Fitness magazines are as shameless as Playboys in their exploitation of our fantasies. But only fitness mags try to fool us into believing that we too can have a piece of the action. For men, the headlines promise power, authority, and not just more sex, but better sex.
According to dear hubby, this sort of motivation “works for most men.” He made this statement while looking down his nose with an air of superiority and a certain scientific detachment – as if he, out of billions, had somehow managed to cross that elusive evolutionary threshold into an existence governed by pure altruistic impulses and the Zen pursuit of self actualization. Of course, he also said this while watching NHL hockey on his specialty cable sports pack, but who am I to judge~wink.
As for us women, why should we be hitting the gym? The headlines are unanimous: get more energy, look younger, look (though not nesesarily ‘be’) sexier. Yesterday, as part of my project, I read through an entire issue of Shape Magazine. By the final page, I was far more tired and angry than any-kind-of motivated. To figure out why, I went back and read between the lines.
So this is it for us? We’re supposed to want to sweat, stretch, and strain just to become more efficient in our daily lives? Just so we can do more, more effectively, for the people asking things of us? Not only that, but we’re supposed to project a perfectly maintained body/mind/soul trinity if we want to advance our careers, let alone hang onto our men! Sure, all the Shape women claim to be so much “happier and healthier” than before, but there’s something off, something missing. Ever wonder why we’re not all munching on granola after 6am runs?
The back page of the magazine featured a profile of a thin blond Utah clothing designer who’s “can-do attitude and strong willpower help keep this Shape reader – and her family – healthy and happy.” There was a small text box in the bottom right corner for her “moments of calm.” On some nights, after the kids are in bed, she gets to curl up with her husband on the couch and watch a movie. “To make that time even sweeter,” she confesses, “I treat myself to a few pieces of licorice, like Red Vines.”
A few pieces of licorice? I’m sorry, but that’s just about the saddest things I’ve ever read.
Now I ask you, is it any wonder men are still running the world?