Body Politics

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Setenza, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Setenza

    Setenza
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    Body politics.

    The BBC website and numerous other publications have been banging on again about “Britain's Obesity Problem”. It‘s a very complicated and emotive issue. But to my mind it's all part of a larger problem. That of body politics.

    We as a society seem to be obsessed with the pursuit of the perfect body. We vilify those who fall short of the current concepts of beauty. We paw over tabloids and magazines thrusting false images of what we should aspire to. We agonise over our failure to reach the appropriate “standard set”. It's a cruel debilitating disease that ruins lives and puts money into the pockets of big companies. It is a tool of oppression used to keep women and now men from achieving certain social economic goals.
    It is simply one of the worse facets of western culture.

    I am 38 years old. I am six foot tall and lightly built. In fact some people would label me skinny. Always have been always will be. Until 2001 when I gave up a 30 a day cigarette habit, I only weighed 8.5 stone. I now way a better 10 stone. Thing is if I try to gain weight all I end up with is a double chin and a pot-belly. The only way I could evenly distribute such a gain would be to embark on serious body building program. I haven't the time of inclination to do this. So I remain the way that I am. I think it's okay.

    If you watch any main stream film or TV series (particularly American) all men will work out and have 6 packs and developed arm muscles etc. Does this bother me? No. It won't stop a bullet or a knife. There's no hard and fast rule that says this is all that women like. But for some people it is a worry. My son does exercises. I ask if this is for Rugby training. He mumbles no. Therefore he's doing it for personal reasons. At 14 it would appear that he wants to look the “part”. Obviously girls play a part in this. He seems to get by. What would happen if he couldn't.

    My wife used to conduct home visits as part of her job. For safety reasons she would have to travel in pairs. Her colleague was of a similar age group, but had a somewhat larger bust. It's amazing the affect this would have on men. Virtually all conversations were aimed at this lady's chest, and my wife was simply ignored. It may seem trivial but it really did have a impact on work and productivity. In one case, one of the people visited ended up in court. My wife had to provide evidence. The accused could not even verify that he'd been visited by my wife as his attention was focused elsewhere.

    I'm fed up with the way the whole size and beauty issue has got out of hand. Yes we all have are likes and dislikes about what we find attractive in others. But the whole matter has lost all basis in rationality. We are splitting into a nation of three types. The beautiful, the ugly and the ****e stirrers imbetween. Enough is enough I say.

    So let rip with your gripes about the whole issue of body politics. Tired of being persecuted? Or do you have strong views on obesity?. Are the women folk out there ****** off with being brow beaten by the female press and tabloids. Do you think super models are skanky miserable bitches.
    Let the rant begin!
     
  2. Astraeus

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    I'm not sure I'm with you a hundred percent on this one, buddy. Though I agree with the general societal inclination to attain a 'perfect' form, whether it be through exercise, cosmetic surgery or diet, I don't believe for one second that males, nor females are being denied economic opportunities as a result of their physical appearance. It's a fact best-proved by looking at rich lists and marking off the number of 'attractive' people nestled amongst them. You'll find very few who share both economic success and attractiveness and those who are you'll find are almost exclusively within the entertainment domain either as singers, actors or footballers.

    I, myself, am 6' 3" and, like you, am naturally underweight and slender. However, my height has changed little over the past three years and, as a 16-year old, I was certainly considered skinny and lanky, not only by my contemparies but also by myself. I didn't appreciate the label but, more importantly, I didn't feel satisfied with my own body. I lacked strength and my physique was, to me, unsatisfactory. I was spurred on to gain weight and muscle definition by a desire to be able to be more confident in my own strength and body. In just eight months, I've put on over a stone and have bulked out substantially with no fat gain whatsoever. I now weigh a healthy 13 stones, 4 ounces. Even with what would be considered a 'nice' body (sorry for sounding conceited), I am very loathe to show it off. I didn't set out with the intention of showcasing it and have no intention of doing so now. Society hasn't put any pressure on me to build up like I have done but the desire for self-satisfaction has.

    A number of girls who I am good friends with are put-off by the orthodox 'sexy' male with a six-pack, huge pecs and defined biceps as it tends to, as in the case of cosmetically-enhanced girls, be a show for someone with little substance to them. They've often found that to be the case and now, out of the three most attractive girls I'm friendly with, none of them are dating 'conformist attractive males' with each of the men seemingly batting out-of-their-league. Only the 'plastic' females seem to remain attracted to the 'plastic' males and, as these are such a small proportion of society, I believe the will of the majority is to delve deeper than a six-pack or DD boobs in finding a partner.

    I have a simple answer to the point raised regarding obesity, however, and that is that it is more of a health issue than it is a cosmetic issue nowadays and so it needs to be tackled.
     
  3. Knyght_byte

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    oh the pain of being tall and slender :D

    well, just to balance the scales, i currently am 6ft and about 22 stone.....heh...punching well above the weight i should...lol

    does my weight bother me from the point of view of the opposite sex? nope, reason? altho i've had very few g/f, it isnt my weight because i havnt always been overweight.....its becaue i'm fussy about who i go out with personality wise....looks have their place, but if i cant get on with the person then its no good...she could be Angelina Jolie, if she couldnt empathise or have a reasonably intelligent convo then i wouldnt be dating her......

    However, at the different weights i have been, i have noticed a slight difference the way i'm given attention.......when overweight to this degree i definitely only get the cuddly guy vote from women, in other words not attractive as a boyfriend from the majority, but a very good friend.....4 years ago i was 13stone (about as slim as i can get having a barrel chest and heavy/large hip bone area).....didnt get massive interest as i'm only bog standard in the face dept, but my personality would win over most women i came across, certainly to make friends and could quite likely have got dates if they were the kind of person i'd feel happy with.........4 years before that and for around 3 years i was about 17/18stone.....so not massively overweight for my size, but still a bit chubby......same response as being 22stone pretty much..........then during my mid-late teens, i was around 15 stone.....no interest at all whatsoever.....because at that point most girls ONLY want the handsome guy...

    and heres the hypothesis, from my own experiences and considering all the friends i knew (local, school/exschool, cadets, lifelong, pub, club and work) most women want the guy who has the body like Pitt or Cruise or the Calvin Kline jeans bloke........doesnt matter whether the woman is slender, skinny, fat, obese, unusually shaped, tall, short, spotty, freckled etc.....they are happy to hold out if they can, then when they get those lonesome moments normal men get a chance...........on the flip side, most men i knew altho would love to have supermodels/hollywood film stars as lovers/wives, would happily settle for someone who didnt scare the staff in the local Burgerking either via face or personality and were happy to make do with the life they were dealt, try to improve but not run off shagging someone else the moment a problem crept up......

    YET, more women worry that men wont like them physically than men do worry women wont like them........but is the balance changing? women having more and more power to their name (having worked in most employment environments over the last 10 years i'd say i've got a reasonably good background in what i'm talking about, might be wrong, but it isnt limited) and therefore men have more to worry about...now a woman is assertive, not only does she want brad pitt, but she'll damn well turn you in to him even if you dont like it......whilst she can just be who she wants to be and you dont get your Angelina Jolie......

    But the critical thing is that women have a far higher ideal to live up to....men can worry about whether they need a six pack (not noticable unless semi naked and if skinny then it can look like one even then) or big biceps..........but women must PREVENT a stomach (noticeable as women tend to wear bodyhugging clothing more than men), must prevent batwings (something men rarely suffer till old age) and must prevent a double chin....even tho to most men these things wouldnt matter really if a woman had them, its imperative because of the airbrushed magazine models.....

    me personally? i like a woman who has a little bit of a tummy, i dont mean overweight as such, more just a natural paunch for someone living in a colder clime.....its nice to cuddle up to sometimes........batwings, its not like she sits there waving her arms about for me every night??........double chin? almost everyone has one, some just turn their noses up too much to get rid of it.....no need......

    i'm due a weight loss, been a couple years now overweight, so i think once my job redundancy is complete and i'm relatively cashless i'll use that time to eat more sensibly, hardly drink and do a load of exercise.......get back to 13/14 stone and see how i get on with women in my 30's at that weight....as by the time i get to that i'll have just turned 30........

    Lifes an experiment, forget the principle of born, be child, work, die........its born, be child, be curious, work and be more curious, be old and be curious, die........

    :)
     
  4. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    Good thread I have t say i agree with the op We HAVE BECOME OVER OBSESSED WITH PHYSICAL FORM.Women have led hteway and now guys are falling in line and if oyu dont confrom well you just get sent to Coventry I guess. Well i kinda like Coventry where these herberts are concerned for if they are so vain ,narcisstic and egotistical then they are dreary as well and i have no time for them male or female. My wife is kinda oirdinary looking and doesnt spend hours in front of mirrors . She does workout which must be good for health if nothing else. She does though fret about her weight and goes on the Gillian Mcketrick diet from time to time:eek: I personally dont do diets. Whilst I maybe 3/4 stone overweight I reason that I am not going to go without food which i love just to conform to some ideal.I use to be much slimmer but never felt any happier so i might as well carry on. I go to a gym 4 times a week and do a physical job as well so I reckon thats fine for me.A client of mine weighs over 20 stone and has done so all her life. She is 83 and as robust as can be for the age. Only ever been ill once in her lifetime so the correlation between obesity and ill health is somewhat tenuous in my view. Plenty of thin people drop dead like flies evne in their forties and fifties. I reckon when your time is up its up.
    No I reckon it is our obsession with the"body beautiful"and the youthful look that is the 21st century disease. We need to find some real values not those based on conceit and narcisism:thumbsdow
     
  5. krish

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    I agree with all points made; but there is a growing problem in the UK of laziness, inactivity, convenience foods, excessive drinking, etc with children, teenagers, and young people which just isn't healthy. There will be a whole generation of people who die before their parents as a result.

    LGS, I seriously hope you don't mean your wife is into the Gillian McKeith diet :eek: :nono:. Her BS about "energy", "enzymes" etc is something to be concerned about. Here's an old rant of mine ...
     
  6. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    Yes that the bint. I shall relay to her what you have just said, not that she'll take the slightest bit of notice mind:(

    What particulary iirritates me is that she avoids bread and milk because Mckeith says so:thumbsdow . She is not alergic to any of these two foods. She buys rice milk instead .McKeith is also a sodding bully :
    "Its my way or the bye way" Right I'm off.
     
  7. mjn

    mjn
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    People need to understand their bodies more. Being fat, doesn't mean you're unfit, and the same is true for skinny people, just because you're skinny does not mean you're fit/healthy.

    I'm 5' 11", 13 stone (so about half a stone over weight), but i bet i'm one of the fittest and healthiest people on this forum.

    One of the biggest excuses people make for not exercising is, "oh, it doesn't matter, look at me, i'm skinny"...yeah, but you're also 19! Friends kept telling me, "wait, til you're 23, then you'll get fat", and when i didn't get fat, people would say, "don't worry, it's when you hit 25, that when you'll get fat."

    I'm 29 now, and i'm still waiting for the beer belly.....but people around me are getting larger, mainly due to eating too much crap, drinking too much, and not exercising.

    The amount of food you eat, is not really relevant, but its the type of food that you eat, that has the effect on your body. Just because you eat healthly does not mean you can't have naughty things as well, i have a fridge full of beer, i still have pizza, i like the odd kebab.......just NOT every week!

    Also, the time/money excuse is also rubbish, as far as i know, walking is free, and is an excellent form of exercise. You like your TV, well, iron while you do it, or do the housework.....it all burns calories, and helps keep you in shape.

    No excuse for getting fat really.

    As for kids, the blame lies soley at the parents.
     
  8. Ultima

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    Great post mjn, but you have still said that you are 1/2 stone overweight???

    You may be by todays perfect standards but being as fit and healthy as you are I would say wou must be the perfect weight for you.

    Martin
     
  9. Steven

    Steven
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    I agree with all the above.

    Now...

    It's these media experts... "Actually being even a couple of stone overweight makes you clinically obese"...

    :rolleyes: *sigh* and back to the real world :)
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    To look at me, i'm not overweight, but if i lost that half a stone, i'd be able to compete in the lower weight catergory, but i'm happy with my body.
     
  11. GrahamC

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    Diets don't work, not any of them and I know that every one of those health gurus are more interested in selling you the book/DVD than what weight you are or how far you can run so sod em. I think I'll stay just as the 'body car crash' that I am and meet my maker when he decides. :thumbsup:
     
  12. mjn

    mjn
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    Using my NHS Contributions to do so :rolleyes: It's a known fact that unhealthy people need more NHS resources.
     
  13. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I am going to be the fly in the ointment here.
    Firstly i am going to say that opinion is not likely to be totally unbiased. I am something of a health freak these days. I consider i am in very good shape (6 pack et al) for a 6ft 11 stone 36 year old, i take strenuous exercise for at least 1.5 hours every day and am pretty religious about what i am eating.
    Since re-attaining this status of health (as i was a sportsman through and through in my younger years but through various lifestyle changes let myself go a bit from 99-04) i have often walked around my city (Exeter) and thought; Christ as a society we are getting over weight. I would then think... well you are coming from a fairly extreme end of the spectrum, but.....
    As i watch (my favourite channel) UK History and look at the general physique of the population 40-60 years ago i have observed on countless occasions that (perhaps down to much more physical based labour and less cholesterol based diets) the general physique of the average Joe would seem to be in much better balance than today.
    Personally i do think we are becoming overwieght. It is not, and never has been, the norm to be grossly overweight or obese. The body is an engine and that engine has an optimal performance that is not based on complacency, Dorito's and lounging around.
    I have no doubt that the considerable change in lifestyle and working enviroments (i.e the physical lack of time, machine and automated processes for heavy labour, cars and the convenience factor of having fast food delivered to your door etc) are the predominant factors here as opposed to a whole nation going 'lazy' (i am indeed sure that there are less hours available to the working parent today than there ever were) but i do feel as a society we are actually getting worse a' la USA. I do not think there is an national improvement at all.
    This is however made an even more complex subject by the fact that i think public awareness of the health issues involved in obesity is at an all time high.
    All this asides i assure you that on any given Saturday in my city, of all the many eating options available in the city it is the (multiples of) McD, BK and KFC eateries that will be consistantly full throughout the day and i will bet that they have a pretty massive Saturday turnovers (not apple :) ) to back that theory up.

    Steven
     
  14. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I would offer this overly simplistic analogy:
    In this era i think perhaps people take their 'self' for granted. Most normal people would not let their hoover, pc, car, pen, iron, lawnmower etc operate at 50% capacity yet their health and physical/mental well-being is not part of this fairly linear equation??
    Entering bomb shelter now.
     
  15. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    I thinks it a matter of perception as well. A guy can look healthy, post incredible time trials etc and then gets stricken by a mystery virus or other disease and its adios.Woman has weighed over 20 stone all her life was active in her youth and yet never gets a disease. Now 80 and still very robust.
    I think moderate exercise is ok but dont worry about the body shape as it will be as its meant to be. Dont be vain for you'll be seen as a numpty.At least you would in the gym I go to which sports people of all shapes and sizes but doesnt take to preening posers:thumbsdow
     
  16. GrahamC

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    No using MY NHS contributions.
     
  17. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    Some fitness freaks do tend to take the moral high ground somewhat:confused: . I get particulalry annoyed with patronisng fitness trainers ie the ones that treat an overweight person like a recalcitrant child:thumbsdow
     
  18. BrianC

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    I wish the media would focus more on getting people to exercise rather than diet as being (reasonably) fit is far more important than being the right weight. The government ought to be pushing more grass roots sports through funding to keep people exercising. While some people find the gym the perfect place to exercise (I'm one of those) for a lot of people its just not suitable and I think that team sports is the way forward.

    I have mixed feelings about how the current pressure to not be obese is affecting our children. I know my two know far more about the different food groups and their effect on the body than I did at the same age but is it pushing too much pressure onto them to be skinny?

    I'm not a fan of any sort of diet other than the common sense eat right diet, such as 5 or more pieces of fruit/veg a day, red meat at most once a week, that kind of thing. I also think anybody starting an intensive combined exercise/diet plan who doesn't go and see a dietitian to get their body shape/bone structure accurately sized needs their head read.

    I'd also like to point out that somebody who is clinically underweight costs more to the NHS per person than somebody who is clinically obese.
     
  19. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    I think far topo much emphasis is put on avoiding saturated fats. People have been eating them for centuries with no ill effect. I'd far rather eat butter than marge because the latter contains transfats which are entirely man made and I reckon they are more dangerous to health. Bit like eating plastic really:eek: This means avoiding almost all manufactured /processed foods other than things like bread chees etc.
     
  20. Steven

    Steven
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    Yes, a healthier lifestyle is called for

    How many journeys are <1 mile? How many parents could car share on school mornings? Hell, how many parents could tell their kids to walk instead?

    Those are just examples....lest I get the car lot on my back!
     
  21. Steve.EX

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    I sincerely hope that was not aimed at me?
    I would agree that as far as i am concerned there is the most hideous collection of preening peacocks at my gym, far far worse than any self obsessed woman i have met.
    I am considered an outcast there as i refuse to wear all but the scruffiest and loosest of garments.
    Men in nylon should firmly stay in the Flash Gordan films imo.

    Steven
     
  22. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    It wasnt "aimed" at anyone in particular:)
     
  23. Dom996

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    It was my understanding that bad diet and weight related health issues cost the NHS more than smokers.

    Oh, I don't need to argue that point anymore, as I don't smoke. :smashin: :D
     
  24. Reign-Mack

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    I had Dominos Sticky Dippers for breakfast at at 6.30pm. Put on a MARPAT wifebeater and did a few one armed press ups before watching 2 hours worth of us broadcastings which had fisished downloading while I was sleeping all day...

    You only have to spend a few minutes out in public to see that there a loads of people who do not care about how they look ...or smell for that matter.

    I agree that a healthier life style is called for but being healthier does not mean injecting poisons into your face or going on silly diets, there are still a huge number of people who simply need to get off their fat arses and do something... anything.
     
  25. mjn

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    It's ok, fatties pay enough NHS Contributions to cover their treatment... :rolleyes:

    I'd rather my NHS contributions were spent on finding cures for diseases/illnesses that were NOT caused by people's laziness towards their own health!
     
  26. mjn

    mjn
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    As if a few press ups cancelled out the calories and fat in anything Dominos sell.
     
  27. Dom996

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    I find pumping heavy iron is the way to go. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the better you look and feel. Remember, muscle is active tissue and burns calories even while you sleep. :lesson:
     
  28. mjn

    mjn
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    I know, but remember that out of all the fuels sources the body has, fat is last in the queue, due to the sheer amount of effort needs to turn it from fat into usable energy.
     
  29. Reign-Mack

    Reign-Mack
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    :rotfl: could just have easily spent the whole day sleeping makes no difference with my body, impossible for me to put on any weight I have tried... who said anything about "a few" press-ups ...I was wearing a wifebeater you know... its MARPAT dammit!
     
  30. unique

    unique
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    has anyone seen these shows on channel 4 about chubby chasers, feeders and fat beauty queens? theres a few guys who have fetishes about fat women, and the fat women don't think there is anything wrong with being obese and wearing short skirts and basques and stuff

    do you think you get women who like fat men? instead of trying to lose weight, maybe i just gotta find the right woman, and not have to worry about eating pizza and chinese all the time.

    i tried a few diets but they didn't work. i tried that diet where you just eat protein (the atkins diet), and that didn't work. i tried the diest where you just eat carbs (the adams diet i think), and that didn't work. i tried the slimfast diet and that didn't work either. so i tried all 3 at the same time in a last ditch attempt to lose weight and i just put more weight on!
     

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