University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Body Image: Don’t worry, be happy

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Mar 17, 2015

Dear Badger, 

The other day whilst browsing the web, my screen was suddenly over-run by a pop up advertisement that was a promoting a twenty-one day plan for a bikini body. To escape this entirely legitimate and entirely invasive and, one had to click either one of two options: ‘No thanks, I already have a bikini body’ or ‘Yes, I need a bikini body’.

Firstly, where is the option: ‘No thanks, I don’t want a bikini body’? And secondly: what even is a bikini body? Surely just a body with a bikini on it, right? I was stunned by how much was wrong with this insignificant, irritating and irrational pop-up that was violating my screen. I have never been, neither will I ever be a gym person. This is in mind, I wouldn’t dream of judging anyone who did spend merciless weekly hours at the gym, and I would neither judge anyone who, like me, didn’t’. Do what makes you happy.

I don’t consider myself an overweight person, but by no means do I possess a toned belly, flabby-less arms or a metal ass from doing copious amounts of torturous squats. And that’s okay because I am a tad too lazy, a tad too uninspired, and utterly too addicted to my sofa to expose myself to that kind of activity. If I ever do get the desire to move around, I’ll tag along with my housemate to the occasional Zumba class, where Federico can take me back to my Latin roots.

The gym is simply not my cup of tea. I am not fond of voluntary confinement to a glass room where I am restricted to a speeding rubber conveyer belt I don’t know how to control, all the while on display for a whole collective to see, but hey, that’s just me. However, even though I may not be what you’d call a gym enthusiast, I wouldn’t say I am an unhealthy person either. Despite being wholly unafraid of large portions, a chilled beer in the evening and the not so occasional brownie, I do have a varied balanced diet. Plus I will rarely decline a long stroll or a (very) short run on a delightful sunny day.

There is always a day where you feel that extra bit of disgusting. And I won’t deny there are moments, very brief moments where I consider dieting and starting a rigorous workout routine just so I can finally lose the life saver that sits around my stomach. But then I say f*** it, and drink my glass(es) of wine. Besides, for whom would I even be dieting for? For myself, or for everyone around me who I think I will subliminally impress? When I check myself out in the mirror, I like what I see, and that doesn’t make me vain or a narcissistic, that just makes me happy.

Jemada Cicely 

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