We all work out for different reasons. Some of us for health, some of us for beauty and some of us for the wrong reasons. There’s no doubt that we are a media influenced society. Everything from where we live, the words we speak, what we buy and the way we dress comes from some form of media. One aspect of our lives that media heavily influences is beauty, and in a big way.
The “standard” of beauty we are to live by shows up in our television shows, music videos, and movies, and judging by what’s shown on all these mediums, men — more specifically black men — have a very specific standard. They like ‘em with a tiny waist, thick thighs, and huge … assets, among other things.
It’s these images and qualifications have many women flocking to the gym in hopes of creating the Nicki Minaj’s surgically-enhanced shape, a figure that many black men are currently drooling over. They spend hours working out their legs, butts, and abs in an effort to meet what they think will make them desirable to this certain segment of men. Some of these women forgo their chest, back, shoulders, and arms in the gym, overtraining their hind parts in an effort to make themselves appealing to men who clearly see them as objects first, humans second.
We all want to look attractive to our potential mates, so, yes, we do make adjustments to our style of dress, habits, etc., but when it comes to our health, it is wrong to workout with the sole purpose of reaching some limiting, misogynistic male ideal of beauty.
Not only are you not working out your entire body, which can cause issues, but you’re harming your mind and spirit as well. You shouldn’t have to make yourself look like someone else, someone you don’t even know, in order to feel beautiful or loved by yourself or anyone else. If the body you have isn’t appealing to someone, guess what? Their loss! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and they will see your beauty and love it as is. Work out for you, for what you think is healthy or beautiful, not so you can measure up and be someone’s dream carbon copy.