In this blog we are going to go a little deeper than usual, right down into social and personal identity which is a fundamental of how happy we are with our bodies and our lives.
There has always been pressure applied to women to conform their bodies towards a certain type. In times past — curvaceous was the order of the day, with the Marilyn Munro type. Then we headed into the skinny model era, straight into a muffin top hanging over the rim of some low cut jeans. Fat Belly out was the call. Ok so that’s a bit of a shortening of reality – Yet now we have a new twist in the tale as we move to not just athletic, but women losing their feminine identity altogether, and wanting to become men — at least in looks.
Here I’m not talking about transgender, I’m just looking at two trends that are simultaneously running alongside each other. The first is women who just let themselves go. Often these days the man is the one with the hair neatly done, the time taken in grooming, and decent attire. Whilst many women wear sports cloths that have never seen a gym, and look more like men than men. Men seem to smile more and are keen to keep themselves fit for purpose, until that is they become a coupe, and both the male and the female in the relationship head south in every sense of the word.
The second Male trend is in the opposite direction, but definitely has a man at its core. There is a huge scene of females who are working their bodies out to a point, where even I would like to sport the same levels of biceps — and I’m a man with a fitness company. Even those in the fitness industry as a whole, have lost sight of femininity, pushing up, sweating out and beefing all around.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that people should express themselves in what ever way that makes them happy without hurting others. But I work in the psychological world, so I’m always asking why? What is missing in a person’s life or their perspective, that makes them behave in a certain way that may eventually build into a negative outcome. What are they running away from, what are they not facing? Now here I’m speaking from a purely professional point of view, as a I train people in awareness and the development of an Authentic identity; this involves working through what it is they want and what they would need to happen to feel happy.
Often it’s a very poor self image, derived from a person that said something in their formative years or a miss calibration of self within the social context. It can also be a distorted self image, thus they loose sight of what they actually look like. This again falls into two categories — those who use too much cosmetic surgery, and those who simply just don’t want to look in the mirror.
None of the above is necessarily healthy. And one has to wonder what exactly is going through the average female mind these days. As I work with many women, I can say there is a huge amount of insecurity and lack of positive self identification both physically and mentally. Does this come from a catch up situation with our declining patriarchal society — that tends to confuse the issue for woman who have slightly lost their bearings, as much as it does for men who also have become a little bit out of sorts in exactly what their identity really is.
Whatever the conclusion, society goes through trends like a child goes through shoes and a woman goes through handbags, but one one think is for sure, a body with the right proportions, posture and poise — is the foundation of ballet fitness and a balanced mind.