can decrease someone’s insecurities, but everyone has a characteristic that they wish they could change. Besides, at what point does someone reach this “perfect body image?”

Some could say that being very overweight is not a good “body image”, but that does not mean it is not a good “person image.” Overweight people are often depicted as greedy and lazy. This correlation is as inaccurate as the “fitness equals perfection” model discussed above.

And for those who try to promote exercise to an overweight friend, the idea is well meant in theory, but can come off as pretentious. It could suggest that the friend is not good enough and has to change to become “better.”

Besides, all those exercise programs that promise fast results in a couple of months can be a blow to someone’s ego whenever they are not in “perfect” shape by the end of the program. The expectations and fitness levels needed to finish a 45-minute workout almost every day for people who have not worked out in months are unrealistic. Ultimately, the thought of becoming a fitness guru within a couple of months is discouraging and misleading.

To add on, some people have always been bigger than average, and they have come to terms with it over the course of their life. Suggesting a lifestyle change would be pointless, not because they are ignorant, but because they are content.

This same argument applies to underweight people as well. Some people are just naturally thin and do not gain weight easily. Telling someone that they should eat more is not the cure to this lack of an issue.

I have had my rant now, but you may wonder, “What do you consider a perfect body, guy in the newspaper?”

It is simple: the acknowledgment and acceptance of flaws shapes a perfect body.

I know my hair will not always be a radiant orange. I know my schedule will not always allow me to maintain a healthy diet. I know my eyesight will not always be 20/20. I know my cognitive skills will not always be as sharp as they are today.

This thought process, to me, shapes the perfect body image. It is rarely a physical process, but a mental one. Knowing that I can better myself is important, but I would rather put others before myself than force time into my schedule only to reward myself. I do exercise, but not before my schoolwork, job work and other extracurricular activities and duties are completed. Even then, I will watch Netflix or YouTube if I’m tired.

At the end of the day, if everyone’s sole goal is to strive for the same “perfect look” that I talked about, most would fail terribly, and everyone would be depressed and bored with each other.

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