Happy New Year! We all know what that means… it is resolution time! And what is most peoples new years resolution? Well according to statisticbrain.com two of the top five resolutions are about health and fitness. “I would like to get healthier and lose weight”. Admirable goals. Now beyond talking about the obvious things wrong with a statement like that, (e.g. not specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, or has a timeline), I would like to focus on where anime, cartoons and even live action movies can mislead you and make it impossible to achieve your resolution. What we should not learn from anime:
Barbie dolls have been under scrutiny for years for creating unrealistic body image expectations in young girls, but anime, cartoons can have the same effect, and not only on women but on men too. Take a look at some of our favourite characters.
If that is the portrayal of what a hero, and someone who is desired, looks like of course people are then going compare themselves to this. Now what is the harm in that you may ask? Well as we know with Barbie dolls this can
lead to serious health issues like anorexia and bulimia. These same things can come from what we see depicted in film and anime as well. Not talked about as often though is how this can affect men, and young boys. For one a body like this
(usually lying and saying they’re not) selling “the miracle thing that will get you there fast” (pills, equipment, protein powders, etc.)
Even if you manage to ignore all the hype (because really the only thing that works is proper diet, exercise, and time) then you still may be discouraged because you are not seeing the results you want fast enough and to the degree you hoped. This is where these impressions from media can really hurt your new years resolutions, and why there is such a drop off come February in gym attendance. So lets break it down, if its drawn don’t look to it as an attainable or desirable body type. If its from a movie, that person did nothing but train, probably twice a day, for months, and had a nutritionist planning and making all their food. There was likely drugs used to either help them bulk up, or cut down their body fat percentage, and the shirtless scene in the movie was prepared for by severe calorie cutting and then dehydrating the body right before the shoot. That person that looks so good is actually at their weakest during those scenes – starving and thirsty. Ultimately these people are not walking around looking like this year round, because that would be very unhealthy, not to mention very difficult to maintain.
Lastly regular women, despite what men think, don’t find that body type that attractive.
“A study commissioned by Jacamo, a British menswear label reveals that when it comes to long-term dating 72 percent of women in the UK actually prefer men with the “boy next door” look as opposed luscious hulks.” – aplus.com
Here is a picture (also from aplus.com) comparing what men think women want (left) vs what women say they want (right).
So lets put to rest these high pressure unrealistic body representations and instead aim for keeping ourselves, mobile, strong, with good cardio, and eating a healthy diet (a strong focus on vegetables). If you are just starting out, or even if you have been working out for a while, focus on posture first and then move on to the rest (good posture is sexy!) Proper nutrition and exercise will help prevent lifestyle diseases, improve mental health, strengthen your bones, improve your aesthetics, increase confidence, prevent injuries and allow you to continue to do the things you love as you grow older. So keep your new years resolution this year, become healthier and happier by focusing on each little improvement you make rather that striving for the unattainable. Happy 2016 everyone, now get off your computer, phone, tablet and start improving your life (but remember to come back for more awesome stuff from Low Five).
Let us know in the comments below what your resolutions are this year.