Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Definition of "Beautiful"

I have always struggled with society’s definition of beautiful.  The dictionary defines beauty as the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).  Unfortunately a person’s idea of what is beautiful is overshadowed by mass media, magazines, and T.V.   Everywhere you turn today you see unhealthy images of “beautiful” people.  The runways are littered with skinny, malnourished models.  T.V. shows and movies exhibit thin armed and weak stars, at least for the female counterparts.  Females have been forced into a role where the perceived image of what is beautiful is not a strong, independent woman, but a guant individual.  What do you find beautiful? 
My definition of beautiful is a healthy, fit, toned person. A healthy person does not look emancipated, lanky, or malnourished.  A fit person can easily do regular exercises without getting out of breath.  A fit person does not use chemical substances, such a smoking and drugs, and eats a balance, clean diet.  A toned person has muscle definition that is lean and balanced.  The amount of muscle can vary according each person’s own preference, but resistance training is a must and necessary to a “beautiful” person.  A ‘beautiful” woman is empowered, strong, confident, and fit.   
Little girls and women have been trying for decades to conform to society’s idea of what beauty is and this has led to an alarming rate of eating disorders.  In the United States, as many as 10 million females are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995). I was once one of those 10 million females that looked at the magazines and watched the T.V. shows and struggled with my self image.  I tried to fit my body into society’s ideal image.  Thankfully I was able to change my view and fitness has saved my life.  I have now dedicated my life to helping others like me get healthy and fit and by doing so change the definition of  “BEAUTIFUL” to an empowering and strong word that encompasses drive, passion, and health.  Over the next few months I will be writing articles on health and fitness geared towards being a healthy, empowered female.  I welcome your emails, questions, and topics for discussions!  
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