After my body image post, I was spooked while reading The New York Times. An article about supermodels – JUST the reminder I needed! Getting Models Into Fighting Shape highlights a former boxer who trains super models who need to slim down for a photo shoot or runway appearance. He tackles an interesting population – as the typical exercises would add ‘bulk’ in all the wrong areas of these long, wispy models.
Ok – so at first it was just what I thought I needed to read. But I have been thinking it through. I do not compare myself to supermodels – I compare myself to fitness models. I know that a supermodel is weak, unable to complete even one pushup because she cannot lift her own bodyweight. I cannot compare myself to that! A supermodel needs to shred every ounce of fat and muscle from her body – how healthy is that? A fitness model has to maintain at least some semblance of a real person – she needs to pose with weights and in positions that require strength and muscle! Therefore, I began some simple research.
The average fitness model
The average fitness model holds a dual role, working concurrently as either a commercial model (the leaner models) or an athlete. The average height is 5’6″-5’10” but weights vary dramatically. The body fat percentage for a fitness models is very low: 10-13%. This is well below the range of “essential fat” necessary for healthy body function: 20-27% for women. Compare this to most female athletes, who range from 14-20% body fat. So, even fitness models maintain a physique unable to effectively perform normal functioning. To maintain this body type, fitness models maintain a daily regimen of exercise, diet, and nutrition supplements. Many employ extreme weight-loss methods, such as water restriction, crash dieting, and purging, as they prepare for an upcoming shoot or appearance.
Why do I want to look like that? Because even the fitness magazines have brainwashed me into believing that this is what fit looks like. Are those dumbbells they hold real? The more I think about it, I challenge any fitness model to a physical challenge.
What if – – –
What if I attained my 6-pack abs but I could not hold a ragdoll pose because the position was too much for my body to physically handle?
What if I had the svelt physique, but dizziness and fatigue interfered with living?
What if I could not do pushups? And squats and lunges were forbidden? I am proud of my derriere and my strong legs!
The more I think about it, the more satisfied I am with where I am at today. I am training for life and I am proud of all that I have accomplished. I may not look like the girls in the magazines, but I sure can do pushups!