I exercise because I want to be fitter, healthier, and because I want to be able to use my body more effectively. It has nothing to do with aesthetics, or looks all.
That’s what someone who’s not me would say, if you asked them for the reasons behind their devotion to working out.
For me, it’s a bit about looks. Who wouldn’t like to look healthier? Who wouldn’t want to know they look attractive?
Regularly using kettlebells & restricting my diet since October ’12 I’ve lost about 2 stone (28lbs) and I’d be a liar if I said I looked in the mirror at my results & thought about the positive health benefits of losing the weight. I don’t. I look in the mirror & I think about the possibilities of eventually having a six pack.
Part of me thinks everything in the world will magically change when the day finally comes. Magically be.. better.
Going to the beach would be better. Everything would basically be the same, but at the end of the day I’d whip my t-shirt over my head and proudly announce (while pointing) that I have a six pack.
Going to the cinema would be better. I’d watch the movie, but in the KNOWLEDGE that I have a six pack.
Even shopping would be better. I’d happily try on clothes if I could sneak a look at my own six pack in the changing rooms.
Magically better. Are six packs attractive? Obviously.
It’s so illogical. I really don’t know why I even want one. I think some Peter Andre ab-marketing got into my brain as a kid and festered in there, growing for 20 years.
If I had abs like Peter Andre,
maybe I’d actually BE Peter Andre…
– 15 year old me, watching Peter Andre’s “Mysterious Girl” music video.
As a guy, and as usual, we fall for all the marketing. They’re a sign of confidence, right? A sign that you look after yourself? Yeah, that’s what goes through my mind when I’m thinking about this, too. I thought I’d ask for some opinions on Twitter, so I sent out a vague tweet asking for views on the subject. Here are some of the replies…
First, my friend Scott (Yeah, I have a gay friend, I’m pretty cool & liberal, sometimes I wear a hat, maybe backwards…) piped up :-
@JamesVanity From a gay man’s point of view no, they’re a bit 90s to me.
— Scott (@ohfuckoffscott) September 8, 2013
I think Scott made the same Peter Andre connection I did.
Sitting on the fence.
@JamesVanity Very masculine, lean and kind of raw/primitive. Shows man is in peak of fitness. Asthetically clothes fit better too.
— Sophie in the Sticks (@sophieintsticks) September 8, 2013
Fashion blogger Sophie is a fan.
@JamesVanity I don’t mind ’em, but sometimes it just looks weird. Especially if they’re rock hard, and weirdly shaped like beans or such. well maybe not beans.. But I’d prefer a guy with not too much muscle, but healthy at the same time..— Issa (@Rae_Issa) September 8, 2013
@JamesVanity well maybe not beans.. But I’d prefer a guy with not too much muscle, but healthy at the same time..
— Issa (@Rae_Issa) September 8, 2013
I didn’t really understand the beans reference, but looks like a vote for the lean physique. OK, so I guess it’s not as clear cut as I thought. The Peter Andre marketing lied to me. Those girls in the music video dancing around Peter in that jungle paradise weren’t legitimately in love with him? WHAT?
The thing is, I don’t even care. Even with the (very, very) little evidence I have that suggests otherwise, to me it still represents a level of elite fitness, and I think we’ll continue to see having visible abdominal muscles as something to aspire to for quite a time to come. When I one, I’m going to stop wearing shirts entirely. I might start painting them on or something, depending on the situation – like at funerals or weddings.